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Making Kids Happy with a Low Key Christmas

By Fredrica Syren: 

I struggle with how to make my children happy with a lower key, fewer-presents sort of Christmas. I think a large part of our children’s problem is thatB opening presents their expectations are too high. And when that’s the case, giving more and more every year won’t fix the problem. Of course no child is born with an expectation of loads of gifts. My husband and I always tried not to give lots of expensive gifts; however, over the years I have noticed they have started to ask for more and to look at Christmas as a time when they receive gifts. I really don’t like it. This year we’re committed to have a low key Christmas, and focus on one larger gift and a couple of small ones. But at the back of my mind, I’m worried they will feel disappointed and, of course, I don’t believe in calling them out for having sad feelings about it.

I have talked to my oldest about how there won’t be too many gifts this year and how we can give money to someone who needs it. We also talked about how, instead of gifts, we can do something together for weekends to come, and everyone can pick some special activity. My oldest said she wants to eat at Jamie Oliver’s restaurant because she has watched his cooking shows. My middle one wants to go to a movie.

I think instead of making kids feel guilty about wanting lots for Christmas, I choose to set their expectations to fewer presents and commit to making Christmas all about being grateful and having a fun family time. Fingers crossed that it will work!

About Green Mom

Fredrica Syren, the author and founder of Green-Mom.com, was born in Sweden. Her mother was a classically trained chef who introduced her to many eclectic flavors and skills at a young age. Her mom’s passion for the outdoors and gardening planted the seed for her own love of nature and healthy eating. She received a degree in journalism and has worked as a print, Internet and broadcasting journalist for many years with big businesses within Europe and the United States. After her mom was diagnosed with terminal cancer and she with pre-cancer, Fredrica changed her career to become a full time yoga teacher and activist. A longtime world traveler, foodie and career woman, she was exposed to many facets of life, but nothing inspired her more than becoming a mom. After her first-born, Fredrica began a food blog focusing on local, seasonal, organic & vegetarian dishes. Years of food blogging developed into the cookbook Yummy in My Tummy, Healthy Cooking for the Whole Family. Upon the arrival of her second child, Fredrica founded Green-Mom.com. Her vision was to establish a site providing insight about gardening, home and personal care, baby & child, and of course food & nutrition. Green-Mom.com hosts many talented writers shedding light on ways to incorporate eco-friendly and nutritious practices for busy families. She is an advocate for organic, local and sustainable businesses. Fredrica hopes to inspire social change through her lifestyle, passion and business. Fredrica lives with her husband James Harker-Syren and their three children in San Diego, CA.

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