There are lists everywhere right now about top gifts for kids – they’re full of ideas, presents, and hot and must purchase items. This weekend I pondered what kids really need and once again, while the gifts are fabulous and they bring a level of childhood joy, there are other, more simple real life gifts, that kids also need during the holidays. I was reminded of the need to step back, slow down, and to look at life through the eyes of my children – and how often the simple things are the most needed. ~rachel
Here are six gifts for children that we can bless them with in the midst of the busy.
1. Wonder. Sometimes I wish I could regain that wonder of childhood. It’s that ability to see the world for what it is without attaching labels, stipulations, and rules onto what one sees. Kids need to be able to wonder about life. They need those moments of staring at lights twinkling in the background and to sit in wonder. Bless them with sweet moments in their days for wonder without us pushing to the next thing, explaining everything to them, and pulling away from the magic found in this time of year. And us adults? We can learn from them – they teach us to sit back and find contentment in the most simple moments.
2. Time. Kids need you. Of course the parties, events, shopping and all of that is fun, but bottom line, they need you to be present and sharing of moments with them. Slow down, slow down, slow down and establish times in the midst of your busy where they are the most important. Don’t race through December and miss out on sitting with your children as they rest in wonder. Embrace them. Slow down. Look at the wonder in the world around you. Be content in the not busy times.
3. Tradition. Create traditions for your family. If you don’t have any, don’t fret, just start today – life isn’t about having everything perfect, but is rather about constantly making progress and moving. Traditions create time and moments and ultimately wonder for your children. We have very simply traditions in our home – a count down chain made with construction paper, cutting and saving the tree trunk, baking cookies – now gluten free, exchanging names, and more. Look at what your kids love and work to create beautiful traditions tucked within the busy.
4. Space. Give them space. This is different than you giving them of your time. This is about giving them space within the busy to have those moments of wonder. I’ve noticed that the more busy our family becomes the more stressed out the kids become – even if the events are wonderful and exciting. Schedule space for your children in this time. Let them create, color, draw, and dream. Don’t worry about the mess, but rather encourage them to be still and in the moment.
5. Freedom to give. One of the most beautiful things about children, and that I have observed with my own children, is the unselfish desire to give and create for others. They’ll make some craft or go through their room or find change sitting around that they want to give and I tell them maybe not that or let’s find something different or let’s pull out the craft book and make something specific. Let them give what they create. Maybe the craft isn’t perfect, but it’s made from their heart. It’s like letting them decorate the tree – let them decorate it and don’t fix it – there is heart and goodness in what they do. Give them the freedom to give without the perfectionist stipulations that often we place on what they do. Some of my favorite gifts are gifts that they made all on their own without me pressing on my agenda.
6. You. Finally, bless your children with you. One of the best things that I do, and need to remember to do more often, is when I write my schedule with blocks of time for each of my children. Those times are not about what I think we should be doing, but rather these times are set aside for my children to share with me what they want to do and then we’ll spend time together doing that. Cooking together, cutting snowflakes, reading – little things that are on their hearts. Best part? You will get a glimpse into their heart and what they value and what is important. Just slow down, listen, and truly work to be present and not only will you bless them, but you will also find yourself greatly blessed.
These are six little real life gifts that can truly bless our families in the midst of the busiest month of the year.
Slow down, laugh, enjoy the moments, and look for joy.
Images and original content are sole property of Rachel Martin and may not be used, copied or transmitted without prior written consent.
From someone who has lost both of my parents, I love this. This is the stuff I appreciate most and remember best. Especially Christmas traditions 🙂 Xo
What a great post Rachel. I especially love #2 and #6, so very very true. 🙂 Happy Monday to you!
LOVE these Rachel! Absolutely the best gifts we can give our children. Thank you for the reminder… that we all need as we go about our busy season of “giving” in so many other ways.
Great post. These gifts for Christmas are truly the important ones. It is so easy to get trapped in the hectic consumerism of Christmas. Thanks for reminding us
One of my daughters loves to play games. A popular gift I’ve given in the past (and will do again this year) is a game card that entitles her to one game per month with me plus some bonus spaces. Really, I think it’s the dedicated time with her that she values the most.
Wish I’d done more of the last one!
Lifting up prayers!
Psalms 57:1-2 Be merciful unto me, O God, be merciful unto me: for my soul trusteth in thee: yea, in the shadow of thy wings will I make my refuge, until these calamities be overpast. I will cry unto God most high; unto God that performeth all things for me.
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Blessings to you, dear Rachel!
My son is only 9 months old, but this isn’t any less applicable – especially the concept of wonder! We’re going to make time to visit the Zoo Lights this year, and I can’t wait to see his little eyes bug out with wonder.
This is so lovely. I’m new to your blog, but this post will have me reading again. We’ve started to exchange ornaments each year. Our son is now 1 and we all buy (or perhaps in the future will make) ornaments for each other than have some significance to us. Thanks so much for your post!
I use this passage a lot because it offers tremendous comfort!
Job 19:25-27 For I know that my redeemer liveth, and that he shall stand at the latter day upon the earth: And though after my skin worms destroy this body, yet in my flesh shall I see God: Whom I shall see for myself, and mine eyes shall behold, and not another; though my reins be consumed within me.
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