10 plans to stop consumerism at Christmas

With the arrival of Christmas, our children, immersed also in the culture of consumerism, demand many plans and whims: go see all the film premieres, go to the circus, the theater, buy all kinds of nougat and trinkets, ask for the latest news to the Magi ... They are vacation days and do not settle for little. Therefore, it is very positive that we think about what we can do to educate our children about the true value of Christmas.

The pressure of the media and the increase in advertising campaigns aimed at children is a phenomenon that is increasing rapidly, especially during the Christmas season. Brand clothing, games, video games, movies, music, make continuous plans .... cause children not to conform to what is necessary and want to consume fervently.

What plan do we make today? What are we going to buy for Christmas dinner? I want to ask the Kings for the latest news, the best game! How far can parents negotiate with their children about the gifts they ask of the Magi? And if then they are disappointed because they have not received what they have asked for and it becomes a bitter day instead of the best of the year?

It is common that when Christmas arrives, there are parents who, talking about gifts and toys, complain about how their children have games almost unused from other years.

To educate in sobriety to survive Christmas expenses and in the use of time is something we must do every day of the year. However, these dates are very appropriate to convey to children that you have to settle for what is necessary and that many other children of your age do not have the essentials; that if one day we stay making a plan at home is also very positive; that you can not watch all the movies that premiere at the cinema because it's too expensive and you have to wait for it to appear on video; that a good dinner should also be thought and appreciated.

10 ideas to stop consumerism at Christmas

These are some action plans to educate in sobriety during Christmas and stop the consumerism of these dates.

1. The true meaning of Christmas. Let's try to focus the true meaning of Christmas by dedicating a family time to assemble the Bethlehem together at home. While we prepare it, we can dialogue with our children about how Jesus came to the world, poor, in a manger. The birth always has to be in a prominent place in the house to continuously remember the message. Also, there are stories that bring all Christmas traditions closer to children. At that time there was not the amount of toys that exist today. This idea should help them to reflect. In addition, Christmas carols and some prayers should not be forgotten.

2. Caprichos in the hypermarket. Mom, look nougat, of all kinds! And the chocolate and marzipan figures! I want all of them!. Let's face it, it is difficult to go to the hypermarket with our children and get only basic products in our car. So let's do a little austerity exercise with our children. Let's go shopping with them and propose that they do not throw at the car any caprice. Since we are at Christmas, we can choose three different kinds of nougat and a box of polvorones, but not "fifty" class varieties. In addition, then they do not end up consuming.

3. Thank special menus. Seafood, ham, pies ... To celebrate the arrival of Jesus, it is tradition to eat and dine with the family. At Christmas, the menus are special. Children have to learn to thank their parents or grandparents for something higher to spend, at least once a year, special meals. It is good that they learn that if at home, the last nougat tablet is not finished, you can not buy another one. And if the menu is repeated in two different dinners, it is enjoyed without protest.

4. A schedule for each day. As there is no school, I do not do homework or I leave all for the end. It is important to have a schedule for each day of the holidays, where all the obligations and amusements enter: doing the homework, homework, crafts, didactic games ... The use of time is an important aspect of austerity.

5. Extraordinary plans. Where are we going today? As there are holidays and there are many alternatives on the street, children can ask to go to all movie premieres, the circus, the theater ... in short, every day away from home. They should know that all these activities cost money and that the plans at home are also fun. We choose among all parents and brothers some extraordinary plans and others that do not involve excessive spending: nativity scenes contests with other families, carols among the brothers, field trips, visiting different nativity scenes around the city, etc.

6. The letter of the Magi. It is good that the children realize that the Magi, who came to adore the child God, often do not throw everything the children have requested. Perhaps an idea is to ask for three gifts: one from Melchor, another from Gaspar and another from Baltasar. For those who know the meaning of the feast of the Kings, will have to "negotiate" your letter and know the budget. It is very appropriate to write the letter with them and help them reflect on the gifts. And if the Kings do not bring what a child asks, let them know that they have left the best for them. You know, "they are Magicians" and they know what each one needs. We must also say to the Kings that in the grandmothers' house they "leave" few things. The child must get used to not receiving everything he asks for, but we must not forget that it is a day of illusion, and that illusion is the best gift for children.

7. Give before you receive. They are good dates for order and cleanliness of the rooms. See what they do not need or what they do not really use, even what is valuable to them but that can be detached and given to the parish and others in need. They should clean it, repair it, wrap it in wrapping paper. Get involved

8. Visits to the needy. If the age or the character of our children allow it, we can organize a visit to some families much more needy than us through the parish, or sick or elderly children. We must prepare these meetings carefully with them and subsequently collect their impressions.

9. Aguinaldos. It is many families and places, it is tradition that close relatives give the bonus to the youngest, a quantity of money, when they are going to congratulate them for Christmas. That money, which is yours, we can guide you to use it correctly: for something that you need, to contribute in special plans or to save it.

10. And we, too. As on other occasions, we can not teach or demand from our children something that we do not live. Let's adjust the expenses and also think about the true meaning and value of Christmas.

Elena López
Advice: Mª Jesús SanchoPsychologist Vidal Sánchez. Expert in School Counseling and teacher of the Master of Family Educational Counseling.

Video: Podcast 14: Anti-Consumerism - Part 2

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