8 Rules I Always Give My Kids During the Holiday Season
Christmas is hands down my favorite holiday. The season is filled with so much joy, everyone is in a good mood, and there are usually an abundance of cookies and treats wherever you turn. Children, especially, are in a permanent state of excitement, because they know that Santa Claus will be making a stop at their house soon to bring them wonderful presents.
While it's easy for kids to get totally wrapped up (pun intended) in the gift aspect of the holiday, I try my best to remind them that the holiday season is about so much more than getting their favorite toys. To do this, I give them a set of rules to follow every year so they don't lose sight of what Christmas is all about. Keep reading to see them all now.
Honor Family Traditions
Family means everything to me, so I make it a point to pass down the same family traditions to my children that I grew up with. On Christmas Eve, for example, our family gets together for a delicious seafood feast. My kids know to honor these traditions and be grateful we get to have them.
Decorate the Christmas Tree as a Family
I'm usually responsible for decking the halls in our house, but trimming the tree is always a family affair. Although I sometimes cringe when my young children decide to hang an ornament in a place that doesn't look appealing to me, I let them. It's not my Christmas tree. It's our Christmas tree.
Give to Those in Need
Every holiday season, I have my children go through their toys and pick out items they want to donate to those in need. I know they're excited about getting gifts for Christmas, but I want them to realize that not everyone is as fortunate as they are and it's so important to give back.
My Kids Shop For Each Other
I take each of my children Christmas shopping separately so that they can pick out a gift for their sibling. While it would be easier to nudge them in one direction or just do it myself, I always leave it up to them. They often argue and fight during the year, as siblings do, so it's so nice to see them choosing a thoughtful gift for each other they know they'll love.
Remember the Reason For the Season
Being a Catholic family, Christmas is a huge deal for us. We make an elaborate nativity scene in our home and leave it up during the entire season. At the stroke of midnight on Christmas Day, we have a candlelight procession in our home as we sing "Silent Night" and place baby Jesus in his manger.
Help Make Christmas Cookies For Santa
When we make Christmas cookies, we go all out. We devote an entire day to making gingerbread, peanut butter, chocolate chip, and oatmeal cookies, so it's all hands on deck in our house. Knowing that Santa Claus will be munching on one of their cookies makes it all the more special for my kids.
Take Turns Opening Presents
On Christmas morning, we take turns opening our presents, going from youngest to oldest. We do it this way because it allows everyone to enjoy watching the pure look of sheer excitement on one another's faces as they open their presents. (It also allows me to focus on each child and get a nice photo or video of them.)
Wait Until After Jan. 6 to Put Away Christmas Decorations
We wait until after the Epiphany to start putting our Christmas decorations away, because for us, the day the three wise men reached baby Jesus marks the end of the Christmas season.