Teaching the True Meaning of Christmas

Tuesday , 5, November 2013 7 Comments

Halloween is over now and even before Halloween came, a really big reality set in…. We are only months away from Christmas. Going into the local stores, I realized Christmas decorations going up right around Labor Day. It seems that the stores skipped the other holidays in between  to go straight for the BIG ONE. Thanksgiving has been mentioned but mainly for the Black Friday ads. Christmas tree decor, wreaths, stockings and the whole lot have been in full bloom for about 2 months now.

Even for Thanksgiving, I have noticed that more and more stores are opening on Thanksgiving Day. It seems as if there is a competition on who can open the earliest.  In my  younger years, I worked for a very short time as a manager of a MAJOR retail company. I would have to be at the store at about 3 am on Black Friday and it amazed me at the spectacle that people made of themselves on this day. Tripping over each other, running as if they were in an Olympic race and not only running, but with two shopping carts….Can you imagine that? Both business and consumers have taken this holiday to a level that seems to have clouded our perceptions and our judgement.

As I raise my first child my dilemma is how to teach him about the true meaning of Christmas and how not to commercialize it as much as society continues to do.  How do I talk to him to help him to realize that all of the gifts that he sees are not as important as the true meaning of Christmas?  How do I explain it to a 3 or 4 year old, when all of his friends have the newest and most recent toys and he doesn’t?

Christmas Shopping with Credit Card

It seems as though consumerism is driven by the companies and sometimes we are “manipulated” into things just to satisfy our children so that they do not feel “left out”. However, should materialistic “things” cause a child to feel less than? I guess that I can answer that. It shouldn’t, but at times it does.

Can anyone offer advice on how I should start now? How can I begin a practice that will carry on into the future and how do I stick to my gut?

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  • Mariah says:

    I think teaching the true meaning of Christmas is something you develop over time with family traditions that start young. I know friends who go through old toys before Christmas and choose what to donate to make room for new toys. Simple things like that will stick with kids, I think.

  • Kecia says:

    We focus a lot of our time on volunteering or buying gifts for unfortunate children during the holidays. In the past, my son wasn’t really old enough to understand what we were doing, but I cannot wait to get him more involved. Family traditions and giving to those who do not have what we do are two big aspects we focus on.

  • Angela says:

    I think starting young with family traditions is helpful. Whether it’s holiday baking, attending a holiday church service, or giving back to the community in some way.

  • Jamie Wyatt says:

    Be sure to make Jesus a prominent part of your celebrations! Share the Christmas story with your family and guests in an age appropriate way. Last year, everyone present took turns reading a verse from the story of Jesus Birth in Luke. We set a place for Jesus at our holiday table. We prominently display nativity scenes. We give gifts to others in honor of Jesus’ birthday. We have a birthday cake for Jesus and sing happy birthday to Him. All of these traditions remind our family of the true meaning of Christmas. At Thanksgiving, we go around the table and share things we are thankful for….

  • It’s a shame how commercialized Christmas has become. I noticed the same thing this year with the stores stocking Christmas stuff sooner and the stores advertising being open sooner. I’ll be honest an say that I will be taking advantage of those Black Friday deals…but not for gifts I just want good deals on stuff I use LOL. Ain’t no shame in my game 😉

  • I think it’s important to teach the magic of Christmas. Maybe have a week of Random Acts of Kindness and help teach the true spirit/meaning of Christmas through giving. I think it’s definitely important to teach the true meaning. Every year I feel the same way about the commercialization of Christmas and how it rolls right over Thanksgiving. I know companies are trying to get their profits into the black, but sometimes I wonder where the line should be drawn.

  • Melissa says:

    I wish I could help because I’m struggling with this too. I’ve tried talking to my husband about doing 3 gifts for him – want, need, read but he wants to get more and more. I’d rather teach him the real importance!

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