Are you anticipating the Joy of Christmas or expecting the stress that often accompanies it? Do your children feel the excitement of decorating and planning or are they bogged down with life? Christmas Joy is not only possible, it is something we need to be passing on to our children.
Let’s look at three things that steal Christmas Joy and see what we can do to resolve them:
- Money. Everyone goes through financial ups and downs; it’s part of life. If this is a season of financial abundance, find a way to share it. That will bring you tremendous joy! If this is a season of less financial abundance, simplify. Focus on love, quality time and handmade gifts from the heart. They are meaningful and do not create debt. You and your children can paint ornaments, make cards, write poems and bake cookies. A sweet handmade ornament will be cherished by your child’s teacher, a friend, or a grandparent for years to come. There are so many creative and inexpensive ways to let people know you care about them this Christmas.
- Time. We all get the same 24 hours. It’s all about how each person chooses to spend those hours. Sometimes it feels like we don’t have a choice, but we do. Who will you choose to spend time with over the holidays? What will you choose to spend your time doing? Make a list of people and things that bring you joy at Christmas and a list of people and things that allow you to bring joy to others. Add them to your calendar and teach your children the value of joy. Joy is good for the soul.
- People. Every family has that aunt or uncle, grandparent or family friend that rubs people the wrong way. If it is inevitable that you will be with such a person over the holidays, try one of two things: (1) Limit your direct contact. Focus on the people you enjoy while at that family event. (2) Listen from a different perspective. What has happened in that person’s life to contribute to their challenges? You may not enjoy being around them, but could you have compassion for them? How can you love them, even though it’s hard and uncomfortable? You may not be able to do this for everyone, but could you do it for one person this year?
Each generation has a choice to leave the generation that follows with more or less love, values and connection. What footprint are you leaving for your children and grandchildren? Not just at Christmas, but all throughout the year.
Your children are watching your every move. They take mental notes without even realizing it. They see your heart. They see your integrity. They see your Joy. You have influence over their future every time you choose between Joy and stress. You have influence every time you make choices around money, time and people. Rekindle your Joy at Christmas so your children get to experience it. This can be a wonderful time for family, sharing and love.
Wishing you and your family the most Joy-filled Christmas yet!
Traci L. Williams is the Founder of A Loving Way to Parent. She provides parenting classes, teen programs and individual coaching. She is known for her practical parenting style and can be reached directly at 951-240-1407 or firstname.lastname@example.org. www.alovingway.com