Funding Your Future: how to practice mindful gift giving

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Rachel Langlois with Cyprus Credit Union gets us geared up for the holiday shopping season with some great ideas.

  • Strategic deprivation: Don’t give in and give kids everything they want throughout the year. Let them wait and be excited about the potential to receive something at Christmas. This helps teach them it is a gift, not an entitlement.
  • If your children are young you have the ability to establish a precedence for how many gifts your child will receive and how practical they will be. For example, we always knew a majority of gift would be items like socks and school clothes.
  • If you have older children, set expectations in a positive way. Use this as an opportunity to teach about budgeting and living debt-free.
    • One way to help teach this is to let them know your budget and allow them to create their wish list accordingly. Let them search mailers or online retailers.

Mindful Gift Ideas:

  • I like to suggest giving gifts that create an opportunity for quality time, build memories, or teach.
    • Games or movies for spending family time together
    • Photos: collages, printed books, calendars
    • A First Experience: movie, theater show, concert, amusement park, sporting event, museum visit
    • Book: even more special with an inscription
    • Opportunity to learn skill from parent (cooking, sewing, gardening, crafting, outdoor skills, sports, skill-based games like chess)
    • Coupon books for quality time together

Teaching Gratitude:

  • First off, model it. When you are opening gifts make sure all older children have a pen and paper to write down gifts received.
  • Make it a tradition to sit down and write thank you notes together. Be sure to write ones to your children for the gifts they gave you.
  • Help them give and not just receive. When they are writing their wish list, require them to also write who they would like to give to. Involve them in the whole process of giving from creating the gift to wrapping and delivering. Let them learn the joy of giving

You can find more information here.