Create Lasting Memories
Now that the holidays are approaching, many of us (including myself) can become overwhelmed with all that we feel must be accomplished. Here’s what I have learned. Enlist your children’s help in preparing for the big events; the traditions you establish now will have meaning to them when they grow older and remember helping you prepare for holiday activities.
Fun Holiday Activities for Kids
Even younger children (3 and up) can be helpful. Little ones can set a napkin at each place at the table, or help an older sibling place the eating utensils. Send the kids out to gather pretty leaves or pine cones to make up the centerpiece. Have them place labels and stamps on holiday envelopes, or even assist in wrapping gifts. I always loved helping my mother decorate the house and often made the cookies that she passed out to friends and neighbors.
Make a list of what you need to accomplish and then open your mind to what the kids can do to assist you during the holidays. Small chores for each child will give them a sense of accomplishment; learning how to set a table or joining in to make the mashed potatoes creates a sense of family and also promotes self-esteem.
I heard a well-known talk show host say something brilliant the other day. Paraphrasing, “true self esteem comes from the individual feeling proud of their own work, accomplishments, generosity of spirit and perseverance. You cannot give someone self-esteem, but, as a parent or mentor, you can assist them in finding it in themselves. Self-esteem is created through an individual’s active works.”
Make Time for Yourself & Family
Don’t make the mistake of trying to be a “one-man band” at Christmas. It’s harder to enjoy the holidays when you try to shoulder all the preparations yourself. Once I started asking the kids to help me with the preparations for the holidays, not only did they get into the holiday spirit, but I felt a sense of camaraderie and fulfillment that I hadn’t felt in previous years when I did it on my own. Doing chores together makes it more sociable and enlisting their help will free up your time to have more fun and truly enjoy the holidays with your family.
And finally, even if you do not use a housekeeper on a regular basis, give yourself the holiday gift of time and call an agency to come in to clean the house. Again, don’t feel you have to do it all by yourself! Even if you simply purchase a few hours to clean the bathrooms and floors, it will allow you more time to enjoy the festivities and give to your family and friends