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I know, it might not seem like it now but when your kids grow up and look back on their memories of Christmas with the family, they will be looking back on more than just presents. The gifts you got them when they were little might have excited them in the moment but what sticks with them into the future is the time spent together.

When your children look back on these moments they will remember putting out cookies for Santa, decorating, having a nice breakfast together before diving under the tree, and all of the fun things you did with them. If as a parent all you do on Christmas is get up to watch your kids open their presents, you’re not making the memories you should be making. Spend time together, play games, and really have fun with the little ones while they’re still little.

As they get older they won’t want to be around you as much so you should savor each moment you have with them while you have it. When I think about Christmas presents I got as a kid, the most expensive ones weren’t always the ones that had the most impact. The more meaningful the more they stuck with me. Sure, I liked getting videogames and things of that sort but the one time my mom got me a Tee of my favorite anime character it really stuck with me because it made me feel like she really knew me. She went out of her way to make sure I got something she knew I would like rather than just something I wrote out on a paper for her to ‘give to Santa.’

When your kids grow up they’re going to remember all of the silly traditions you had with one another and that is what you should keep in mind now while you’re in the moment. Make the most of the time before you and enjoy the holidays together. Bring each other together and make the most out of the moment before you while you have the chance to above all else.

I remember all the laughs my family and I shared each year when we played our traditional games of Monopoly and Candy Land before bed on Christmas Eve and even now I would love to go back and relive those moments again and again. Mom would make a nice dinner and while we had dessert we’d already be enamored in the games before us. Think about what you look back on the most, instill those things in the ones you care about moving forth.

Presents are not everything, sure they’re fun and all but make memories your kids can hold onto forever. I for one think that we should all be thankful this year that we made it to where we are right now, this year has been crazy, and we’re all facing setbacks. Just because you cannot afford the most expensive gifts right now does not mean you’ve failed as a parent, you’re still doing the best you can and that’s all that matters.