As with all holidays, Christmas is what YOU make of it. Your attitude, behaviour, and thoughts will determine the kind of time you will have.
To have the best time possible ask yourself “What do I want to experience with my family this year?” Make a detailed list if necessary.
Most people will agree that Christmas and other holidays are best when spent with the immediate (and extended) family. Add in amusing activities, a good attitude, and you will notice an improvement in the quality of the holidays.
The only way to teach your teens to value family is by showing them you value it too. This is done through the time you spend with each other and by the amount of effort you put in during important (and not so important) times of the year.
Consider including the following ideas to help make your Christmas more festive this season. The 2 common themes you will notice in each of the activities are: 1) Family togetherness and 2) Fun. Fun is the glue that keeps families coming back to celebrate traditions. Boring traditions get quickly dropped or become dreaded. Customize them in whatever way it will enhance your family experience.
1. Favourite recipes: We all have ‘em so why not make ‘em together? This is a perfect opportunity for parents to bond with kids through communication. Communication is always easier when enjoying a fun activity. This really is an activity that ought to include mom, dad, and the kids. Put aside traditional gender roles, put aside the need to be doing work, and instead make it a priority to spend time with your kids.
2. Secret Santa: Play secret Santa with a twist: No purchased gifts! Instead the gifts can be favours bestowed upon the selected recipient. They can consist of polite compliments, help with chores, a homemade gift, breakfast in bed, scheduled time to hang out, or whatever creative ideas your family can come up with.
3. Decorate with your family: Decorating ought to always be done together. If it’s hard to get everyone together at random times, then be sure to schedule in advance a time where everyone can be present. No options. When you are unwilling to exclude anyone it sends the message they are important and their company is essential. It gives your teens a place to belong, a place where their opinion counts, and a place where they are wanted.
4. Family Christmas party: This is not about hosting a formal sit down dinner. This is about inviting over the aunts, uncles, cousins, nephews, nieces, and just having fun. Turn on the Christmas music, wear fun clothes, take out the baked favourites, and create a fun and loving time. This is more about promoting the importance of family, having the adults and kids mingle, and creating fun tradition for your child, than it is about being the perfect host.
5. Create your own Christmas cards: Computer programs and application can do wonders today. It is possible for people to make their own Christmas cards. Why not create a card together with your family (e.g., decide on the theme, the written content, design on the outside and a design on the inside and ask each person to be responsible for one aspect of the card). Remember, handing out cards is more about the thought and effort than it is about the sophistication and price. A card that comes from the heart sends out more positive energy than a card bought in a rush and without feeling.
6. Attend a religious ceremony: Many religious ceremonies are festive, warm, and bring families together. Religious ceremonies speak of and remind us of the true meaning of Christmas. It gives everyone a chance to sing their favourite carols and it gives the entire family a feeling of belonging to a community. Make the feeling a part of your tradition each year.
Best Wishes to Your Family This Christmas Season
Ivana Pejakovic, Life Coach in Toronto