With Thanksgiving finishing up and Christmas just a few weeks away, the holiday season is in full swing. This is definitely one of my favorite times of year. I love the weather, the decorations and the celebrations. I know the holidays can be hectic and stressful as you try to fit everything into your schedule and find the right gift for each person in your life. However, the holidays can be a great time for you to teach some valuable lessons and their meanings to your children. Let’s take a look at 5 ways to turn the holidays into more than just a one-day experience
- Have an honest conversation about what you’re thankful for
This is a great time of year to be reminded of how blessed you are. This isn’t time to compare yourself as being better or worse off than someone else. Rather, focus your attention on what you have. It may be physical/material things, it may be relationships, it may be health, it may be memories, it could even be each other. Take some time to focus on being thankful instead of wishing you had something more. It could change your entire attitude.
- Share with your family the real meaning of Christmas
This seems easy enough, but far too often in the busyness of the season we forget to stop and take time to remember that Christmas is not about gifts under a tree, Santa Claus or even the amazing music. It’s about Jesus, the greatest and only gift this world ever needed. Make sure this season doesn’t pass you by without reflecting on what Christmas made possible for each of us, a relationship with God. A good place to start is by reading Luke 2:1-20!
- Think about others
There is no doubt that every year there are people in your community who don’t have the measure of joy and excitement about Christmas as you do. They may not have the money or resources to be able to celebrate like you. The past year may have been difficult with the loss of loved ones. One of the best ways to celebrate the holidays is to find someone who needs to experience a blessing. It doesn’t have to be buying gifts or material things, it can be time spent with them or even a card. Some of my favorite memories growing up were singing at nursing homes or even celebrating Christmas at a home for troubled youth.
- Create traditions
This is about to get really fun for me. My daughter is about to turn 2 and we have another one on the way, so the next few years are going to be full of excitement. One of the things we are starting this year is an advent calendar that includes different family Christmas activities for us to complete together. Each activity involves us being together and is designed to help us remember why we are celebrating this time of year. Find and create traditions that everyone in your family will look forward to each year – things that make your family unique.
- Share time with the ones you love most
With work, celebrations, shopping, plays and all that goes on, it’s easy for the 4 weeks between Thanksgiving and Christmas to go by really fast. I encourage you to control the pace of your life and don’t become so busy that you miss out on special moments with family and friends. Slow down enough to tell one another how thankful you are for them.
Each of these are times you can include your kids and entire family. Don’t think they aren’t old enough or even too old for any of these things. Sometimes talking about and explaining the reason for these holidays can be difficult, but sometimes what words can’t explain, actions can. Don’t feel like you always have to use words to communicate with your kids. Sometimes, it’s as simple as showing them.
I pray you have a blessed holiday season and that your family grows closer to one another, loves others more and strengthens their relationship with God as we celebrate!