Christmas Is about Giving

Dear Dave,

We're new parents, and we were wondering if you have any advice on how to teach children that Christmas is not a gift-giving free-for-all.

Lauren

Dear Lauren,

This is a great question. I think one of the best things you can do is teach kids from an early age exactly what Christmas is all about. It's not about kids being consumers and getting everything they see. First and foremost, Christmas is a spiritual holiday. It's about celebrating the birth of Christ!

Christ came into this world because God chose to give his only son. So, Christmas is about giving, not receiving. You need to talk about this concept a lot. Now, how long will that stick in their heads after they're confronted with Saturday morning cartoons and malls full of bright, shiny things that make noise? Probably not long. That's why you need to have the "giving" talk early and often – not just when Christmas rolls around.

The only way you win at this parenting thing is through death by a thousand cuts. You just don't stop teaching, and finally you wear them down and hope some of your good advice sticks in their heads!

- Dave

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