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  • Writer's pictureValerie

How to manage expectations in our Kids this Christmas?



Christmas is so exciting for kids. It is a magic all its own. But how do we manage expectations with our Kids?


There is always going to be someone they know that gets something bigger and better than they will under the tree. And the comparison is the thief of joy, so how do we take steps to prepare our kids hearts for Christmas no matter what will be under the tree Christmas morning?

Here are my top three tips:

#1 Make Serving others a priority

Now I say this not to add more to your Christmas plate, but to turn your attention to the heart of Christmas. It’s easy at Christmas for our kids to get wrapped up in the Me, me, me, so in our house taking time to focus on others is a priority. What we prioritize will be what sticks with our kids till their adulthood.


Here are a few of the ways you can serve in the Christmas Season.

Cookies for Firefighters and Police

Ring the bell for the Salvation Army

Toys for Tots

Operation Christmas Child

Collect older toys to donate to a local charity

Have your child pick something in the Samartian’s Purse Christmas Catalog to buy for a person in a 3rd world country.


#2 Choose books and movies that have the same focus you desire your kids to have.

You can check out my top 25 Christmas books here (LINK) as well as reviews over on YouTube


These are the Christmas movies we watch during the Christmas season:



The Star

How the Grinch Stole Christmas

Charlie Brown Christmas

Home Alone

VeggieTales: Saint Nicolas

VeggieTales: The Little Drummer Boy









#3 Ask Questions that point to the reason for the season.

Truthfully the most helpful thing for managing my kids’ expectations at Christmas is whenever they start talking about what they want or what’s on their list I say, ‘No matter what is in the wrapping paper, what is the giver trying to say to you?”


Now that my kids are older, they know the answer is, “That they love me.”

“So can we be thankful for the gift even if it wasn’t on our list?”


Which usually causes my kiddos to smile and say yeah.


But it’s a conversation that started with asking our kids questions about Christmas and why we give gifts. Having this conversation off and on throughout December has helped manage my kids expectations and remember the heart behind Christmas.



But also take a deep breath. It won’t be the gifts under the tree that build memories with you kids. I grew up going to my grandmother’s house in the Texas panhandle, and what has stuck with me is the fun games we played with my cousins, the meals together, and the black eye I accidentally dished out to one of my cousins. I really don’t remember what was under the tree, because my parents’ actions showed family as the priority.


So what you prioritize will be what your kids remember.


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