Many of us are familiar with Cliff Richard’s classic Christmas song, ‘Mistletoe and wine’. The chorus goes something like this:
Mistletoe and wine,
Children singing Christian rhymes.
With logs on the fire and gifts on the tree,
A time to rejoice in the good that we see.”
Christmas time is a few weeks away, department stores have been suitably decked out for over a month, and thousands of children are dreaming of family gatherings, delicious food and, of course, Santa Claus! “Christmas time is associated with the buying of gifts and it, not unlike a shark feeding frenzy, elicits a culture of must-buys and massive overspending. Unfortunately, gifts are equated with stuff – toys, gadgets, computer games – the options are endless. This ‘stuff’, in turn, is temporarily exciting to receive but that joy is short-lived and soon, more stuff is demanded in order to fill the hole that is left. ‘Stuff’ does not provide lasting fulfilment and long-term happiness!” says Cindy Glass, Director and Co-founder of Step Up Education Centres.
Cindy adds, “Think about it for a moment: Our children are being starved of positive human connections, uplifting fulfilling experiences and the opportunity to grow into leaders who embrace life to the fullest! It is time for a change of mind-set when it comes to defining what gifts best serve our children during this holiday season.”
Cindy offers a few novel, cost-effective gift ideas to consider:
- GIVE THE GIFT OF TIME: Your children value your time, your encouragement and your engagement in their lives way more than a gadget! By giving of your time, you give them a part of yourself! In addition, you are better able to provide a sincere, non-judgemental ear to listen and understand.
- GIVE THE GIFT OF GIVING: Use this time to involve your children in choosing interesting gifts, wrap them with love and give these to the less fortunate. The very act of giving joy to others gives priceless joy to yourself!
- GIVE THE GIFT OF COMPASSION AND GRATITUDE. Why not join your children in visiting and supporting an animal shelter – walk the dogs at the SPCA, for example. Visit an old age home with something special to give. Encourage an attitude of love, compassion and gratitude by what you do and not just what you say!
- GIVE THE GIFT OF EXPERIENCES. Do something you have not done before—zip-lining, hiking, playing a board game together and getting out into nature. Have fun together! Laugh, play and be silly together! Create positive memories that will last forever!
- GIVE THE GIFT OF CREATIVITY. Make Christmas gifts, decorations and treats instead of buying them. There are thousands of easy-to-do, low-cost Christmas treasures on the internet! Creativity is exciting, fun and soul-fulfilling!
“Christmas time is, indeed, the season for giving and sharing. By exploring some of the ideas above, you will add great value to this time and the rewards of increased happiness and fulfilment will be worth the effort!” Cindy concludes.