"Presence" for the Holidays

{All new and updated on 11.27.16}

Your child called. He said he wanted more "presence" this year. That's right, "presence". Being available to your kids both physically and emotionally is far more important than any sort of present or gift you can buy for him this holiday season.

Try this little experiment:

Think back to your own childhood. There are likely some gifts that stand out in your mind. Maybe it was a Lite Brite, a Star Wars Light Sabre, a Strawberry Shortcake doll, or a GI Joe. Chances are you can only recall a handful of gifts. But you probably remember the feeling you got when your parents played a board game with you, played cards, rough housed with you or let you help cook your family's traditional foods. You can probably even smell that food if you close your eyes.

See? That little exercise should make it clear that time spent with kids is far more important than the things that are bought, wrapped and given as gifts. So, make the time with your kids count. Give them something they will remember. Give them the gift of your time. The only thing your child really needs from you is your "presence". That's economical, frugal, and just makes good sense.

Your return on investment when it comes to "presence" like this is incalculable. Here's a list of five "presence" that won't break the bank. Follow our affiliate links for some ideas. Your child will remember these gifts long after the others are forgotten:

1. Curl up and read a great book with your child. Be as animated as you can. Let yourself go wild!

2. Start a new family tradition, or teach your child traditions of yore.

3. Go to the library and check out a DVD to view with your child. Discuss what the movie meant to your child afterward.

4. Whip up some holiday goodies for yourselves...or for a lonely neighbor. This is a gift that gives to your child twice...fun time with you and a lesson in kindness.

5. Play a board game. Let your child pick. Don't let him win every time. Losing teaches a more valuable lesson.

What will you do to increase the "presence" your child receives this year?


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