Christmas time can be so much fun, but it also seems like it can highlight some unflattering qualities in our children… qualities like, oh I don’t know, greed, ingratitude, and selfishness to name a few. While it’s not pleasant to see qualities like that in our children, it provides the perfect teachable moment. It gives us as parents the opportunity to teach our kids to be thankful. So, let’s chat about teaching kids to be thankful for gifts at Christmas.
Simple Ways to Teach Children to be Thankful for Gifts at Christmas
Have a conversation about gratitude with your children before you open gifts.
The day before you open gifts, remind your children that the gifts they are receiving were given to them by someone who thoughtfully picked it for them and used their own time and resources to give them something they thought they would enjoy.
My five year old understood it pretty clearly when I put it in terms that he could understand. I explained that just like he hopes that I will be delighted by pictures he draws for me or things he makes for me, I hope he will be delighted by the gifts I have selected for him.
I also give them a disclaimer that sometimes they may not get exactly what they’ve asked for if it is something that would be better suited for them when they’re older.
When opening gifts, remind your children to say thank you.
It can be so exciting to open up so many gifts, but remind your children to thank the gift giver verbally. Talk with them about the importance of showing appreciation for the gifts they’ve received and the thought that was behind it (EVEN if Great Aunt Roberta didn’t quite hit the nail on the head with her gift selection).
Teach your children about the value of sending thank you notes.
Although it’s not likely that anyone will be offended by not receiving a thank you note from a five year old, having your children send thank you notes is still an excellent habit to practice. It reinforces the importance of gratitude AND gives them an opportunity to practice their handwriting so it’s a win win!
Download this simple thank you card below!