We did that with our teenagers when they were at that horribly unappreciative and obnoxiously entitled stage... To a point...
What we did was:
We went to the mall and as a (blended) family, we had our kids pick two of the "Christmas Angels" on the "Christmas Angel" (charity) Tree. We told
them that we were going to help these kids have a wonderful Christmas this year, instead of getting family presents, that were "nice to have" stuff we
didn't actually need. Our kids picked out a little boy and a preteen girl, not related, some additional details I won't share, not many, but but
suffice it to say, these kids were very much in need of some TLC.
We also told our family gift exchange organizers the same thing - we were not going to participate because we were going to take care of some children
in need, instead of participating in the family gift exchange.
Then we went shopping, with our teens, and let them pick out the stuff from the "Christmas Angels" lists, that we would purchase. We set a $250
limit, and told our teens they each had to stay within the limit. They each wanted to slightly exceed the limit, so we told them, if they did, it
would come out of their own gifts, which were going to be minimal, already, because we had decided to do this, as a family. They chose to go ahead
and add the extra items anyway, knowing they would not get any big or even medium sized ticket items, themselves.
We took all the goodies back to the "Christmas Angel" booth, and signed them in.
We sent cards to the family gift exchange, to let them know that we had taken care of 2 Christmas Angels, in the family's name.
We went to the board game store, in the mall, and bought a couple of small items for our own kids, wooden and metal puzzles, a "Chocolopoly" monopoly
game, and some new PJ's. when Christmas day came, we stuffed the stockings with the little stuff, and put the PJ's and the board game under the tree.
We spent Christmas day playing "Chocolopoly", eating popcorn, and drinking hot chocolate. We also talked about how we felt about helping those
Christmas Angels, we knew their names, ages, genders, etc. We all agreed we felt pretty good about it.
We didn't make a big huge deal to our teens about how this was supposed to teach them a lesson, but they seemed to get the point. Subsequent holiday
seasons were MUCH improved! We have continued the tradition to this day, of doing some kind of "Christmas Angel" or "Adopt-a-Family" each year.
Good luck with your teens! It is a tough time.
edit on 15-11201211-1212 by gwynnhwyfar because: Clarifying the nature of reduction of "normal" gifting that year.
edit on 15-11201211-1212 by gwynnhwyfar because: (no reason given)