With the children home for the Christmas Vacation, this is a wonderful opportunity to re-establish and model your family values, including love, friendship, family and community. In our busy fast paced society we can easily get caught up in daily pressures of providing for ourselves and our children, and lose track of what is truly important and at the core of everything we work so hard for. While Christmas festivities bring a last minute flurry of preparations, they also provide a special opportunity to come to a full stop – and to take time to reconnect in a meaningful way with friends, family and children.
For adults, Christmas is a perfect time to give ourselves permission to ‘find the child’ within. Highly focused on day to day challenges, adults often have forgotten how ‘to play’. Vacation, celebrations, and family time provide just the right formula to rediscover what children already know – that play is fun, it’s easy, and that the best play is spontaneous!
Ask your children to suggest some board games to play together, or as a family build a puzzle around the dining room table. Why not bake a cake or cook popcorn with your child, and have an evening of laughter and fun playing charades, or watching an entertaining movie together. If weather permits, recharge yourselves through an adventure out in nature, whether it be a walk in the local park, conservation area, tobogganing, ice skating or skiing together. If time and money permit, attend one or more of the local seasonal theatre attractions such as The Nutcracker or A Christmas Carol. As a family you might wish to create some opportunities to model your values of giving, sharing, and helping others who are less fortunate. Take some time over the dinner table to recount your many blessings, modelling an attitude of gratitude for what you have. Happiness is not simply having what you want, but being grateful for what you have.
You are important. Your family is important. What better way to reconfirm your love and appreciation for the special gifts and talents of each family member than to spend quality time playing together and enjoying each other’s company? The enjoyment and special memories you create for your family over the holidays will far outweigh all of the hard work and effort that goes into parenting.
Christmas is a time of giving. Give yourself the time, the opportunity, your attention, and your love to your children and other family members. Reconnecting and enjoying each other’s company, filling the holidays with laughter, fun and wonderful memories all underscore the values you want your children to experience and carry forward into the new year.
Linda Sweet M.S. Ed.
Founder and Director, Glenburnie School
Pre-School to Grade 8
Providing a progressive and innovative private school education