The greatest gift: Not found in stores

It’s the holiday season and if your house is anything like mine, the kids are making their lists and checking them twice. So, I have a very good idea of what my kids (think they) want.

But what do they actually need?

I’ve indoctrinated my kids since birth that “if 3 gifts were good enough for the baby Jesus then they’re good enough for you” (LOL!) so at least their expectations are realistic. But recently, I read a blog that inspired me and made me really wanna give them something meaningful this year. So, what to do?

Enter…my job. I am blessed to work in a place where there is a ton of information about a little something called developmental assets, a.k.a. the “stuff” kids need to prepare them for life in general. Now, I don’t expect you to have heard of these but just roll with me for a minute – I promise it’ll be worth the quick read.

There are family assets and specific assets by age, but what matters to me is that this knowledge has helped me understand what my kids actually need. Allow the cuties in this video to tell us:

As a How the Grinch Stole Christmas fanatic, I can tell you the Grinch learned a lesson that has stuck with me since childhood and makes the developmental assets messaging resonate with me as a parent. “Maybe Christmas, he thought, doesn’t come from a store. Maybe Christmas, perhaps, means a little bit more.” And there it is. That’s it. Our kids don’t actually need things; they need us. Parents, family, loved ones, traditions, togetherness. That’s the ticket!

So, what meaningful thing am I giving my kids this year? Me. What that exactly looks like will be completely up to them. Playing with them – what they ask; when they ask, actually going down the tobogganing hill with them, watching Elf under a warm blanket together 55 times in a row – whatever. It’s their call. There. My list is complete.

Wishing happy holidays to all and happy anything and everything to those who don’t celebrate something at this time of year. Enjoy each other. Peace.

So, what are you giving your kids this year?  Talk to us about it.

  • Leave us a comment below
  • Tweet with us @haltonparents
  • Email us at haltonparents@halton.ca
  • Call the HaltonParents line for parenting information or to speak directly to a Public Health Nurse (every Monday to Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.) Simply dial 311 or 905-825-6000.

About this blogger:

Paula D’Orazio RN is a public health nurse with the Early Years Health Program at the Halton Region Health Department.  Wanna know more about her?  Read her blogs!  She’ll tell ya!  (She kinda likes to talk.)

This entry was posted in Babies, Mental Health, Parenting, Preschool, School-aged Children, Teens, Toddlers and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to The greatest gift: Not found in stores

  1. That’s such a nice post! 🙂

  2. Paula D'Orazio says:

    Thanks! Glad you liked it! 🙂

  3. Pingback: What are YOU doing this Family Day? | HaltonParents

  4. Pingback: 6 easy ways to save money over the holidays and reduce stress | HaltonParents

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