‘Tis the season to be jolly, and big corporations know it!
The moment Thanksgiving’s in the offing, we’re bombarded with ads telling us how important it is to give, and that we should be rushing out to the stores to buy all these discounted items. Celebrate Christmas and New Year’s Eve the best way possible – with your heart full, and your pockets empty!
But should that really be how our kids think about these beautiful holidays? That they should be looking to presents and not much else?
Growing up, my family didn’t have much, but I remember all my childhood Decembers with such fondness! I couldn’t wait to get in front of the fireplace, sprawled out on the floor, eating mom’s home-made cake and watching Harry Potter.
That’s the reason I’m still so emotional when the holidays roll around – not because I had the most expensive gifts there were.
And don’t get me wrong; I’m not trying to make this into a sappy piece that claims a hug (as beneficial as that is) will suffice. What I’m attempting to convey is: make this time of year unforgettable for your kids for non-material reasons, and they’ll be more grateful to you than they ever could be for a gift that will just end up in the attic by the end of the year.
How can you make the holidays unforgettable without spending a dime? Here are some ideas!
1. Homemade Sweets
You know your kids best and know what kind of cookies they like. So go ahead and make their favorites, and even include them in the process if they’d like! They’ll enjoy it twice as much as they usually would, both because nothing can compare to mom’s or dad’s warm cookies that haven’t been packaged and frozen for weeks, and because they know it’s the product of their work, too! If you’re feeling extra jolly, make some interesting drawings on top and expect lots of laughter when you see how they turn out!
Beware of this guy!
2. Choose a movie playlist
For me, it was all about Harry Potter and Home Alone. Let your kids choose whatever they’d like. So many Disney movies depict the wonders of Christmas, and the newest one on Netflix, (Klaus), has left lots of kids – and adults! – misty-eyed! So make your choice, get those cookies out, and get the tissues ready, too!
3. Create a cozy atmosphere
In our Getting rid of fall blues article, we mentioned the importance of coziness on these cold, dark days. This is especially important during the holiday season. Your kids are on vacation, you’ve probably got some days off, too, and spending them cuddled up together is the best possible way to use them.
So bring on the blankets, sweaters, warm socks, hot chocolate, hot tea and cinnamon, get the fire going, and let the coziness overtake you!
Is Christmas really Christmas without these sweaters?
4. Love and hugs
I did say it wasn’t going to be only about that, but they still matter quite a lot. Has your kid ever gifted you with a macaroni necklace, or a drawing depicting you with horrendously large sun in the background? It made you feel all warm and gooey inside, didn’t it? (Metaphorically – if you’ve felt that physically, better get a check-up).
They’ll feel the same way getting signs of love from you. Making cookies for them is one, but getting hugs and being told they’re wonderful and they’re the greatest gift ever makes a world of difference, too! (Just make sure your child is comfortable with demonstrations of physical affection, though.)
Now, here’s something that shouldn’t be reserved just for the holiday season, but it’s especially important around this time to complete the warm, cozy atmosphere. Look through old photo albums together and reminisce about the good ol’ days – it’s a wonderful thing to recall all the good times you’ve shared.
The coziness and best holiday season ever can now start!
Let us know if you agree with this list or if you’d add anything else. Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to you all!