Recently, I taught a class on the importance of connection with our children. Due to how busy we get during the holiday season, many times the very thing we lose is “connection.” There are more activities, more demands, additional financial strain, and many times sadness over past holiday memories, or the loss of someone dear to our hearts. This impacts our ability to be present in the moment.
Connection is the foundation upon which you build a relationship with another person. When you think about it, who do you enjoy being with? It’s usually someone you feel a connection with. When we work with professionals in any field, we generally enjoy working with someone we connect with, over someone who doesn’t “get us.” Our kids are no different. They respond to connection.
During this holiday season, give some thought to what traditions and memories you are creating with your children. Do you want them to remember the “excitement” of the hustle and bustle, or the “stress” of it? Do you want them to enjoy the season, or remember it being full of frustration, worry and stress?
How do we create excitement and joy vs. stress and frustration? Here are some tips that might help you:
- Ask each of your children to write a “Wish List.” Have them number them in order of which ones are most important. If they are old enough, have them do the research for you, i.e. how much it costs and where it can be purchased. For little ones, sit down with them, and talk about it. You can write their list from what they tell you. Look through advertisements in the newspaper or magazines, or visit stores. Pay attention to what your children really like. The purpose: understanding and connection.
- Family gifts. You have a wonderful opportunity to bond with your children when you sit down to actually make gifts for grandparents and other family members. There are so many simple ways to make this happen. We have ornaments on our tree from more than 20 years ago, that are reflective of our three children growing up. Let them be sloppy, use odd colors, skip sections … it’s all part of it. It’s a reflection of who they are and where they are each year.
- Get as much done in advance as possible. When you wait until the night before to wrap everything, it can become a burden. When you “wrap as you go” and keep a running list, it tends to be more manageable. Christmas Eve can be about putting the “cherry on top,” instead of creating the whole desert in one night. Pace yourself. Be reasonable with what you intend to put together for this season. Do not overextend yourself financially or expend more energy than you want to. Enjoy the holiday and your family.
Wishing you and yours a beautifully connected holiday season.