Can Christmas be Productive?

Today's guest post is from Lisa Hendey of Productivity at Home.

With Christmas approaching and such an emphasis on acquiring material "stuff", I thought I'd pass along this Teaching Moments
article.  We are having a situation of "wants" vs. "needs" in my home
this holiday season.  My sixteen year old has only asked for one
present for Christmas.  He is genuinely a giving and non-materialistic
kid.  The problem is, he "needs" his gift now - not on December 25th!
We are using this time of waiting to help him learn the difference
between "wants" and "needs"...

Thank you to John Bishop of  Teaching Moments for sharing this article.

Wants - Needs - Desires

            Thanks to Steve Kistner, Eureka, Missouri MO., for this Teaching Moment.

all live in a rapidly paced world where success is often defined by the
“bigger, better, faster” aspects of life i.e., bigger house, faster
car, better golf score, etc. Maybe by definition that is the “rat race”
most of us profess to despise.  Did you know that you can control your
level of involvement in it?  The control switches are your wants, needs
and desires.


Maslow, a noted professor of Psychology, theorized that people have
five basic needs.  In short, they are: shelter, food, security (which
can include the security of employment, money, health, religion),
love/belonging (friendship, family, work groups, clubs, religious
groups), and respect (a feeling of self- esteem, valued for our thoughts and ideas).


help us to improve ourselves in one or more of the five basic needs
categories: I want a better job; I want to get an “A” on the next
history exam; I want to start exercising to improve my health, etc.
However, wants without a plan are simply wishes.  In order to change
“wants” into success stories you need to develop a plan that includes
action steps and a timetable for completion.


is the fuel that ignites your passion. This is the most powerful of the
three control switches because it directly impacts the other two.
Desire has the power to change imagination into reality, doubts into
risk-taking, fear of change into motivation and roadblocks into minor
setbacks. Your desire, your passion, is what excites you and prepares
you to meet the day’s challenges.

Suggestions for implementation:

  1. Discuss with your family what you wrote down for your wants, needs, and desires.

  2. Discuss any surprises you heard from other family members in the discussions.

  3. How can you help each other succeed in their your efforts?

Questions for discussion:

  1. Write down two examples of your “needs.” Be specific.

  2. Write down one example of your “wants.” Include your action steps and timetable for completion.

  3. Write down the one “desire.”  What propels you each day and gives you the energy to face the day enthusiastically?

Please visit for more life skills ideas to help children succeed.

UncategorizedMike StPierre