View Full Version : Making the Holidays More Meaningful

12-16-2004, 06:18 PM
Making the Holidays More Meaningful

By Debbie Milam (a pediatric occupational therapist, educator and author)

Have the holidays become too commercial for you? Are you feeling empty and unfulfilled during this time of the year? This year, by making some simple changes, you and your children can truly make the holidays more meaningful. Here's how...

Learn and then teach the spiritual meaning behind each faith's traditions:

*Share with your children that the candles are lit on Hanukah to symbolize the light of the Creator in our lives.

*Explain that a wreath is a symbol of the eternal circle of life.

*Describe how the presents for Kwanzaa represent the deep connection between parents and children.

*Illustrate how the sun's return and warmth are celebrated during the Winter Solstice.

*Whether you celebrate Christmas, Hanukah, Kwanzaa or the Winter Solstice share the beautiful miracles within each faith and then have your children share some of the miracles in their own lives.

Teach gratitude during the holidays: Gratitude should not only be for the material presents but for the little blessings in their lives. Begin to have your children tell you each day three things that they are grateful for. This helps children understand the true meaning of the holidays in several ways. First, the children begin to notice the little gifts that they sometimes take for granted, a butterfly, a sunny day, getting to sleep late. Secondly, once they notice these little gifts and are grateful for them they can start bringing more of them into their awareness.

Empower your family with tools to make the holidays more meaningful: Spend time discussing topics like what are you the most grateful for? How can you make the world a better place? How can this holiday be more meaningful? What presents make you feel the best? Plan a kind deed day and see who can perform the most random acts of kindness. Write little spiritual notes and leave them in their lunchboxes.

Celebrate differences:
Attend a worship service with a friend or a family member of another faith. This exposes children to the marvelous ways we are more similar than different. For it is only when we embrace the differences, that we can truly come together in unity.

Give gifts from the heart:
Write a story, a letter or a poem for your children. If you are artistic paint a picture for them. Put a photo album or scrapbook together. Record on audiotape your favorite family memories. Make a book of all the reasons you are grateful to have your loved ones in your life. Share a favorite childhood treasure that you saved, like a coin or a doll from your favorite collection. Finally, purchase gifts from charities that donate back to community.

Make community service a part of your family holiday activities:
There are so many wonderful lessons when we give of ourselves to others. Have your children start or participate in a toy, clothing, or food drive for those less fortunate. By participating in charitable acts your children can learn that they can make a difference in the life of another, that they have a purpose, and that they can be part of the solution.

Slow down enough to enjoy the essence of your children and of the holidays:
Our children remember the time and the energy shared as a family not the gifts, the parties or how perfectly the house is decorated. Say no to commitments that are not going to serve the greater good of your family. As Kabril Gibran so eloquently said in The Prophet, "Our children are but ours for such a short time." Make this short time a time of wonder and reverence for your children to discover the true meaning of the holidays.


If you are not married or do not have yet a horde of children, fear not :wink: :wink:
be your own child and apply all the above to yourself :ahha:

anyways happy holidays :D

wish I was on the sunny australian coast having a barbie for Xmas as opposed in the cold cold north :Ksp:


12-16-2004, 06:36 PM
Happy Holidays everyone.. !!

May your holidays be full of cheer, hope and good will.. May it bring gratitude, love and peace and renewal of faith and purpose..

God bless you, merry gentlemen, and beautiful ladies, and adorable kids.. :sm08:


ps: I am reminded of this song..

I'm dreaming of a white Christmas
Just like the ones I used to know
Where the treetops glisten,
and children listen
To hear sleigh bells in the snow

Wanna exchange your white christmas for a sunny holiday on the best coast on earth, Bleu.. :P :P :P

12-16-2004, 06:50 PM
peace, love, purpose....
to all


how abt this thattha ...you come over here take my place ...and I take yours :wink:

I have never spend Christmas anywhere but in the cold cold north ...not that you're guaranteed a white Xmas where i'm from :sm12: more like a rainy grey one :sm12:
might be interesting to have a sunny winter for once :think:

thattha great song :D ...the only one I have in my head right now is "last christmas I gave you my heart..." goodness knows I hate that song :sm12: ...but they always play it in the shops :evil:

12-16-2004, 07:02 PM
...the only one I have in my head right now is "last christmas I gave you my heart..." goodness knows I hate that song ...but they always play it in the shops

Wonder why?... Remind you of someone/something... :P :P :P Just kidding.. :ee:

Man.. they have been playing these songs since thanksgiving... :Ksp: A standard holiday set of 20 or so songs.. and its bugging mee too...

Now how about some Abba or BoneyM...
(Only song of BoneyM they play is Feliz Navidad.. :( )...

Oh.. BTW, Blues, I don't mind switching places.. :P At least I will get to eat good food, where as you will have to live on spaghetti and some cans of tuna.. :P :P


ps: sorry about the side track people..