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How Do You Balance Greed and Gifts?

Consumerism surrounds the holiday season: is greed inevitable, and how do you avoid it?

For those children who celebrate, Christmas' biggest connotation can be a pile of gifts under the tree.

With this in mind, a panel of staff contributors at The Chicago Tribune tackled the question of whether it's inevitable to see greed in their kids around Christmastime. The parents weighed in on suggestions to remind kids of Christmas spirit.

Among their suggestions? Help your kids round up some old toys to donate to charity before giving them new toys. Sign them up to participate in a community service project.

The Tribune's advice got us thinking at Patch about how we were taught or are teaching our kids to be less greedy around the holidays. Some of our suggestions? Find a giving tree and let your child pick a name or two off of it, and take them shopping for presents. As part of your son or daughter's Christmas gift, allot some money to a charity of their choice.

What's your advice to fend off the sometimes inevitable Christmas greed? Tell us in the comments.

Trine Miller December 22, 2012 at 03:48 PM
Great idea for an article, Patch! I'd love to hear what other families are doing. In past years, my husband and I always took our kids to buy toys to donate, but felt we wanted to make that experience more impactful (now that our sons are older). So this year we made up a list of extra work the boys could do around the house to help earn the money that we are using to buy those toy donations. The bonus is that we got the extra house help and that the kids got the extra responsibility and work-appreciation. Hmmm. Might be making this a year-round arrangement--for everyone's benefit. Please post any other ideas for community altruism--we need them!
Jack December 22, 2012 at 05:43 PM
Easy. No Christmas cards, no tomorrow's junk shopping, decorating a fallen, aromatic Doug fir branch instead of killing the whole dang tree (more tomorrow's junk), and 100% exchanging gifts of service (Seva, SF Coalition on Homelessness, Save the Redwoods...). We love it!
virginia stella December 22, 2012 at 06:02 PM
Remember that YOU are the gifts to each other. Your PRESENCE is the only present that really counts. Have a cup of hot cider and a cookie together while waiting for the rain to stop. Buon Natale, Virginia Stella

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