With Halloween having been and gone and Bonfire Night just around the corner, we know that Christmas is firmly on the horizon, which for many parents is both an exciting and stressful time. Often, it’s a little stressful due to the social logistics of the festive season but predominantly, the stress can be found in the financial aspects of Christmas.
Today, Christmas has become a lot more commercialised than it was a century ago – when children would be grateful for a satsuma in their Christmas stocking. Today, kids want the biggest and best toys in an insatiable pursuit to keep up with the kid next door.
Just like how adults often feel about flat screen TV’s and cars, kids have a similar feeling when it comes to their material belongings… yet, somewhere along the way, the focus has shifted away from the true meaning of this time of year.
Irrespective of the religious connotation of Christmas, this time of year is one for spending time with loved ones and coming together as a family. Indeed, the most important gift you can give a child is not a physical gift, it’s the gift of love, attention, familial warmth and comfort.
Often, we can forget this, as in the consumption focused society we live in, we get lost in the adverts from marketers and social influencers touting the need for the biggest and the best this Christmas.
The truth is what children really value are experiences; and in this vein it might be better to get activity gift vouchers rather than vouchers for shops such as WH Smith or Amazon. This way, it ensures the child will get their most important need for social and familial engagement met.
However, in the same way a dog isn’t just for Christmas, it’s important to consider other things you can do together throughout this cold festive season to bond and unite as a family. Here are three suggestions to help you do just that:
- MOVIE NIGHT
Winter is a great time to curl up in front of the TV, as there are some great shows on at this time of year, yet we are so overstimulated and disconnected today, that most people when watching a film or TV have their phone, tablet or laptop in their lap; meaning, they aren’t fully present and can’t benefit from the art of doing nothing.
- STAR GAZE
The winter offers a much darker sky, which means the stars tend to be much brighter, meaning you could snuggle up together and look up at the stars – talking about your hopes and dreams, as a family.
- GO ON A TRIP
Winter is a great time to take a trip. Indeed, with such wonderful places a short hop away; from the Christmas Markets in Germany to the Northern Lights in Scandinavia. Of course, if you’re planning to travel for Christmas itself, it’ll be much more expensive, but a quick weekend away at the start of December tends to offer great value, as few people are travelling art this time of year due to the need to save money for Christmas.
This is a collaborative post