Sometimes, it is so easy to get wrapped up in the thoughts of presents and cookies and yummy food, we forget what the true meaning of the holiday is all about. My family celebrates Christmas, but many celebrate other holidays, while some do not celebrate anything. Maybe, after reading this article, you may change your mind, or at least understand why the ones who love the season, celebrate like we do…
Tell your kids what Christmas is all about, and how Christmas came to be. Read the Nativity story to them and take the time to answer their questions. You may be surprised at the interesting discussions that it inspires! My family has an Advent calendar we read the Christmas story from. We’ve read from it for 19 years and every year, we still look forward to reading from the calendar.
There are many wonderful books you can check out from your local library. I am not referring to just any books, but one about customs and traditions from other countries. This teaches everyone about the reasons many celebrate in a different way. Holidays such as Hanukah or Kwanza are celebrated in similar ways as Christmas, with traditions, special foods, and family time togetherness. So encourage your children to learn about these fascinating holidays!
I know, we all remember Rudolph, The Grinch, and Frosty, not to mention Charlie Brown, right? Have you shared them with your children? They may laugh up a storm when they see the graphics and the simple story line, but these films are great! Watch them with your kids, drink some hot cocoa, and snuggle on the couch together. Afterwards, talk about how important family is and holding on to traditions while making new ones.
If your children could actually have the chance to collect money or gifts and food and be able to see their donations in action, they may forget about being a tad selfish this year. Kids love presents (adults too!) and their anxiety may take some of their “giving attitude” away. If they can have a first hand experience of those who are less fortunate than them, they may just turn from a “Grinch” (whose heart was 2 sizes too small) to a “Who.”
By this, I do not mean broken, dirty toys, but toys your children may have outgrown, or simply no longer want or need. Let them help clean up the toys, place them in pretty gift bags, and give them away to a local shelter and children’s home. If Christmas is truly about giving, and it is, this will give your children an opportunity to reach out to those in need and give something themselves, rather than rely on mom and dad to do all the giving.
Sure, we watch it Christmas movies and hear about school groups and churches caroling, but what about doing this as a family. Nursing homes are great places to visit, and so are children’s hospitals. Don’t ant to go out in public? Go caroling at your family’s houses: grand parents, cousins, aunts and uncles. They will love it and so will you! Christmas is a time of joy and happiness. Spread some holiday cheer and sing! Sing! Sing!
I want my children to always remember they can come home anytime they want. I also want them to remember that home was a place where we shared hugs, laughter, tears, and memories. So this year, I am starting a new tradition. We are making a memory ornament. We are going to pass around an ornament and while you have the ornament, you have to talk about your favorite memory and then add a decoration to the ornament, such a paint squiggle, a sticker, or some other crafty idea. Then, we will date the ornament and hang it on the tree.
Christmas is a time of celebration, giving, and family traditions. How will you teach your kids the true meaning of the holidays?
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