The Best Christmas EVER! They are the words we all want to hear our kids shout on Christmas Day. I remember the time I said that. I grew up the second of four boys, and my older brother and I are very close in age. We came downstairs one Christmas morning when I was about 10 and as we turned the corner into the living room, our eyes were met by what then looked like two mountains of wrapping paper. We knew what the wrapping paper was trying to conceal as the peddles and handle bars were sticking out giving the game away instantly. It didn't matter one bit to us as we ripped open the paper mountains to reveal two Raleigh BMX bikes.

Let’s be honest: the reason why that Christmas is carved in my memory is because the gifts we received were extravagant. It’s not always possible or advisable to get the most expensive gift every year, but one thing is for sure: we all want to make Christmas special. And why not? It is, after all, the most wonderful time of the year. So how do we as parents decide what gifts to give our kids at Christmas? We may not want to get caught up with all the consumerist trappings and yet we want to make it special.

Well, whether you can spend a lot or just a little on your kids this Christmas, here’s an idea that has helped us to get started.

Something to read. Inspire them to be readers whether that is fiction or - for boys, who often find reading harder than girls - fact books like world record books or books on space.

Something to wear. New PJ’s given out on Christmas Eve builds the excitement, or a smart new shirt to wear for Christmas lunch.

Something to play. Again, whatever your budget, you want to go for something they might get hours of fun out of, for a nice quiet-after-lunch house.

Something to share. A gift to everyone that is going to encourage family togetherness. This might be anything from a new board game to a shared remote-control toy.

Dean and Kris Dryden have 5 children aged 5-19 years old. Dean is the Families worker for Cornerstone Church Kingston, and will find both of them involved in a variety of family activities at the Hub.

Join us at Cornerstone Church Kingston on Christmas day for a short service with a chance for children to show their new toys.

13 December 2018