Merry Money bucks allow kids to earn “money” by working hard and then giving generously by redeeming their Merry Money for gifts for others.
Christmas is such a magical time of year when you have young kids. The lights, shiny new toys and Santa bring tons of fun to the season.
But as we move through the calendar towards Christmas, I want my kids to remember the true reason for the season.
We talk about and celebrate the birth of Jesus but I also want to encourage them to begin to understand the joy of giving. That may be a little over my 2 year old’s head but I want to start early.
And since my daughter will be 6 this year, I wanted to start to teach her not only about giving but also earning (which is a lesson that is good all year round). Learning that a piece of what you earn should be used to give to others. That there is joy in seeing happiness on the face of others. That it is better to give than to receive.
So that is where the Merry Money concept was born. A fun and easy way to teach kids about earning money through hard work and then giving to others.
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Merry Money – A Lesson in Earning and Giving
As a kid, my mom always let us pick a sibling gift for each other at Christmas.
We would each get to shop and choose a gift that would be fun for the other. An arts an crafts kit or a small toy was typically what we chose. We still do it to this day as 30 something’s, our gifts just look a little different nowadays.
I wanted to continue this tradition with my children but decided to take one more step this year! I’m introducing the Merry Money earning system to our kids this year.
What is Merry Money?
Merry money is a Christmas currency for kids that can be earned by doing chores or other tasks.
It is then used to buy gifts for others.
It could be for children’s siblings or they could even use their Merry Money to buy gifts for Mom and Dad or as a donation to kids in need.
The only restriction for Merry Money is that it must be used to purchase things for other people. Merry Money can’t be used on yourself.
You can print this free currency here.
Earning Merry Money
So how do kids earn with this system?
As the parent, you can set up your rules/reward system to work best for your family. Here are some ideas on ways that my kids will be able to earn Merry Money this holiday season.
Ideas For Kids To Earn Merry Money
- Help Tidy Toys
- Help Dust Furniture (this is never done great but for some reason it is one of my kids favorite chores)
- Put socks away in drawers
- Wipe up Spills
- Help remove laundry from dryer
- Play nicely with sibling (while you get Christmas wrapping or other chores done)
- Clean Room
- Put clothes away
- Wipe Down Counter tops
- Put Dishes away
- Help Make A Meal for the Family
Pretty much any age appropriate chore can earn some holiday cash.
How Much Is Merry Money Worth
Again, you decide.
I plan to have each printable Merry Buck to be worth $1. This will give my kids a few weeks to earn several sets of Merry Money.
Our sibling gifts are usually somewhere between $10-20 each. So if you start in mid-November, the kids will be able to do a few things a week and hit that 10 or 20 dollar mark.
If you are short on time, you could have the bucks be worth 2 to 5 dollars. Your choice.
Using the Christmas Bucks
Once you are happy with the amount of Merry Money that your kids have earned, they can cash it in for a gift for their family member.
You can do this 2 ways, at a retail store or online.
Since online shopping is my jam, I will just have the kids count the number of Merry Money bucks that they have.
So ten Merry Money bucks will equal $10 in our house.
Then we will spend time searching online together for something perfect that falls into the price range of the amount that they have earned. I will collect the Merry Money from each child and then just pay using my debit card.
Since Target will not honor a Christmas currency at their cash register, you will need to make a modification.
I would still have the kids count their Merry bucks and then you can convert that to actual cash.
Go to the store, select a gift and they can pay using real US dollars.
Lessons Learned Using Holiday Cash
The kids will learn several valuable lessons with this Christmas activity.
They will work hard doing chores and other tasks in order to earn their Merry Money.
Kids will learn that hard work does not always result in instant gratification.
Kids will work on saving up for a “big” item vs. blowing their money as soon as they earn it.
Giving Is Better Than Receiving
They will also partake in the art of giving.
Yes, they will receive a gift on Christmas from their sibling too, so technically they will be equally reciprocated (or could be if their sibiling did equal chores and earned the same money).
But at the time of purchase they won’t receive anything and that is definitely a lesson for a young kiddo. Spending your hard earned “money” on someone else is something I want my kids to learn to find joy in.
You could take this even a step further and have your kids buy an item to donate to your favorite Christmas charity with their Merry Money.
More Fun Christmas Activities
Christmas time brings lots of fun treats, gifts and activities. Here are some of our favorites!