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Memories Instead of Gifts: A High-Value Approach to Christmas

memories instead of gifts

As parents, we want to give our kids great gifts at Christmas. We get their wish lists and buy as much as our budget allows. But what if we focused on making memories instead of gifts galore?

Every year when Christmas comes, we give our kids oodles of gifts. They’re excited at first, yes. But as a few months pass by, they grow bored. Those much-desired presents end up sitting on a shelf or at the bottom of the toy box.

Giving gifts to our children is fun, isn’t it? We love to see their smiles and looks of wonderment as they unwrap presents. But I’d like to encourage you to shift your thinking away from presents. I believe you can make lifetime memories that far outlast even the best of toys and other presents. Read on to see what I mean.

Memories Instead of Gifts: Here’s How It Works

Instead of spending all the money you have budgeted on physical gifts, give fewer presents. Then use most of your Christmas money for making memories with your child.

Here’s an example. Instead of spending $200 on presents, spend $25 on presents and use the other $175 on an overnight camping trip. Kids are sure to remember that for the rest of their lives. Or instead of giving your child a bunch of toys that will quickly grow obsolete, use some of the money to take them to a movie. Follow that up with a trip to the ice cream shop. Or instead of spending all your Christmas money on toys, use the money to buy some board games. Then play them together as a family all year long.

The bottom line

Rather than spending time and resources on buying “stuff” that will soon be forgotten, focus on spending time with your children and making memories with them. After all, they’ll grow bored with the video game you place under the Christmas tree. The “cool” toy you give them will soon find its way to the bottom of the toy pile.

But the time and resources you spend on making memories with your child will never be forgotten. Think about your own childhood. What do you remember the most? More than likely, it’s the trip you took with your parents or the amusement park you visited. It’s probably the little things like making Christmas cookies together.

This year, we aren’t buying our adult kids any presents. Instead, we decided to use the money to go to Disney World together. Even as adults, they will enjoy this and remember it for the rest of their lives.

Remember: More than any “toy” you can buy, your kids want to spend time with you. They want to make memories with you that will last a lifetime.

As parents, when we look back, we’ll realize our best gifts were the experiences we had with our kids. The time we spend making memories instead of gifts is what really matters. Those are the presents that will last for a lifetime.

This article originally appeared here.

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Dale Hudson has been serving in children's ministry for over 30 years. He is an author, speaker and ministry leader.  He is the founder and director of Building Children's Ministry. BCM helps churches build strong leaders, teams and children's ministries.  (www.buildingchildrensministry.com)