Teaching Children About Holiday Gift Giving

Teaching Children About Holiday Gift Giving

Every parent has experienced the frenzied “gimme” look in their children’s eyes at Christmas. New toys and electronics are advertised everywhere and their “I want” list grows by the minute.

As parents, we would like our children’s Christmas memories to be about family time, traditions, love and giving rather than the newest gadget.

Inset_Kids_Giving_01One way to teach children to give back is for them to give coupons as Christmas gifts. The coupons consist of acts of kindness, chores or activities that the children could do for others. In this way they learn to give of their time at a young age.

The beauty of this is that even toddlers can partake in this activity as all it takes is some colored paper, markers, stickers and your collective imagination.

Some examples are; make a cup of tea for mom, play a game of cards with grandma, do the dishes or walk the dog. These coupons were a favorite stocking stuffer in our family. The recipient could take them out and claim their “gift” anytime throughout the year. As the years went by the children would think of more elaborate and imaginative ideas for coupons (afternoon movie, date night with mom, scrapbooking day).These coupons could also be used as gifts for birthdays, Mother’s Day or any occasion.

As the kids grew into teenagers they also offered coupons to neighbours and friends(shovel the neighbor’s walk , babysit for mom with new baby or help a buddy with homework). The objective is to get the children thinking how to do for others versus asking for material possessions.

The spirit of giving can be taught early in life and is a great gift that, as parents, we can give to our children.


    • Thanks Hilda. I love receiving my coupons from my kids. Time with busy teenagers is priceless.

  1. This is such an important post, Christine, As kids, my siblings and I were encouraged to give gifts to each other, our parents, and our grandparents, even if it was something small we picked up for $1.00. I was very surprised to learn that in other families, only the children received gifts. It really puts a whole different spin on the occasion!

    • I agree Janet. I always thought it was important to teach my children gift giving skills. I am happy to say that as 18 and 20 year olds they pamper me on my birthday and Mother’s Day. My favourite coupon is still “Day with Mom”.

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