At our house after the kids woke us up, we went directly past the Christmas tree (eyes hidden behind their hands) and headed for the Christmas stockings. That always kept the beginning hoopla of Christmas Day a little calmer with smaller treats including things like fruit, socks, a small Lego, a candy treat...all small, but with Mom and Dad reinforcing - "Wow! Santa knew you needed socks!" or "Sure, you can eat the apple if you want to." or "Want to put the Lego together now or wait until later?" AND take photos, it slows the kids down!
When we went to the tree, we checked to see if Santa had left any unwrapped gifts for the kids to see right away. Sometimes they were the ones that had to be put together the night before, but sometimes Santa wrapped those gifts so the kids could share in putting them together. We didn't want Santa to be too predictable!!
We then began taking turns opening gifts one at a time with Mom or Dad always commenting positively on each gift. "Aunt Susie is always so thoughtful, isn't she?" after receiving a sweater, beautiful or not! Make sure your children "parrot" you and appreciate each gift before moving on to the next child's turn. If there ever were a negative comment or a "yuck" attitude, we would put on our Game Faces and say something like, "Uh, oh...maybe Christmas is over if we can't all be nice..." Very calm, just a little nudge in the right direction is usually all it takes to remind them of their manners.
Santa does Not, and should not, give a child every gift he wants. Children can learn that Santa knows best when and where to have kids receive what they should have. Use your imagination to continue the joy! Remember, it's really not about the presents!!
Thank you notes are important! Please make sure your kids, of all ages, follow through with appreciating all gifts. It helps if the family can sit down and write them together. Also, since kids are so anxious to write letters to Santa before Christmas, how about sending thank you letters to him after Christmas??
|I know you've seen this pic before, but how about I say "Thank you, for my boys!!!!|
D and C