Living in Chicago, while the dropping temperatures may be a bit of a “downer’ for many folks, for me personally, I get excited that a new season is upon us (I know this attitude will not be as upbeat come February or March, but for now, I’m embracing it)! This season of change, from harvest to wintertime, is often referred to as “the holiday season.” We often make plans to gather with families for holidays such as Thanksgiving, Diwali, Hanukkah, or Christmas. We give thanks for our blessings by sharing meals together and possibly exchanging gifts.
However, this special time can often feel like a big contradiction. It can be a real struggle to figure out how to balance the meaning of it all (especially for our children). It should be a special time to be in togetherness with the ones we love, but somehow leading up to the actual holiday, we feel stressed, overwhelmed, or hurried by all the preparations. We may not even recognize this in ourselves or may not realize that our children are picking up on our feelings as well.
During this season, it can be a real challenge to strike a balance and enjoy the fun of the season but also not lose sight of what a valuable time this is to create the gift of memories together, foster an “attitude of gratitude,” teach children about giving rather than receiving, modeling ourselves the values we want our children to have (respect, kindness, care)…
There are a multitude of ways we can foster such values, here are just a few:
* each family takes a turn at dinner expressing their gratitude for one thing
* putting together care packages to keep in the car and hand out to someone in need (filled with dry snacks, a water bottle, a packet of tissues)
* have children pack up their gently used toys and take them personally to a Goodwill
There are a few past posts that I have shared again below and I hope you will give them a read as we enter this busy season. I’ve also shared some really great articles that have wonderful ideas for families: