Archive for December 24, 2011
- Focus on the more meaningful aspects of Christmas–family togetherness, generosity in giving, love, and caring.
- Watch Christmas movies and TV specials that focus on the meaning of Christmas. Sit down as a family and watch a few movies like How the Grinch Stole Christmas, Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, Santa Clause, and of course, The Charlie Brown Christmas Attend a Christmas Eve service together.
- Encourage family members to make a “Christmas Giveaway List” along with their “Christmas Wish List.” The “Christmas Giveaway List” can focus on all the gifts you plan to give away.
- While you’re at it, go through all of your old toys and clothes. Pick out the ones you no longer use and take them to the Salvation Army or give them to a less fortunate family.
- Each night, take five minutes with your family to write down 3-5 things for which you give thanks. Write something different each night for the month of December and January.
- Send “thank-you notes” after Christmas. In fact, send thank-you notes throughout the year. You can thank people for a gift they gave you, for their service in some area, for a trait you simply admire in them, or any number of other things. Acknowledging our thanks is a wonderful habit to establish.
Don’t let a materialistic attitude grow in your family through the Christmas season. Instead, cultivate an attitude of generosity and family intimacy. Focus on the true meaning of Christmas as told by Linus in Charlie Brown’s Christmas.
- Subscribe to a magazine that will interest your child. You can order children’s magazines ranging from Ranger Rick to Kid’s National Geographic to Highlights. Each month they will receive your gift. Each month, you can review the magazine yourself and use the articles as starting points of discussion with your child…time, attention, and encouragement.
- If you don’t like a magazine, try joining a “you-fill-in-the-blank” of the month club. These range from craft-of-the-month to children’s-book-of-the-month to the Lego club. If you can’t find the club you want, make your own. For instance, imagine that your child enjoys marbles and you can’t find a “marble-of-the-month-club.” Start your own. Purchase a variety of marbles…maybe 60. Wrap up a dozen to give your child on Christmas morning. Enclose a note explaining that they will get an additional 4 marbles every month. Each month, wrap up 4 marbles and give them the package to open. Now, spend time with your child playing marble games or discussing the quality of the marbles. You get to spend time with your child, give them your attention, and encourage an interest. Here are a few other links for possible monthly ideas.
- Make a homemade coupon book that includes 12 coupons expiring on December 31, 2012. Explain that the coupon is good for a free-chore pass–you will do a chore of their request “no questions asked.” You can encourage your child by modeling a “servant’s heart” as you complete one of their chores once a month at their request.
- Purchase tickets (at least one for your child and one for you) to an event that will interest your child (a concert, a play, etc.). Along with the tickets, provide a coupon book with 12 more coupons (one per month) that they can cash in for a simple outing with you. The coupons could include an outing for breakfast at a donut shop, lunch at a restaurant, or an outing of their choice. Now you have a monthly opportunity to spend time giving attention and encouragement to your child.
- Give your child homemade tickets for a “Monthly Home Movie Night” complete with microwave popcorn for the whole family. Spend time discussing what movie they would like to rent and set up one night a month to sit down as a family to enjoy the movies.
- Schedule a daily reminder on your smartphone that prompts you to give time and attention to your child by doing something encouraging for them. When you get the reminder, do something as simple as sending them a text stating that you are thinking of them, you love them, or you look forward to seeing them after school. Or, if you happen to be in a grocery store, purchase a pack of gum or a candy bar for them. Or, you might pause long enough to offer a prayer for them. Whatever you do, letting them know you think of them throughout the day will encourage them.
6 ideas to wrap up the gift of Time, Attention, and Encouragement for your child…and, at the same time, enjoy your child all year long! Merry Christmas!!
- Family members bond over the shared experiences and beliefs that are inherent in traditions, helping our children build a healthy identity.
- Family traditions create a family story that we can pass down through generations, giving continuity to our sense of family and stability to our children.
- Family intimacy deepens as each person contributes to the development and completion of a family tradition. Children feel intimately involved, loved, and valued as they contribute to the shared experience of family traditions.
- The shared traditions of Christmas add joy and celebration to the holiday. They help to create family identity that strengthens and maintains a sense of security in our children.