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Mom's Tips on Keeping "Christ" in Christmas

More About

Called America’s #1 Mom Coach; Best-selling author: Mom Fog, Crazy Blessed, etc.

Founder Covenant Coach Academy

Host of former PBS series, Hannah, Help Me!

Media: Rachael Ray, Today Show, Fox & Friends, Wall Street Journal, Forbes

B.S., Psychology, Furman University

Married to Blair, mother of seven: Kelsey, Katie, Kyler, Karis, Korben, Klara, and Kenna, ranging from late teens to mid-20’s

Julie Blim - 700 Club Producer

A CASE OF THE “GIMMES”

What to do about kids and their endless wants? That’s a question every parent has had to face during the Christmas season, as families are deluged by ads for toys, games, etc. Hannah says she approaches the issue with two responses.

First, she believes parents should not squash their children’s desires for things, but discuss them. “God gives us the desires of our hearts, and wanting something isn’t necessarily bad,” she says.  

It all depends on the heart attitude – why one wants something and how he or she intends to use it for good, or to bless others, so it’s best to talk it over.

Adults, she believes, sometimes set the wrong example in this regard, either resisting the desire for nicer things, thinking that wanting “more” of anything is somehow wrong; or the opposite – wanting to keep up with “The Joneses” through materialism. Parents’ viewpoints and behavior are the model for their kids. “More is caught than taught,” Hannah reminds us.  

Second, to counteract selfish motivations, Hannah often asked her children when they were young to think about all the things for which they were grateful (or should be). When her children expressed the desire for something bigger or better, Hannah talked with them about how the Lord had already provided well for them. Modeling and encouraging gratitude, she says, goes a long way toward contentment and diminishes “the gimmes.”   

WHAT ABOUT SANTA?

Hannah and her husband decided early on that they would be 100% honest with their kids, appropriate to their age. When it came to holiday traditions, like Santa or the Easter Bunny, they allowed their seven kids to enjoy the stories and the wonder of it all, but answered their questions honestly.  “I wanted my kids to know that I would always tell them the truth, because I wanted them to believe what I said about Jesus, too,” she explains.  

When they asked whether Santa was real, she told them the story of the historical St. Nicholas who left gifts in stockings hung by the fireplace, and simply said she’d never seen him on the rooftop.

As soon as they were old enough to accept that there was no Santa coming down the chimney, they told them so. Exactly how parents handle it is their choice, she acknowledges, and should take into account each child’s personality and age. 

GIFTS THAT INSPIRE

In addition to practical gifts, Hannah has always loved to give her children a gift which fosters creativity and provides an opportunity for activity together. Some ideas are: Legos, crafts of all kinds, paint supplies, or a journal. When she gave one daughter a watercolor set, they had a wonderful time painting together.

Another time, she and one of the kids enjoyed a calligraphy set and learning how to do it together.  An additional benefit of doing creative things together, she says, is teaching kids that their work doesn’t have to be perfect and mistakes are part of developing all skills. She says it’s good for adults to stretch their creative muscles, too!  
 

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