Electronics. Clothes. Sports Equipment. Many of us will be spending the next few days deciding which gifts are best for our kids and spend lots of time and money making sure we are ready for a perfect Christmas. But what do you give to a generation who already has everything? Take some time this year to think about gifts that have long-term value in students and be sure to invest in a few of those. The best gifts to give the next generation include:

Gifts that require spending time together. Games are a great investment for family nights while passes to amusement parks or tickets to ball games are another way to invest in relationships while having fun. Our family always gets a new game each year which provides hours upon hours of c̶o̶m̶p̶e̶t̶i̶t̶i̶v̶e̶ ̶f̶i̶g̶h̶t̶i̶n̶g̶ ̶a̶n̶d̶ ̶n̶a̶m̶e̶ ̶c̶a̶l̶l̶i̶n̶g̶ ̶ fun and entertainment. 

Gifts that make memories. I love the commercial where the kid is opening a present on Christmas morning and is excited to find tickets to Disneyworld. The kid is even more surprised when his mom tells him to pack immediately: the family is leaving on a flight in a couple of hours. Trips get everyone out of his or her routine and allow for families to bond and grow together. If the hubs is reading this right now, this is the one that I want him to zero in on for me.

Gifts that foster learning. I was shopping with a friend tonight who wanted to buy her daughter an art set. My friend said that her daughter is not very good at art but loves drawing. What a great investment to give something that will help her child grow in her hobbies. Musical instruments and/or lessons give students an opportunity to learn things which reinforce academic skills. Give your child a book that you loved at that age or give the family a book which you all read together. The possibilities are unlimited. If you need book suggestions, ask away.

Gifts which promote good health. Whether a new cooking appliance or a pair of hiking boots give kids the edge on healthy living. Let’s get these kids outdoors or working in the kitchen in an effort to give them a head start on a healthy lifestyle. (But if you are buying for me and are not the hubs, I love salted caramel anything).

Give money to charity.  When our kids were younger, we would give them an envelope with money for them to donate to the charity of their choice. Over the years our kids have bought goats and chickens for families through Compassion International, given to family friends who are missionaries, or the Clarkston Community Center. Other times we choose as a family where to give. Every year, however, we make it a point to give at least as much or more to others than we spend on gifts for our family. We are the rich in the world and want our kids growing up realizing how much they have.

Put some intentional thought into your gift giving this year and put meaning behind those gifts. Otherwise, we unintentionally feed into the entitlement which is so often a problem with Generation Y by just giving stuff, stuff, and more stuff.

What are your favorite gifts or giving traditions?

Photo by Andrew Neel on Unsplash

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