Marketing ploys by the media have tried to turn Christmas into less of a spiritual holiday and more of something that can be used for exploitation. It seems that the media tries to focus on what the hottest new toy might be or what the latest gadget is in order to steer us away from the true spirit of the holiday.
While characters like Santa Claus and Frosty the Snowman have their place in a child’s life, it’s important to teach children that Christmas is not just a day for receiving presents.
It’s not just children that can get caught up in the gift-giving (and receiving) aspect of the holiday. However, it is important to understand the true nature of Christmas in the eyes of a child.
The most crucial aspects of a child’s life are not things that can be purchased at the store. While it can be fun to see the amazement in a child’s eyes when they see Santa Claus at the mall or the wonder when they open their gifts on Christmas morning, the most important things you can give to a child are the aspects of their daily lives throughout the year.
The nurturing, stability, values and morals you can provide for your child are far more important than any gift you can give. Part of that role you take as a parent is the faith you can instill in them at an early age.
Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it. —Proverbs 22:6
It can be difficult for a parent to decipher the line of giving to our children while not overindulging them. Rather than focusing on the material gifts of the holiday, it is more important to focus on what your child really wants.
A great example of this is when your child may ask for an abundance of sweets. While this is something that they seem to really want, parents understand that giving them a ton of candy in one sitting will most likely make them sick rather than nourish their bodies. The same can be said about the gifts they may want for Christmas. While an abundance of toys may seem like the gift they want for Christmas, this is not a gift that will nourish their souls.
Any parent can attest to the fact that children easily tire of their toys; regardless of how much they may initially crave it. Many times in life, something that provides instant gratification does not equate quality.
For example, in a time of hunger, it may seem like a great idea to buy a greasy fast food dinner rather than wait the hours it can take to be served a home-cooked meal. However, in the end, the home-cooked meal provides a better tasting and nourishing meal.
While children may voice their wants in terms of toys and gadgets, their true needs have to do with nourishment, stability and love. All of these things can be given through spreading the Word of God. Sharing Scripture with your children and teaching them the true meaning of Christmas can provide an everlasting gift that can be treasured for the rest of their lifetimes, while a simple store bought gift will be a fleeting fancy.
Give your children what they most crave for this Christmas by providing them with the stepping stones to base their morals, values and faith upon. This can provide a wealth of knowledge for your child that they can carry with them well into adulthood and can help to create a stronger bond between you and your child.
In your household this year, make Christmas about what its true meaning was intended to be rather than what society has tried to turn it into.