Thursday, December 19, 2013

Guest Post: 3 holiday ideas for kids

It’s not any secret that Christmas is one of the most anticipated holidays for both children and adults. However, I suspect the reason for this anticipation differs between children and adults.

For many adults, the holidays bring a lot of mixed emotions, ranging from excitement to anxiety, and for some, even a sense of dread. Why? Things like spending extended periods of time with family, the financial strain buying gifts, preparing the house for holiday guests, traveling with children, etc. It can all cause holiday stress and anxiety for adults.

Although it is easy to buckle under the various pressures surrounding the holidays, it is important that parents do their best to hide these feelings from their children. Christmas is a magical time that most children look forward to all year long. In fact, according to the executive editor of Kidspot, an Australian parenting Web site, it is very possible that children look forward to Christmas more than they do their own birthday.
If parents would take the time to think back to when they were kids, they would most likely remember how excited they were in the days leading up to Christmas. Christmas traditions such as hanging lights, trimming the tree, building gingerbread houses, visiting Santa, etc. are all traditions that made Christmas exciting. Of course, their parents all had moments when they felt overwhelmed by all the little details of Christmas, but by keeping these feelings suppressed when they were around their children, they kept the excitement of Christmas going for their kiddos. So, how do we do this?

Make a Big Deal About the Little Things
As adults, the details that were once so exciting for us have lost their magic over the years. That doesn’t mean they have diminished in importance for our kids. So, we must make a point to make a big deal about these things!

Continue Family Holiday Traditions
Most families have their own special traditions that have been handed down from generation to generation. Continue to do this. Family traditions make children feel secure and give them a sense of identity because these traditions belong to their unique families.

Make New Traditions
While continuing the family traditions from generations past is important, it is also important for families to start their own traditions. Again, this helps build the excitement and magic of Christmas up for kids. Whether it is spending every Christmas Eve driving around looking at lights, taking your little girl shopping for the perfect holiday dress or picking out a live Christmas tree together as a family, these new family traditions will all give children even more to look forward to at this special time of year.

Hopefully, you can see the importance of keeping the magic of Christmas alive for your children. One last thing to consider as you think about how you can give your children positive memories of Christmas is that by nurturing their excitement for the holiday, you will also be boosting your own level of excitement.
Now it’s your turn! Please share how you make the holidays exciting for your children! What are your special traditions? What traditions do you remember from your own childhood?

(By Andrea K. Clark of Kids Formal, one of my long-term sponsors. Thanks so much for continuing to support So About What I Said's wonderful sponsors!)

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[Photos via We Heart It]

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