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Holiday Traditions

All families, particularly those just starting out like so many of you, are encouraged to look at the holiday season as an opportunity to initiate traditions that will carry over from year to year and establish memories that will be cherished forever.

Bake – Children of all ages love to bake, so what better time than this to get out those pans, sifters, mixers, ladles, and caches of flour, butter, and multi-colored sugar crystals. Concentrate on the inherent fun imbedded in this activity - mixing, kneading, rolling, cutting and making a mess. The latter item is important. Smaller hands and developing coordination don’t always make for tidy work areas. Enjoy the process and clean up later. More importantly, if Santa’s head falls off because the neck was rolled too thin, just pop it in your mouth and enjoy!  

Decorate – All communities come alive this time of year with festive decorations, themes, greetings, and lighting. Our homes are no exception, and make sure that children are welcomed to engage in the process whenever possible. Purchasing, or better yet making, an annual ornament that becomes one that is hung or displayed year after year is a great tradition. Date each one, as time will pass more quickly than one thinks, and each will bring back a special memory. Enjoy other’s decorations as well. Take a walk around the neighborhood to “ooh” and “ahh”. Parks and civic centers come alive this time of year, so take advantage of a stroll through one or more of them.

Read – This is done regularly if not nightly in our homes anyway, but what a better time to increase its importance. Select thematic holiday books. Children will have their favorites. Read them together – a great time for an older sibling to read to a younger – and cherish them. Store them away at the season’s end and bring them out the following year. They will become a special part of your family rituals for years to come.  

Sing – Carols are quickly learned, easy to sing, and fun. Now, here’s an idea. Put together a date with other families and friends. Start at your home with hot cider. Head out into the neighborhood and stroll together with occasional stops on the sidewalk and sing your hearts out! It’s generally cool enough in the evening for children to see their breath in the air, and it can be fun getting all bundled up. Think about it.

Time – If one chooses to do just one of the foregoing, you have given your children the greatest gift of all – your time!

Peace and love to all of you!

 

Posted by Raymond Volker on Friday November, 30, 2012 at 06:09AM

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