Studies show that what our children really want from the holidays is not necessarily the latest in toys and gadgets, but time with mom and dad.
It’s almost ironic that we think of Christmas as a family holiday, when the reality is it’s when we have the least amount of time for our kids. Often it’s when we’re more out of touch with our children than at any other time of year. David Morley, co-author of Under the Tree, suggests that if you want to bring the spirit of the season back into your life, begin by “spending time with your children. It is perhaps the best gift that you can give to a child at Christmas. It gives the message to children that they are more important than all of the rushing around at Christmas. That’s the big message that kids want to hear; that they are loved, particularly at Christmas, when we talk about love and sharing so much.”
David adds that the other key to a really great Christmas is enjoying the entire season rather than just one day. “A family setting its own pace is a really key thing to do at Christmas. Try not to gear everything up to December 25th. By spreading the season out and taking the pressure off of the 25th, it takes the pressure off of the kids also. Then they’re not just expecting the perfect gift and day on the 25th.” David says that it’s this attitude that helps a “family takes control of the celebration rather than being carried off on the wave of advertising. Then Christmas becomes what you want for yourself.”
Dette Hunter, author of Making Your Own Traditions agrees that time together is invaluable. It creates family traditions and memories.” And she adds that spending time together doesn’t have to be expensive or lavish, but can include simple things like trimming the family Christmas tree. “I think the whole tree should reflect the family”, says Dette. “Have the children contribute to the decorations from what they’ve made at school to what’s been made together as a family. It doesn’t have to look like a tree in a magazine.”
In addition, Dette says another great holiday tradition is gift making. “There are gifts that take just a few minutes of your time. For example making a ‘honey butter’ is something the littlest hands can make. The wonderful thing about kids making gifts is that anything they make is charming.”
Adapted from The Parent Report Radio Show. Any advice or information contained herein should never be a substitute for professional and/or medical advice, diagnosis and treatment. For more information please review Terms of Service.