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How to teach your kids about money during the holidays

December 7th 2017 - by Amanda Perkins

The holiday season can be so much more than spending money on gifts and long lists of items to buy.  This year, take the opportunity to not only save money on your holiday gift list but also teach your children about alternative gift ideas that are good for more than just the person receiving them.   Talking your kids out of trekking around the mall for hours at a time can set the example that Christmas is all about spending money. So, when it comes time for them to give gifts, they may worry about spending all the money in their piggy bank.

This year consider some alternative options to spending large sums of money on gifts and giving your children a better understanding of how the holiday season should be more about giving back and spending time with loved ones.

1)      DIY a gift. Get crafty this holiday season and find ways to make gifts that you can do with your children. Artwork, handmade Christmas decorations or home décor items can be made at home with the help of your children and carry much more meaning than buying a gift from any big box department store. Great homemade tip – put your tech skills to good use and create a yearly wall calendar filled with family photos!

2)      Make a Donation.  The Christmas season is all about giving back to those in need.  It’s not hard to take a few minutes and think about a few different things that are important to you.  It could be anything from helping the youth, homelessness, animals, health topics. Once you have thought about something that is important to either you, your family or the person you are giving the donation gift too, research different local or national charities that can help support the cause that you are interested in.  Have an animal lover? Consider the World Wildlife Federation or help a family in a third world country by purchasing a goat, fresh water or personal hygiene items in your loved ones own name.

3)      Experience over gifts.  Consider something that you can do together instead of a physical item.  If you want to keep it local, look up community events like concerts, theatre events or outdoor activities that can be fun to do together as a family.

4)      Start a Christmas swap.  A great way to avoid spending on gifts for the entire family, which can really add up, is by starting a gift exchange or swap.  You can set a price point that works for your group and instead of buying everyone a gift you will only be purchasing one.  This is a fun and interactive way to spend Christmas with your family while also cutting down on the costs for everyone.