Since I was small I’ve loved Christmas. I know not everyone is filled with joy this time of year but I do consider it one of my blessings that Christmas is full of special memories and that makes me feel especially grateful at this time of year. I love the lead-up, the exchange of gifts, the celebration of family through a gathering and sharing of a meal, the preparation of the food, the lights, the songs… well, everything really!
It can be stressful, there is no denying the truth so today I thought I’d offer five ways you can make Christmas a more mindful experience for the whole family, including our children.
- Take Time Out Christmas is busy but if we plan ahead, we can make it less busy and chaotic. Just taking regular time out from the necessary chores to slow down, calm down our minds and just sit in quiet can be remarkable soothing and a time the children can easily share.
- Eat Well I know how tempting it is when surrounded by all the Christmas cooking and sweet goodies to over-indulge but if some boundaries are set as to their consumption, the whole family can benefit. Think about when, how much and how often you are prepared to indulge the sweet urge not only for yourself but for the kids. A sugar hit may seem like a good energy booster in the short term but there is no doubt it impacts on irritability, sleep and overall calmness, especially late at night.
- Gift Giving for others in their lives Children will find more meaning if they can be involved in gift giving for those you buy for. Even if the thought of actually taking them with you to buy the gifts is too daunting, they can certainly be consulted and can think about matching the gift and the recipient in a meaningful and thoughtful way. If you’re the crafty type this is an opportunity to get the kids busy with making gifts which always hold so much meaning for the recipients.
- Gift giving for those less fortunate For many of us living a regular life in first world countries, we pretty much have what we need. For some though, this is not the case and it is a wonderful opportunity to engage with your children about others who are less fortunate than themselves. You may wish to consider donating a gift to a children’s charity, the local hospital or another avenue that hold meaning for you and your family.
- Celebrate the season with your local community. Celebrating a Christmas Service does not have to be a religious experience but it is an opportunity to celebrate Christmas with a community outside of your family in a joyous and soulful way. You may prefer to engage in a local carols night, attend a Christmas parade or even partake in the ritual of visiting the neighbourhood Christmas lights. Whatever you choose it is an opportunity to engage with your local community in a meaningful way.