Top 3 Holiday Gifts

December 7, 2021

Your children and grandchildren may be asking for the latest technology gadgets and hot new toys for the holidays, but the best gifts are not the ones on their list of things you can buy at the store. As parents and grandparents, our quest is to raise happy and healthy children. While the hottest new toy will bring a smile to their face, I assure you it will not bring them lasting happiness and serenity like the following “gifts” can bring over their entire lifetimes:

  1. Sharing Family Stories – The more children know about their family’s values and history, the stronger their sense of self and the higher their self-esteem. Children who know more about their families are more resilient when facing challenges and better at dealing with stress. It’s never too early or too late to start sharing family stories. Family traditions are typically steeped in history and a great place to start. If you are feeling ambitious, you may even write a memory book of your life and favorite family stories.
  1. Let Them Do It – From an early age, let them do things for themselves. As my son said when I wanted to help him make his breakfast, “I learn by doing it myself”. Not only do they learn life skills and problem-solving, but they are also building confidence to tackle challenges and tasks in the future. Encourage them along the way. All humans crave encouragement and receiving it from others helps give them a positive inner voice of encouragement that will help them their entire life. 
  1. Fostering Gratitude – Children who are appreciative and do not take things or opportunities for granted have healthier relationships and are better able to empathize. What better way to encourage gratitude this holiday season than by having your children give thanks for gifts and family gatherings by sending a thank you card – bonus points for handwritten notes and creative homemade drawings. This is also a good time of year to help your child sort through their toys and decide what to keep and what to give away to children in need. What a perfect opportunity to reflect on how lucky they are to have these toys and teach empathy.

While we will certainly exchange gifts this holiday season, I encourage you to consider these gifts that will keep giving to your family over decades to come. Wishing you and your family and friends a wonderful holiday season filled with rich conversations and wonderful memories – the good stuff in life.