How to Involve Children in Christmas Gift Giving

December 15, 2016

The holiday season has become more and more commercialized in recent years, making it harder to hold onto the true meaning of Christmas and the holiday season. Although you can’t alter society’s take on the holidays, there are some things you can do to involve your children in gift giving.

Here are a few ways you can help get the kids more excited about giving.

Show Children Your Holiday Budget

If your kids are old enough to understand the concept of money, involve them in the budget around the holidays. You don’t have to get super detailed, just a line-list will do the trick. Food, activities, gifts, etc. You can help them create a budget for their holiday season as well, even if you’re the one supplying the money, it will still show them how far it really goes.

In showing kids the budget, it is also a great way to teach them that the amount of money you spend on a gift isn’t really what’s important, it’s the thought and time that you put into choosing the perfect gift for each person on your list.

Experiences as Gifts

Rather than a physical gift, opt for an experience instead. A family trip or a day full of activities can make for a great time spent with loved ones. If a trip isn’t in the budget or timing isn’t right, try allowing each member of the family to choose an activity and make a weekend or a day trip out of it. This is a great way to get your children involved in family activities and have them experience the importance of family and time spent together with loved ones.

Make Gifts Together

Many times, we as adults purchase the gifts and give them from the whole family – children included. Does this involve them in the process? Teach them how to choose just the right gift? It can be hard, as they almost always don’t earn their own money to help with the purchase.

A great alternative is to make gifts for some of the people on your list! Making gifts is a great way to ensure your gift is thoughtful and memorable. It also helps that it will help keep your budget down, too! There are many things that you can make with your children – or they can make themselves – that make fantastic gifts like Christmas tree ornaments, canvas or wood paintings or crafts and baked goods.

Who is Most Likely to Appreciate Handmade Gifts from Kids?

Help your child make a list of people you’re going to give gifts to this holiday season. Then, go through the list and pick out who you’re going to give a handmade gift to. This will make it easier for your child to choose the gift they think best suits the recipient. Some common people to consider making a handmade gift for are:

  • Teachers and coaches
  • Neighbours
  • Families of your child’s friends
  • Grandparents and other extended family members

Related Article: How to Make 4 Holiday Kids Crafts (That are Actually Useful)

Don’t Forget the Cards!

Right along with handmade gifts are handmade cards! After all, who doesn’t love receiving cards via snail mail? It will never get old! Handmade cards are easy and inexpensive to make and the design possibilities are endless! Check Pinterest or similar sites for some great ideas. Once you’ve designed the outside, have your child write their own special message inside and address the envelope themselves (just make sure the address is legible), stamp it and mail it.


A great way for kids to give back is by volunteering. Volunteering is a great way to show your children that there are other ways of giving back that aren’t financial, and there’s no shortage of opportunities around the holidays. Try choosing an activity as a family that everyone would enjoy.

Here are a few ideas:

  • Serve a meal at a soup kitchen
  • Collect warm clothing from family and friends and deliver it to a shelter
  • Decorate a shelter for the holidays

Additionally, there are often many opportunities to volunteer within your own community. This is great as your child will be volunteering and helping people in their own neighbourhood, school, etc.

Other Ways of Giving Back

There are other ways your family can give back during the holiday season as well. Consider “adopting” a family in need through your local shelter or assistance program. Many families (who are not homeless) find it hard to afford gifts and food for their children at Christmas. The process usually starts with a list from the family of the ages and interests of children as well as their clothing sizes, etc.

Have your children look through their toys and games. Are there items they no longer use or have grown out of? Explain to them that although they may not use a certain toy, doesn’t mean another child won’t. Many kids aren’t fortunate enough to have toys to play with. Ask them to consider donating these to a local women’s shelter or Salvation Army. If you do this, remember to let them be the ones to hand the items over, it will resonate with them that they’re making a difference.

The Most Precious Gift

No matter what holiday your family celebrates, the most important part is that you’re together. These activities among others can help to show your child that the most precious gift of all is the people we are surrounded with.

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