Creating A New Holiday Tradition

We live in a time of more is better, what do you own, who are you wearing and a constant pressure to have the newest and best of everything. It’s an unrealistic expectation causing unnecessary stress on our children and ourselves. I want to teach my children to appreciate what they have, understand how fortunate they are and above all remember that their material belonging are not what defines them.

My 9 year old stepdaughter recently found out that Santa is not real (she took it like a champ) and my son is now at the age where he is starting to understand and participate in holiday traditions. So my husband and I saw this holiday season as an opportunity to create a new holiday tradition! A tradition where we shift the focus to more giving than receiving, It is the season of giving, is it not?

Our new holiday tradition is two fold. We’ll be following the I Want, I Need, I’ll Wear, I’ll Read + BONUS We’ll Share approach for gift giving. The goal is to keep gifts simple and expectations in check.

I Want: a toy or game they’ve been asking for

I Need: anything goes here, I plan to get an item my children need for their new rooms in our new home

I’ll Wear: a new coat, outfit or that awesome pair of light up shoes

I’ll Read: we’ll be using this one to encourage my 3rd grader to read more challenging chapter books

We’ll Share: I added this in as a special family gift, something we all can enjoy together J

Here is the festive wish list I created for my children to help get them excited about our new holiday tradition!


The second part of our new tradition is spending time volunteering and having regular family conversations about what we are grateful for!

We recently enrolled in the World Vision program to support a girl my stepdaughter’s age in the Philippines! They have so many unique ways to support her and her village. The information World Vision provides about how she lives, the struggles she and her village face and the basic needs they don’t have access to has been a huge learning opportunity for us all.

If you are curious about opportunities to volunteer with your children, check out these local organizations:

· Families Giving Back

· Angel Kids AZ

· Arizona Animal Welfare League

As parents we have the ability to get creative in how we interact, guide and teach our children. Just one of the many amazing reasons being a parent is the best job ever!

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