MADISON, Wis. (12/15/08)--Even in good economic times, holiday gift-giving can be a bust-the-budget enterprise. Year-end holidays often encourage runaway expectations that bring out the worst in all of us. And what we do, our children mimic, often for a lifetime.
Turn your holidays into a fun learning experience for your child by showing what makes a gift special—not its price tag, but its meaning. Philip Heckman, director of youth programs at Credit Union National Association, Madison, Wis., offers these tips:
Help your child make gifts that don't cost money. Thrive by 5 (creditunion.coop, click Thrive by 5 logo) is a free website for parents who want to teach their preschoolers about spending (or not spending) and saving. One of the activities contains ideas for no-cost gifts suitable for young children to make.
Establish inexpensive holiday traditions that involve your child. Decorating, baking, and visiting special people can result in feelings and memories that last far longer than the latest hot toys.
Spend quiet time alone with your child. Nothing is more precious than the gift of time, says Heckman. Regularly schedule a few minutes before bedtime for you to sit together with your child. Read, sing, and tell stories about your childhood, bringing your fondest holiday memories to life in another generation.
courtesy of cuna.org