How to Encourage Gratitude in Your Children During the Holidays

Gratitude During the Holidays

I remember my excitement the day the Sears & Roebuck catalog landed in the mailbox of my childhood home. I carefully looked through each section circling the gifts I wanted to find under our Christmas tree. The Snoopy Sno-Cone Machine, Barbie’s Dream House, and a Cabbage Patch Kid made the list more than once. The more pages I turned, the longer my wish list grew.

Every year, kids near and far make a Christmas wish list. Some send their list to Santa in letter form. Others create Pinterest boards so tech-savvy relatives can click to order. Even kind-hearted strangers ask our kids what they want for Christmas. By the time the sun rises on Christmas morning, many kids have high expectations for a massive Christmas haul.

A “give me” mentality easily consumes our children this time of year. How do we counter entitlement without becoming a scrooge? Parents can encourage gratitude in their children during the holidays by incorporating a few new traditions.

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Photo credit: Inna Lysek via Pexels.


  1. Not to completely miss the point of your article, but I have to tell you… every single year I have to stop myself from buying my kids the Snoopy Sno Cone Maker just because *I* wanted it so badly as a kid and never got it!!! We already have TWO snow-cone makers, and they have NEVER asked for it! Ha! 🙂 (The Barbie Dream House was always on my wish list and never under the tree, too. My mother-in-law did buy that for Grace a few years ago. 🙂 )

  2. Kelly, you’ve listed some wonderful way for us to teach our children how to be givers and not wanters. Well done!

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