The Christmas List

Dec 02, 2010
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We love to see the delighted smiles of a child who has unwrapped the paper and ribbon and can finally catch sight of the gift they have received. Their eyes widen and begin to shine. Their mouth opens in a wide, happy grin and they look up at us with appreciation and excitement.

In a way, when we give a gift to our child, the real gift we are giving is to ourselves. That moment of true peace and pleasure we feel when we see our child enjoying their gift is more rewarding to us than anything else could ever be. Nothing approaches the wonderful moment of giving from the heart.

So this year, why not give our children the gift of that moment?

If we teach our children that a Christmas List is not the list of things you hope to receive yourself, but is, instead, a thoughtful list of the gifts you plan to give others; then we will be giving our children the chance to be the person bursting with pride and love as others open the gift so carefully made, or selected and so festively wrapped.

Children can make many things for the people they love. Here is a short list:

  • Glazed pottery from a ‘paint it yourself’ craft store
  • A poem they wrote, framed and ready to hang
  • A special soap, tea, coffee or spice that they know the recipient likes
  • A hand lettered promise to do a favor for the recipient
  • A bunch of dried flowers in a orange-can vase they decorated for the kitchen window.
  • One brother gave his sister a promise to take her sledding at the next snowfall instead of going with his friends.
  • One girl made brownies for  her younger brother and sister
  • The children in one family made their parents a home movie of themselves

Children can also be very thoughtful shoppers.

  • One girl gave her brother a whole jar of maraschino cherries, so that for once he could eat them all by himself.
  • One boy gave his younger sister the newest song for her ipod. She was thrilled beyond measure, and she mentioned that the song was a gift from him all year long, every time she heard it.

When we teach our children that Christmas is a time to focus on the gifts we give others rather than a focus on the gifts we might receive, our children will learn to give mindfully. Maybe that is the best gift we can give them, after all.

Author: Tanya



  • Sbonne2

    I love this. I’ve been having this very issue this year as my 5 year old is so used to getting asked what she wants for Christmas by us, grandparents, aunts, uncles, and Santa, that it’s all she seems to consider when we discuss gift-buying – what SHE wants. I think we’ll make another Christmas List this weekend, one like you suggest. Thanks!

  • Tdw

    Great to hear from you, Sbonne 2!! It sounds like you will have a wonderful holiday season at your home! Tanya