“We spend January 1 walking through our lives, room by room, drawing up a list of work to be done, cracks to be patched. Maybe this year, to balance the list, we ought to walk through the rooms of our lives, not looking for flaws, but for potential.” - Ellen Goodman
In the United States, New Years is not really a family holiday. Too often it's an adults-only event, more focused on alcohol than reflection, no deeper than watching TV waiting for the ball to drop.
But kids are actually fascinated by the passage of time, which seems magical to them. They LOVE the idea of a new year, a fresh start, a celebration of life. And every family deserves the regular opportunity to pause and consider their life. Why not celebrate the new year by connecting with your family about the meaning of life?
Some ideas to give your kids both roots and wings as they head into the new year: READ POST
"In fact we often don’t feel the wonder
and beauty because we're too busy trying to live up to the ideal in our
head....The cost of perfection is that it stresses us out to the point
where we no longer enjoy the moment we're living in." - Pastor Jon
Most of us aspire to give our kids a fairy-tale holiday. We have a secret fantasy that this will make up for all of our imperfections as a parent.
And there's an even deeper fantasy driving most of us at this time of year. On some level, we hope that giving our child a perfect holiday will somehow repair everything that wasn't perfect in our own childhoods.
Like most unconscious needs, this one fuels a fierce frenzy of activity that's destined to fail. READ POST
"Believing in the true spirit of my December holiday, I commit myself to:
Remember those people who truly need my gifts
Express my love in more direct ways than gifts
Examine my holiday activities in the light of my deepest values
Be a peacemaker within my circle of family and friends
Rededicate myself to my spiritual growth."
- Jo Robinson & Jean Coppock Staeheli
"Love is what's in the room with you if you stop opening presents and listen." -- Bobby, age 7
If you have a deep faith and keep the rituals of your religious tradition, then you’ve probably given a lot of thought to your child’s spiritual development and have your holiday religious plans all mapped out.
If, on the other hand, you wonder how to put what you believe into words and aren’t sure what spiritual beliefs you want to pass on to your kids, this post is for you. READ POST
"You will always be your child's favorite toy." -- Vicki Lansky
“Kids may be screaming for the latest gadget, but what they want more than anything is time with the family. Make that your biggest gift this year.” – MidnightBliss
All of us want to make our children's faces shine by gifting them with something special, especially at the holidays. Isn't that what makes dreams come true?
Unfortunately, no. In fact, those material presents are a bit like drugs -- the lift is temporary, followed by a deeper inner craving, eventually tinged with desperation. READ POST
Many children experience the holidays as a time to create lists of all the material goods they covet, and toy companies spend fortunes on TV ads designed to induce cravings for more, more, more in our children. It’s our job as parents to protect our kids from this assault, and to teach them the deeper meaning of the holidays. No, not by lecturing. By giving our children the experience of how good it feels to give to others.
How? Find opportunities to give that will be pleasurable for your child. Before you know it, he'll be discovering that it really is more blessed to give than to receive. Here, ten ideas for you to choose from. READ POST
"Television advertisements for toys
and games often exploit children's underlying needs and desires. Many
commercials show a child playing with a game or toy with her parents.
The message is clear to young children: Ask for this product and your
mother and father will pay attention to you. It is an offer they cannot
resist." -- Lawrence Kutner
Worried that your child seems to get a bit greedy at the holidays? Consider that maybe something deeper is being triggered -- a longing for that happy, perfect, life when he'll feel completely enveloped by your love. We adults have the same fantasy, of course. It's part of the wonder of the holidays -- that promise of transformative love.
The human mind has a tendency to crave more, more, more. Kids (like many adults) haven't yet learned how to manage those yearnings and direct them toward what will really fulfill them, which is connection, creativity, and spirituality (whether your definition of that is God, Nature or Love).
And it is possible to fill our children’s deep longings. Not with excessive presents – which always leave kids feeling unfulfilled -- but with deep meaning and the magic of love. How? READ POST
"My memories of Christmas as a
child are of stress. My mother wanted everything to be perfect and got
so worked up trying to do it all that it made the rest of the family
crazy. I remember my dad comforting me when I was about 8 years old, I was
crying and said “I hate Christmas” and he said “I do, too, honey. We
just have to get through it.”
So for my kids I try to be relaxed and fun. We make ornaments for friends and family in December and give them out as we see people — gets us into the giving without thought of receiving. We take time to see the lights around town, to decorate and appreciate our tree. We talk about the other festivals of lights and remember that feasting and gifts are to make the darkest, coldest time of year merry. We celebrate the return of the sun. We relax and play and laugh and appreciate each other.” - Amy READ POST