By: Emmelyn Cruz
As I pack up Christmas at home – the décor in one and presents that will not be used nor needed ASAP in another, I couldn’t help but be overwhelmed by it all. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve always loved the Holidays but in recent years since we had a child, it felt as if Christmas had been on steroids – especially in terms of the number of gifts she receives.
And I will always be grateful for that. That a lot of people love and care for her enough to include her in their Christmas lists. But on the other hand, I also want to instill a sense of appreciation and gratefulness in her. And this can be a hard thing to do when she’s handed how many presents at a time. However, we still try to do this by taking the time to open each present, taking note of who gave it and reminding her to say thank you for the next time she sees them. We also negotiate on which items she gets to open first, while the others are stored – to be taken out and used at a later time to allow her to fully appreciate each item.
Aside from doing this, my husband and I have decided to “take it easy” in our gifts for her. We usually opt for smaller and sometimes, even useful items. Although admittedly, I sometimes find it hard to comply with this, as I’m sure a lot of mamas can relate it can be hard to not indulge our kids.
This last Christmas however, instead of indulging her in toys and other stuff (which we’re sure she’d get from other family members and friends and we were not mistaken, thanks guys!), we indulged in another thing – experiences for the whole family. Thankfully, my work with MomCenter has allowed me opportunities to do such. And we were able to enjoy Steve Wheeler’s Magic on Ice show at the Araneta (thanks to the Araneta Center) and the Disney on Ice Mickey’s Super Celebration at the MOA Arena (thanks to PLDT Home). As I saw my daughter ooh and aah at all the magic tricks and the skating Disney princesses, I realized that experiences are definitely a worthy investment for our kids. And while there is nothing wrong with toys or other stuff for our kids, here are a few reasons why you should consider investing in family experiences as well.
Experiences are unquantifiable.
Unlike toys and other material things that can deteriorate over time and our satisfaction over which is likely to diminish as well, experiences are priceless – more so in the eyes of our kids. My daughter is definitely more likely to remember the thrill she felt over Rapunzel’s aerial antics than the new “stuffie” she got. Just like us adults who can conjure pleasant memories over a trip we had, she will also likely remember the excitement and joy she felt at seeing the magical performances in both shows. These are life experiences and happy memories that will definitely never be replaced.
Experiences can teach life lessons.
Experiences are a worthy investment because it can teach us and our kids life lessons that we can’t acquire anywhere else. Both the Magic on Ice and Disney on Ice shows exposed our family to the performing arts – which is definitely good for my daughter as she has already expressed interest in artistic endeavors such as drawing and even performing. So watching both shows gave her an idea as to the scale of such productions and performances, and the commitment it takes to be a performing artist of that level.
Experiences can help us express gratitude.
Worthwhile and meaningful experiences provide us with the best opportunities to express our gratitude. Experiences such as traveling or even watching shows allow us to appreciate the wonders of life and be grateful that we are blessed enough to enjoy it. So again, investing in experiences for the whole family allows us to be grateful for life in general and instill the same to our daughter. And living gratefully is the best way to live happily.
Ultimately, material gifts such as toys are not a bad thing, but as parents, we can also consider investing in gifts of experiences for our kids, even once a year during the Holidays. As these will definitely stay longer with them more than the material things.
Em is MomCenter’s editor and a doting mom to a decisive yet sweet daughter. When she doesn’t have her hands full of motherhood, she moonlights as a geek and bibliophile. Follow her mom-adventures via her Instagram.