Christmas, and the holidays in general, are a really fun and exciting time of year, and not just for the kids. Who doesn't love the looks on their little faces when they open all of their gifts? And who among us doesn't love getting a few gifts of our own? But when that Christmas morning buzz wears off, we're hit with the truth that our credit card bills are through the roof and our kids are totally over many of their gifts. So this year ask yourself, do they really need all that stuff?

1. Set a Limit

Our children don't need hundreds of dollars' worth of toys and gadgets. They will be just fine, and better off in the long run, without them. Whether you set a limit on how much you spend or how many gifts each child gets, make sure you stick to that limit. You don't need to punch another mom out for grabbing the last Elsa cape before you could. 

2. Take Them to Volunteer

Show your children the true meaning of Christmas by taking them with you to volunteer at a homeless shelter or soup kitchen. Seeing how hard life is for others will help your children appreciate what they have and allow them to blossom into people who are filled with compassion and kindness.

3. Shop for a Child in Need

Churches, communities, and places of business have all been known to take part in helping families who are less fortunate receive presents for their children on Christmas. Let your child pick a child off that tree in church this year and go shopping together for that child. Being able to give a child a Merry Christmas without getting any recognition is a great way to learn how to be truly generous.

4. Write Thank-You Notes

So few children still write thank-you notes to friends and family for the gifts they receive. Teaching your child to do this now might seem like a hassle, but as they grow up, it will help them to have more of an appreciation for the thoughtfulness of others.

We do our children a disservice when we simply load them up with gifts during the holidays. Make the gifts mean something, and teach your children how to be kind, considerate, generous, and compassionate adults. End the bratty behavior now. All the hard work you put into raising them with gratitude will pay off down the road.