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Christmas is about GIVING, not GETTING: Combatting the Culture of Materialism at Christmas

It can be hard to raise giving children in this materialistic culture. And this year seems worse than some, with all the emphasis on Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales that go on and on. What can parents do to make sure their kids don’t get caught up in this whirlwind o materialism? Here are a few ideas:   

Highlight Advent as a "getting ready" time. Have an advent wreath at home, and mark the weeks before Christmas. Discuss how we always know we are “getting ready” for a special time when the Church’s colors change from green to purple. Ask why this time of getting ready is so special for us.    

Ask, "What are you going to give this Christmas?" This is a tough one for young children, who tend to be quite self-focused. Avoid the temptation to always ask, “What do you want for Christmas?” and ask instead, “What special things are you giving others for Christmas? What gift would you like to give your mom? your dad?” Let them know that some of the best gifts don’t cost anything. A card that they make, a hug, offering to help with some of the busy preparations of the season are all great gifts for them to give.  

Let them know that Jesus is the greatest gift of all! For the first present you place under the tree, bring in a wrapped Christmas package with the baby Jesus from the nativity inside. Tell your children that inside is a reminder of God’s best gift to us. Make this the first gift you unwrap at Christmas.

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