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How do you instil a grateful spirit in your kids during the holiday season?

How do you instil a grateful spirit in your kids during the holiday season?

Here’s your opportunity to learn more about the parenting styles of each Maturing Mama. No Mama is exactly the same in her parenting skills. This is our opportunity to highlight our differences in parenting in a means to help you find a method that works for you.

Today’s Question:

How do you instil a grateful spirit in your kids during the holiday season?


That is a good question! Like most kids, my kids are always wanting the next toy. They get one toy, and 3 hours later it’s “boring” and they’re onto playing with the cardboard box it came in for the next week. One of my kids has a hard time focusing on the present and is always asking what will happen in the future or dreaming about the new thing they want to get one day. This year as Christmas comes around I want to really focus on why we celebrate Christmas, living in the present and gratitude. We homeschool so I was thinking I would work it into our daily lesson. We’re doing a specific christmas unit starting in December that focuses on making memories while teaching about Jesus and why we celebrate Christmas.

I’m kind of at a loss on how to teach gratitude though. I have a couple ideas like drawing things we’re thankful for, focusing on how God came to earth for us, and maybe even making a gratitude journal but I want to come up with more. I’ll definitely be running to pinterest in a second to go pin all the things.


For a long time, we went crazy for Christmas every year. Buying ALL. THE TOYS. We quickly realized quite a few things that made us drastically change how we provided presents for our kids on Christmas. 

First, there would be a ton of excitement over every present when it was opened, but the joy for that toy faded as each next present was opened. They would lose track of what they had even received because it was just too much all at once. THEN after a few weeks they would, for the most part, lose interest in almost all but just a few of the toys they had received. It was not only a huge waste of money, but it also created so much unnecessary clutter in our home.

Second, grandparents!!! Our boys are so blessed to still have both sets of grandparents in their lives. And because of that, they receive so many extra gifts, on top of everything we buy them. 

When looking at both of these situations, we came to realize that with their grandparents gifts alone, they had more than enough presents to open on Christmas morning. And at this time in our life, we didn’t have a lot of money. Yet somehow we would find a way to put aside for an atrocious amount of presents, but we never had enough to take a vacation, or travel. We thought about how much money went towards these commercial products that weren’t even used for more than a couple of months, and how we could put that money towards something other than stuff. 

That is when we began only gifting our boys with experiences not just for Christmas, but for their birthdays as well. We let their grandparents go as buck wild as they want with toys and fun stuff, and we come up with some great family adventure that we can go on. 

Before we started this new way of doing things, we talked with our boys about it. We asked them how they would feel if we did things this way and they were thrilled! We told them we didn’t want to raise them to think the most important thing you can spend money on is stuff. Rather, we wanted them to put value on the things that matter most…adventures that create memories that last a lifetime!! 


The Holiday season has come quickly for me this year. I don’t know if it’s because of the
pandemic, that has made time go by fast, or if life just moves faster the older you get. Either way, this year is very special to me. First because my son can understand more this season, compared to last year. Secondly, I am excited because we need some cheer after the whirlwind of 2020. I look at this holiday season as a time to rejoice with family after a year of so much loss, and uncertainty.

My son Elijah is 14 months now, and I have been so excited about him opening gifts on
his own this year. Last year he was only 3 months, and he had no clue what was going on at all. I still don’t think he will completely understand why he’s receiving gifts. All he will think is “yay a new toy”. Sometimes I feel like we lose the meaning behind Christmas. As I write this, I remember this saying “The true meaning of Christmas”. I think that differs for most of us. Even though my son is so young, I never want him to get caught up in the glamour of Christmas.

As he gets older, I plan to teach him my family’s meaning of Christmas. Which is
gratefulness. I plan to teach Elijah that even though once a year, you get to sit down and write a list of gifts that you would like. Never forget that Christmas started because Christ was born, and the shepherds showed their gratefulness and joy by blessing Jesus with gifts. My plan to instill gratefulness in Elijah, is to explain to him why family is so important as well. That at the end of every year our family can come together have joy and fill a room with laughter. By me being a single parent, I plan to make every holiday season special for my son. I no longer look at holidays through my eyes, but through my sons’ eyes. I never want him to feel the absence of another parent. Therefore I will show Eli my gratefulness for changing my life with some holiday cheer.

Now we’d love to hear from you…

How do you instil a grateful spirit in your kids during the holiday season?

Share your experience with us by emailing to be featured in our January 2021 print issue, and for a chance to win a MM mug!

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