There is something magical about sharing the holidays with a child. Seeing every bright light and colorful window display through their eyes. Sharing their wonder and delight.
Years from now, it’s not the shiny new toy or the brand new dress they’ll remember most. It’s the gathering of family and friends. The comfort and contentment of being together.
As we enter this special season, follow these simple tips to center the festivities around the things that matter most.
Focus on Meals, Not Menus - Many holiday events are centered around or include food. From a Thanksgiving feast to sugar cookie decorating. These meals allow us to gather, share and bond with the ones we love. Think ahead about what your little one will eat, and set your expectations.
If vegetables are normally a meal-time challenge, leave the yams off their plate. It’s perfectly fine to serve them a bowl of macaroni and cheese while the adults dig into the traditional Thanksgiving feast. What they eat is not as important as who they are eating with.
Encourage Participation - One of the most important ways young children learn is by copying their parents. Pretend or imitation play stimulates creative thinking, problem-solving, imagination, and cooperation skills. As your little one sees you decorating the home, it is natural for them to want to do the same.
Instead of waiting for nap time to do these chores, consider including your toddler or preschooler in the activity. Let them hang shatter-proof balls on the lower branches of the trees while you put the nicer ones on higher branches. Work together on coloring pages or crafts that can be proudly displayed around the house. Give them a bowl and spoon to play with while you stir the cookie dough. You are helping them build their thinking skills while also creating cherished memories.
More Quality, Less Quantity - An evening at home reading your favorite holiday story books can be just as meaningful as going out to a holiday party or community event. For your little ones, quality time with you is more important than the number of activities you squeeze into the holiday season.
Choose Cheer - Your holiday doesn’t need to look like anyone else’s. This may include a certain elf that likes shelves… or not. Matching pajamas, or sticking with your beloved old flannel.
Choose activities that make you and your loved ones smile. Because this holiday season isn’t about creating the perfect Instagram feed. It’s about family and friends, moments and memories. Treasuring the time spent with little ones that won’t stay little for long.
Following these simple guidelines to keep the holiday spirit burning brightly in your home for many years to come. Happy Holidays!