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Simplifying Gift-giving for a Happier Season

Dec 10, 2023

Holiday Arts and Crafts

It’s the most wonderful time of the year! Or is it? The holidays can be a major stressor for some families, and gift-giving tends to be extraordinarily overwhelming. This year, make it a point to make your life easier in the gift-giving department so you can focus on what makes you the happiest this holiday season. Let’s get to simplifying! 

Less is More with Gift-giving

Toys, toys, and more toys. While toys are great for helping your kiddo learn and grow, you can really have too much of a good thing. In fact, studies have shown that fewer toys can result in greater creative and imaginative play. Fewer distractions and fewer options to choose from give your kiddo the opportunity to really dig into all that a toy has to offer. When shopping for toys, opt for quality over quantity. Ask questions like: Will this toy be used after a couple of days? How badly does my child want to play with this toy? Will this toy be helpful for their development (i.e. puzzles, items for imaginative play)? 

The Spirit of Giving vs the Spirit of Getting

While Santa Clause is a pretty mighty influence when it comes to Christmas, it’s important to nurture the spirit of giving to others. Greed and holiday temper tantrums can be all too real around this time of year. Help your kiddo focus their attention on giving rather than receiving. You might consider having them make something for their teacher or a relative. When they give the gift, highlight how happy it made that person. From their expression to their words, there’s a lot to point out. Your kiddo will feel great after making another person feel joyful.

Revising the Santa’s List

Kiddos in charge of making a list may find it difficult to stop once they get going. From catalogs to toy aisles there’s a ton to choose from. In order to help them find gifts that they truly want, give them some parameters. Santa is a busy person after all! Try framing the list in a different way. Santa wants to know: what two presents you want the most, what book you want, and what craft (or puzzle game) you want. Of course, you can always nix the list idea if this adds extra stress to gift-giving.

Create Gifts for Smaller Items

Who says you have to buy everything? Creating gifts of your own can add sentimental value to gifts. Plus, it shows others how much you care about them. There are tons of handmade gift ideas online. We know that some families stick with handmade gifts entirely, but if this is new to you, you may try incorporating it in a different way. Try a family Secret Santa as an added activity during the holidays. In whatever way you give carefully-crafted gifts, the recipient is sure to fall in love with their new treasure. 

Presence Over Presents

As you know, there is no guidebook out there to tell you how to give gifts. If you give a little too much or too little, don’t push yourself into feeling guilty. That’s not what the holidays are about at all! Instead, do your very best and enjoy the moments that you get with your family. Remember “presence over presents.” You being there for your child is the greatest gift of all. 

We’re still here for you during the holiday season, and it’s more important than ever to stick to regular Occupational Therapy appointments as the holiday season presents its own special challenges.