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Five alternatives to toys under the tree

Published: 
Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Buying toys is like giving candy, it serves no real purpose other than momentary joy. It’s a childhood habit that will stay with children all through their adulthood and the priority it’s given by parents now, will set the tone for where they fall as our children grow into adults.

Imagine for a second a couple that’s struggling to put food on the table. They’ve fallen upon tough times, yet they use the last bit of cash they have to give their children a grand Christmas.

The lesson taught, is that our immediate pleasure surpasses all else. It teaches them that sacrifice isn’t necessary in pursuit of longer lasting gains.

It also shows our children that love, lasting memories and Christmas cheer can’t be had without spending money.

Now don’t get me wrong. If you’ve ticked off everything else on the list that follows and you still have lots left over, then by all means add a toy under the tree. But if not, I pray that you consider the following as alternatives to a random toy that will be played with far less than you or they would imagine.

1. Have you given them the gift of savings?

Before toys, be sure to put aside for their future. This figure should double every year if they are to have the head start that’s needed in their young adulthood.

2. What about the gift of fellowship?

Invite the friend over that you’ve been too busy to hang out with during the year and have a Christmas dinner.

Use the extra cash to buy everyone fancy outfits and take them to a restaurant that is normally out of reach.

Spend the night enjoying each other’s company. Take pictures and make a keep sake. Start a family tradition even.

3. Give the gift of time.

Calculate the time you’ll spend online searching for the toy, the time to collect and wrap it. The time standing in line and sitting in traffic. Use that time to snuggle up and do nothing but share hugs and kisses instead.

4. Give the gift of charity.

Before you buy your child that toy, buy a brand-new toy for a child without.

Buy groceries for their family and be sure to let your child know that you used their toy money to bring joy to another family.

Use the toy fund to bake bread and Christmas cookies, package and deliver it to needy homes together. This will not only be charity, but time well spent together.

5. Give the gift of music.

Many middle-income earners cannot afford music lessons, let alone the violin. Help broaden your child’s knowledge base. A child should never have more toys than knowledge variety. Every child should dance, sing, be active, be musical and learn a second language. When they grow older, these will serve them far more than the toy that was in style many Christmases ago. There are so many memes that make fun of children playing with the box more than the expensive toy.

Chose memories, chose moments. Our children are our greatest investment. They depend on us to teach them what really matters. This Christmas, help them to understand where the real value of life lies. —info.careparenting@gmail.com