Choose Now a Holiday of Significance ... (and Less Stress) for
During the holiday season, time is a prized commodity and the
preciousness of family is (hopefully) paramount in our minds.
How is it then that we get so carried away with things that are
not of lasting significance? I wonder too. Are you ready to make
a change? Let's tackle this now and relax sweetly into the
holiday season while visions of sugarplums dance in our heads.
First, take some time now to discuss with your family what you
truly want out of the holiday season this year. Perhaps it is a
good time to introduce or reinforce the original meaning of
Christmas (or whatever holiday you celebrate). Maybe this is the
year your family breaks the cycle of overspending and chooses a
simpler holiday that involves more time with family and friends.
For instance, I know one family who chooses to give three gifts
to each child for Christmas representing the three wise men's
gifts at the birth of Christ. The other giving that is done is
to those less fortunate. The focus in this family is on the
original meaning of Christmas - the celebration of the birth of
Christ and enjoying time with loved ones.
Another way to get more significance out of your holiday is to
create and enjoy some family traditions. Do your children look
forward to certain things each holiday? A few of my children's
favorite holiday traditions include making a gingerbread house,
baking Christmas cookies, watching Christmas movies by the
fireplace and decorating our Christmas tree while drinking hot
chocolate and listening to our favorite Christmas CDs. Childhood
memories themselves are a precious gift to give our children.
Here are some ideas in case you are looking for some new
traditions to start:
* Go Christmas caroling with your friends or neighbors * Roast
chestnuts over an open fire
* Make Reindeer food (dry corn, glitter, bird seed) and have
your children scatter it on the lawn on Christmas Eve
* Make Christmas ornaments to keep or give as gifts * Attend
church service on Christmas Eve
* Have everyone put on their favorite PJs and drive through town
to view Christmas lights while singing (or listening to) your
favorite Christmas songs.
* Go to a Christmas play or to a live nativity scene.
In addition to family traditions, here are some other ideas of
holiday significance your family can try:
* Adopt a needy family or elderly person to brighten their
* Take cookies to a nursing home and have your children sing
* Sponsor a child in another country for the holidays and beyond
* Deliver homemade goodies with a smile to the homeless or those
* Invite single neighbors or friends to holiday activities.
* Work in a soup kitchen feeding the hungry.
And for gift giving, celebrate less gifts and more substance
with these ideas:
* Give coupons for free childcare to a couple that could use
some time alone.
* Give "gift certificates" for a hot meal prepared by your
family. * Draw names instead of purchasing for everyone in your
extended family. * Give to a charity on behalf of a family
member. Check out: http://www.charitygiftcertificates.org/ and
* Help hungry families feed themselves at:
* Make gifts with your children such as: - Frames, flowerpots,
art, self-portraits, family photos and more. Visit these sites
for ideas: http://familycrafts.about.com/ and
* Have a silly (White Elephant) gift exchange instead of buying
presents. Ask everyone to bring something from home that is no
longer wanted and needs a new home. (The sillier / funnier the
better.) When everyone gathers, draw numbers to see who picks a
gift first. Follow in order until everyone has a gift. The
person whose turn it is can choose to take a gift already opened
instead of choosing a wrapped gift. If so, the person whose gift
was taken gets to pick a new wrapped (or open) gift. Continue
until everyone has had a turn. Just remember whatever your
family chooses, choose to create lasting and warm memories that
you and your family will cherish for a lifetime. Our families
and our time together are precious!