Have a More Meaningful Holiday

The holiday season is, above all else, a time to gather with our families. We enjoy the company of others in a giving and joyous environment to celebrate our favorite holidays.  But, the classic traditions of the holiday season are being more and more encumbered by the thought of arriving at the shopping plaza still in the wonderful fullness of giant turkey dinners to catch the perfect sale. 

We have gradually lost many of the meaningful ideas surrounding the holidays.  This season, try to incorporate the traditional feeling of gratitude, care and generosity into your family’s celebrations.  Introduce your children to the values at the heart of the holiday season and you can ensure they will continue the idea of hospitality onward when they build their own traditions.

Here are a few things to consider when planning a meaningful holiday season with your family:

· Plan with the whole family. Include your children in the planning of family parties and dinners and how the gift-giving will happen.  Children will love having a helping hand in the dinner, desserts or the wrapping of gifts! You can also introduce the idea of lending a helping hand to other family members who made need help preparing for the holiday season.

·  Research your area for programs that help families in need for the season. Many daycare centers, schools, libraries and community centers will promote adopting a family for holiday support.  Talk about the options with your family.  Even if your family has a tight budget, there are ways to contribute that not only put a smile on another child’s face but teach the value of generosity to your own children.

· When the holiday eating is over, take a look to see what items you didn’t use or can spare. Many area kitchens accept food and donations right up to the holiday itself. Take a trip with your children, explain the importance of giving and treat your family to a rewarding experience in generosity.

· Start a holiday scrapbook that includes the whole family.  Your children can be architects in a piece of family history! They will love picking and choosing their own tokens and pictures to add to your holiday time capsules.

· Ask your children what they would like to give to their family and friends.  Homemade gifts can be a great supplement to gift giving.  Children will love lending their little hands to great, thoughtful gifts.

· Instead of giving little gifts, families can choose to pool their funds into one giant gift for everyone.  Whether it’s the supplies and money for a pet, a new addition to household amusements or an upgrade to technology, a lump-sum can be easier and more affordable for the family.  

This blog was written by Mark Sullivan. Mr. Mark has been a Certified Teacher at The Children's Workshop since 2011. He has worked at five different locations in all classrooms. Mark is pursuing his certifications for Lead Teacher and Director as well as his degree in Education and Management. He lives in Providence, RI.