There are lists everywhere right now about top gifts for kids - they're full of ideas, presents, and hot and must purchase items. This weekend I pondered what kids really need and once again, while the gifts are fabulous and they bring a level of childhood joy, there are other, more simple real life gifts that kids also need during the holidays. I was reminded of the need to step back, slow down, and to look at life through the eyes of my children -- and how often the simple things are the most needed. ~rachel
Here are six gifts for children that we can bless them with in the midst of the busy.
1. Wonder. Sometimes I wish I could regain that wonder of childhood. It's that ability to see the world for what it is without attaching labels, stipulations, and rules onto what one sees. Kids need to be able to wonder about life. They need those moments of staring at lights twinkling in the background and to sit in wonder. Bless them with sweet moments in their days for wonder without us pushing to the next thing, explaining everything to them, and pulling away from the magic found in this time of year. And us adults? We can learn from them; they teach us to sit back and find contentment in the most simple moments.
2. Time. Kids need you. Of course the parties, events, shopping and all of that is fun, but bottom line, they need you to be present and sharing of moments with them. Slow down, slow down, slow down and establish times in the midst of your busy where they are the most important. Don't race through December and miss out on sitting with your children as they rest in wonder. Embrace them. Slow down. Look at the wonder in the world around you. Be content in the not busy times.
3. Tradition. Create traditions for your family. If you don't have any, don't fret, just start today. Life isn't about having everything perfect, but is rather about constantly making progress and moving. Traditions create time and moments and ultimately wonder for your children. We have very simply traditions in our home -- a count down chain made with construction paper, cutting and saving the tree trunk, baking cookies -- now gluten free, exchanging names, and more. Look at what your kids love and work to create beautiful traditions tucked within the busy.
4. Space. Give them space. This is different than you giving them of your time. This is about giving them space within the busy to have those moments of wonder. I've noticed that the more busy our family becomes the more stressed out the kids become -- even if the events are wonderful and exciting. Schedule space for your children in this time. Let them create, color, draw, and dream. Don't worry about the mess, but rather encourage them to be still and in the moment.
5. Freedom to give. One of the most beautiful things about children, and that I have observed with my own children, is the unselfish desire to give and create for others. They'll make some craft or go through their room or find change sitting around that they want to give and I tell them maybe not that or let's find something different or let's pull out the craft book and make something specific. Let them give what they create. Maybe the craft isn't perfect, but it's made from their heart. It's like letting them decorate the tree -- let them decorate it and don't fix it; there is heart and goodness in what they do. Give them the freedom to give without the perfectionist stipulations that often we place on what they do. Some of my favorite gifts are gifts that they made all on their own without me pressing on my agenda.
6. You. Finally, bless your children with you. One of the best things that I do, and need to remember to do more often, is when I write my schedule with blocks of time for each of my children. Those times are not about what I think we should be doing, but rather these times are set aside for my children to share with me what they want to do and then we'll spend time together doing that. Cooking together, cutting snowflakes, reading -- little things that are on their hearts. Best part? You will get a glimpse into their heart and what they value and what is important. Just slow down, listen, and truly work to be present and not only will you bless them, but you will also find yourself greatly blessed.
These are six little real life gifts that can truly bless our families in the midst of the busiest month of the year. Slow down, laugh, enjoy the moments, and look for joy.
What are some gifts that you can bless your children with?
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