Archive for November 5th, 2013

How to have the Christmas you’ve always wanted – part 9

November 5, 2013

Christmas Revival

Are you hungry for the life and spirit you experienced in past Christmas celebrations? Do you dream of capturing the simple Christmas where gift-giving is put into proper perspective? Follow these steps and you’ll be on your way to experiencing a Christmas revival.

Build strong family traditions. Include your children and their interests when planning new traditions. Every year before Christmas I ask each one of my children what they’d like to do during the Christmas season. Their answers help determine what we do for Christmas.

Make sure each family member plays a vital role in the family’s traditions. Each year the whole family decorates the Christmas tree and the house together. Then we choose one Saturday in December to make cookies (the kids help decide what cookies we make) and fudge for Christmas eating and for giving as gifts.

Include activities that add movement and physical activity to the celebration. Inactivity breeds boredom. As a child growing up, all of my relatives went to my grandparents house for Christmas dinner. After dinner we’d play games, some of which were Christmas gifts received that morning, including going outside to play touch football. Those are some of my fondest childhood Christmas memories.

Look for lighthearted ways to add fun to the celebration. A couple Christmases ago I bought glasses that look like 3-D glasses that make Christmas lights look like snowflakes, Santa Clauses, and angels. We then toured the town looking at Christmas lights through those glasses. The kids loved it. It was the best $6 I spent that year.

Revive traditions from your ethnic heritage. If you have a Spanish heritage, include a piñata in your Christmas celebration. If you’re heritage is from Europe research the Christmas customs from the nation and incorporate a tradition from that country. Try their traditional Christmas cuisine. The important thing is to include every member of the family in learning about the traditions of your ancestors.

I hope these last few blogs help you simplify your Christmas and make it a more enjoyable holiday. The following exercise will help you decide what activities or types of activities will liven up your Christmas holiday.

Exercise: Family Fun

This exercise will help you clarify what kind of activities you family most enjoys and will give you some ideas for new traditions to liven up your holiday.

1. Which of the following activities are generally enjoyed by the people you celebrate Christmas with? Check those you participated in last Christmas.
Winter sports (specify)
Playing musical instruments
Reading aloud to each other
Attending concerts
Entertaining friends
Telling anecdotes about the family
Cooking together
Going for walks
Taking trips to the country
Creating skits and plays

2. Star the activities that you would like to do this year.

By doing this exercise, many people realize that they often neglect many of their favorite activities at Christmas. Adding just one enjoyable tradition is often all it takes to have a more rewarding celebration.

The Christmas Pledge

Believing in the beauty and simplicity of Christmas, I commit myself to the following:
1. To remember those people who truly need my gifts
2. To express my love for family and friends in more direct ways than presents
3. To rededicate myself to the spiritual growth of my family
4. To examine my holiday activities in light of the true spirit of Christmas
5. To initiate one act of peacemaking within my circle of family and friends

The material presented here was taken from the book Unplug The Christmas Machine by Jo Robinson and Jean Coppock Staeheli published by William Morrow and Company, Inc.

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