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You and Your Health

6 Way to Keep the Bad Economy From Spoiling Your Children’s Holiday (and yours)

1. Having a loving, warm family is more important than the dollar amount spent on gifts. Therefore, make cheerfulness a goal. Try not to think about your financial situation during the time you’re celebrating with your children. You CAN be a good actor and set aside your worries for the sake of your children. And, it just may turn out that you can convince yourself too, at least during your celebration.

2. Don’t let the advertisements (and your children) make you believe that the latest gadget is thing you MUST get for those children. Material things are fleeting. You already know that in a short period of time most gifts lose their huge appeal and, that manufacturers are constantly creating new gadgets that your children will then want; it can be never-ending.

Image3. Plan time with your children to create inexpensive home-made gifts for others. You can look on-line for ideas or friends may have suggestions. Some of them can be made from already existing items in your household. Not only will the gifts be appreciated but the time spent with your children doing this is priceless!

4. Show your children that giving is more important (or at least AS important) as receiving. Take this opportunity to volunteer with them at a hospital, homeless shelter, food pantry, or somewhere where they can see people worse off than they are (and who they’re able to help to have a little better holiday). That lesson can’t be learned from books or television — only by experiencing.

5. If you find you’re able to purchase SOME of the things your children want, at least explain that you’re happy to purchase those things (or that one thing) since some children will get nothing. Even though many will roll their eyes or pout, or otherwise show their discontent, repeating the message will sink in after a while. Or maybe it won’t — so what? YOU’RE the grown-up and you know what you can and can’t do. And, chances are that you’re doing without as well. Maybe you should explain THAT to them!

And, most of all, be sure to explain the meaning of your holiday whether it’s Christmas, Chanukah, Kwanza, or something else. None of these holidays were originally for the purpose of giving children piles and piles of THINGS; they have meaning so be sure to explain that meaning. That way you will have given your children the gift of knowledge. What greater gift is there than that?!