Throughout the years the holiday season has become overly commercialised, busy, and stressful for many families. The planning, presents, and preparation combined with additional pressures on budget, time, travel and all too frequently stress of spending time with extended family, is enough to send many parents into a downward spiral hiding under the bed covers waiting for the new year to click over!
Whilst I don’t have a magic wand to remove the commercial pressure, my reflection here is about the power of switching the holiday focus toward connection and tradition instead. If you are a family that celebrates Christmas this article will be especially relevant to you at this time of year, however, the content can be tailored to any cultural celebration. Around the Christmas holiday season some fun traditions to reignite the true holiday spirit to increase family connection can include;
• Decorating a Christmas tree, the house and/or hanging lights together, make this a special time by playing music, telling stories, and allowing children to share their holiday hopes and memories.
• Taking a family photo is a great way to immortalise and commemorate where each family member is at least once a year! Make it fun and dress up or wear accessories! Take the photo at a Santa set or at home in front of the Christmas tree in matching PJs!
• Watching a movie, share the Christmas spirit and watch a festive movie together, discuss the meaning of the storyline and invite children to share what this brings up for them.
• Making a gingerbread house, get creative and let children get messy and explore colours, flavours and textures.
• Counting down with an advent calendar can be a great way to not only build anticipation but we like to share something that we are grateful for matching to the number of the day, i.e. on 5 December we share 5 things we are grateful for and so on.
• Giving to those less fortunate, charity is an important part of Christmas, we like to allow the children to pick, wrap and donate toys to a giving tree, canned goods to community pantries, or clean out their bedrooms to donate toys that other children would enjoy, at this time of year we like to teach about privilege.
• Looking at Christmas lights is a magical way to spend an exciting night, pop the kids in the car and play some carols in the car as you take a convoy around local neighbourhoods and explore the beauty of decorated homes and streets.
• Attending local Carols, where Christmas spirit is at its peak is a great way to spend time together, throw down a picnic rug, take some light up candles and get into harmony together. Tradition provides special predictability and a sense of safety and security for children, as well as nurturing a family’s connection and giving members a sense of belonging. Traditions can help children understand who they are and identify what is important to the family to which they belong.
Furthermore, it teaches them many important values around connection, gratitude, charity and best of all, there is a high likelihood that your children will continue your traditions into their own future families so you are building a legacy that will live on for your loved ones!
For more empowering information or to book a conscious parenting coaching session reach out to Jodee Marques https://www.facebook.com/jodeemarqueshhwb