12 Days of Christmas Parenting
It’s hard to believe that Christmas is right around the corner! It seems like we just celebrated Thanksgiving a few days ago. This time last year, I posted a holiday blog tour called: “The 12 Days of Christmas Parenting” on the blogs some of my favorite people. This year, I’ll be posting those articles on my blog for those who either missed it last year – or need a reminder for some practical ways to lead your kids during this busy season!
I’ll share tips for parents on how to navigate the difficult traps of the holidays, and create moments with life long impact. We’ll talk about 12 ideas to combat ingratitude, selfishness and impatience — and encourage generosity in your children, especially through the holidays.
Growing Peacefulness in Your Kids at Christmas
I just saw something amusing. Actually, since I have a warped sense of humor, it was hilarious. I was recently in Michigan, driving through a shopping mall parking lot to pick up some cold medicine. As I drove by, I noticed a handful of men dressed up like Santa’s elves. They were large men holding up signs of Christmas cheer — words like “Ho, Ho, Ho” and “Joy to the World.” One of the elves caught my eye. He was angry. He was yelling at a driver in the parking lot. I mean — he was doing everything opposite what I imagine Santa’s elf would do: Ranting and raving about something this driver had done — perhaps missing a stop sign or driving a bit too fast. Whatever it was, everyone within forty yards heard the big elf. I thought a fight might break out. But, alas, something better happened. The elf stopped screaming and walked back to his position on the sidewalk… carrying his sign that read: “Peace on Earth.”
It’s ironic isn’t it? Christmas — the celebration of “peace on earth, good will to men” and the entrance of the “Prince of Peace” — is often the most hectic, chaotic time of year. Most of the time, we fail to experience peace because we have cluttered our calendars. We’re running at such a fast pace, we’re unable to enjoy peace, inside or outside. So how do we cultivate peace in our homes at Christmas?
Sit down at the kitchen table and talk about the value of “peace” in our lives. Then, contrast it with your schedules throughout the fall. Perhaps, especially during the holiday time. Together answer these questions: Why do we let ourselves get so busy? How does it negatively affect us?
Then, look at your daily schedules. Mutually decide what “clutter” could be cleared off the calendar to make room for a little peace. Don’t force anything — let your kids help decide what can be removed and what should stay. But once you cut some activities, choose together what you’ll do with that open space in your calendar. (Hint: Don’t add more noise and activity.) What about reading the Christmas story again and talking about the peaceful first Christmas. Sit back and relax a bit and soak in the peace before the hectic holiday.
“And He shall be called Wonderful, Counselor, Everlasting Father, the Prince of Peace…” (Isaiah 9:6)
What can you do to grow peacefulness in your kids this Christmas?