Thanksgiving and Black Friday mark the “official beginning” for the Holiday Season. This is a great time to redirect some of our family attention on the media (that is bombarding us with sales and expenditures) to the TRUE meaning of the Holiday Season. Parents can take the opportunity to save money and teach their children lessons about generosity and kindness. No matter how elaborate your holiday giving plans, it is important to talk to children about the true meaning of the holidays and the spirit of kindness and generosity that surrounds this special time of year.
A growing trend among parents is to make the weekend after Thanksgiving an opportunity for children to weed out their toy collection. As children get older, the toys they received in past years will become less appealing. As the holiday season approaches, children can take the opportunity to determine which of their gently used toys would be appropriate to donate to charities, orphanages, or children they know who are less fortunate.
Parents can give children freedom to make choices as they sort through their toys and determine which to give away. One pile can be donated to charity and another to a younger sibling or family member, or perhaps to a friend. As parents sort through the toys with their children, they can involve the child in the decision making and ask where they think the toys should go.
Going through the toys can be a valuable bonding experience as well. As the child selects where the toy should go, you can ask them to share favorite memories about the toy. Use this time to remind children that these fun memories will stay with them even though the toy is going to make another child happy.
ortant and effective ways to foster, teach and encourage children with the true meaning of the Holiday Season are the following:
ü Commit to quality family time over the holidays. Establish holiday rituals that don't involve buying lots of stuff or spending too much money. Baking cookies, doing a craft, reading a special book or setting family game/movie nights will provide with fond memories for all.
ü ved ones may redeem with acts of generosity and kindness. In doing so you are teaching that the real meaning of the Holiday Season is NOT attached to a $ sign.
ü nd in the hospital - and write a letter as a family to make the person feel loved and included during the holidays. These letters can also include special friends and family members who we want to express our gratitude and appreciation for.
ü Be prepared to say “no”. Sometimes it’s not easy to say no, but you can do it. Get your mindset in gear to make what matters work--quality family time that will not get lost in the busyness or unnecessary expenditures of the season.
Why not make this the year to teach your children what’s important in life? Years from now, watch for the smiles as your adult children replay their memories and give thanks for the meaningful time you spent together. Enjoy the Holiday Season!!!