As many families struggle with their finances in a down economy, Rabbi Shmuley says this year is the time to refocus on the true meaning of the holiday season and teach your children that they can have a happy holiday without excess.
It's not good to make the holidays about wanting things, Rabbi Shmuley says. Instead of shopping for lavish gifts, introduce your children to alternative activities to do as a family. "Put your heads together to plan some new traditions that they will love," he says. "Help your kids fill their lives with experiences and great memories rather than hundreds of boxes under the Christmas tree."
Think back to your best holiday memories to come up with activities to do with your children, Rabbi Shmuley says. He shares low-cost, seasonal activities you can do as a family:
Bake gingerbread cookies
Make Christmas or Hanukkah cards for your family
Start a family volunteer project
"The current economic downturn can help us refocus on what is really important—our families. Use this holiday to teach your kids to be less materialistic. Show your children the importance having a sense of purpose by creating wonderful family experiences together and helping others who are in need."