Enjoying What Matters Most During the Holiday Season

When you hear the word holiday, what comes to mind?  If you’re like most, it’s shopping, cookie making, sales, house cleaning, scheduling gatherings, and meal preparations.  Trying to find the time to get all this done is beyond stressful and takes away from what matters the most, family joy and creating a deeper meaning for our children during the holiday season.

The key is to try and simplify!  Taking on too much will sabotage the true meaning, that warm feeling you want for your family.   First off, consider what you love most about your holidays, and then find what no longer aligns with your values.  Finding traditions that your family can cherish year after year will gain greater meaning for your children over the years.  It can be as simple as cooking the same breakfast together every Christmas morning or doing something for your community to help teach your children love and kindness throughout the year.  Here are a few holiday traditions to try with your family that might add more meaning this holiday season.  Don’t expect perfection!  Face it, when you have children that word doesn’t exist.  Don’t worry about getting it on social media either, just enjoy the time with your family.   

Rethink the advent calendar that’s filled with chocolate or toys.  Yes, this already is a loved tradition by many children but why not consider something different, something you can use as a learning opportunity.  One way is to do an act of kindness or participate in a charity every day.  Or try a book calendar.  Every night before bed, you can read a Christmas book to your child. 

Start a collection of special ornaments for the tree.  Each year, decorate your tree together with your family and as you unpack each ornament, you can share the story/memory behind each one.  These don’t always have to store bought.  Make an ornament together that expresses your child’s interests, talents or milestones.   Then as your children buy their own home, gift the entire collection to them so they can continue to the tradition with their family.

Give the gift of memories.  Why buy endless toys that your child will only play with for a short period instead of sharing an experience together that they be cherished years to come.  Try a family concert or show, music lessons, cooking classes, or a family get a way to the water park.  This is such a great way to create lasting memories.

Spend an evening walking or driving around the neighborhood to look at all the Christmas lights and decorations.  Pick out your favorite ones and just enjoy your time together talking about your day. 

Show an act of kindness by doing something for someone who might be alone during the holiday season.  Whether it’s your neighbor or an elderly relative, dropping off treats or a home cooked meal can bring so much joy to those.    

Get involved in a variety of charity events together as a family.Take part in your local food drive, soup kitchen, or Salvation Army bell ringing locations.

This year, try to embrace your family traditions and not worry so much about the little things.  Be reasonable and don’t expect every Christmas to go as planned.  Cherish your time with your family and enjoy the moments because they only last so long.   Spending time together is the most precious gift we can give to our children.