Teaching Values as a Holiday Tradition

by Christine@TheAums on November 30, 2010 · 5 comments

There’s life, and then there’s life during Xmas  the holidays.  It frustrates  amazes me how every year, without fail, no matter how focused I am on keeping my sanity holiday cheer, I get caught up in the pandemonium hustle and bustle of holiday activities that, like it or not, have become our family tribulations traditions.

I do love this time of year! Let’s see, in no order of importance, here is what I will add to our already busy lives: a trip to the tree farm, folding origami cranes and stringing popcorn/cranberries to decorate the tree, holiday parade downtown, picking kiwis at the local U-pick, making tamales, snow night downtown, baking and decorating sugar cookies, lighted boat parade, making and sending holiday cards, building a gingerbread house, stringing lights outside, hosting and attending various holiday parties, shopping, making lists and checking them twice, and then somewhere mixed into all that…teaching the kids values.

Okay, teaching values is a year-round endeavor, however, the holiday season is perfect for stressing the importance of giving rather than getting, sharing over keeping, and spending more time with loved ones instead of spending more money.  Any family with young children knows that planning ahead is key, which is why I am a fan of the Advent Calendar, aka the Countdown.

Most calendars have treats, a piece of candy or small toy, that a child can open each day as they anticipate the 25th.  I thought about this last year:  4 pieces of candy or toys multiplied by 25 is 100 little things I have to buy and then find laying around the house!  Or daily sugar they simply don’t need on top of the goodies that are abundant throughout the season.  So, I put a new spin on the Countdown.

We, as a family, think of 25 different ways to help or be kind to others and each other. Once the ball gets rolling, the kids contribute so many creative ideas.  Last year’s deeds included watering a neighbor’s flowers, sending a drawing to a distant relative, baking and delivering cookies, reading to a younger sibling, and saying aloud something you love about your brothers and sisters.  Then we decorate a poster board Christmas tree with 25 ornament spaces.  Each day the kids get to uncover an ornament to see what kind gesture is in store, and I can honestly say that they look forward to this! By the end, the tree looks beautifully decorated, and I feel good that they were involved in giving, sharing, and spending time.

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{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

Yamamabad November 30, 2010 at 9:28 am

Haha, love the dual implications of the holidays, a little of your gemini showing thru. And what a great idea. Its tough getting kids to see the share in exchanging gifts and this is a perfect solution. I love it.


Steven November 30, 2010 at 2:39 pm

"snow night downtown", that's awesome. this is something we were just talking about in our home and i think we will incorporate your idea. there's nothing like learning something when you don't feel like you're being taught.


Christine December 3, 2010 at 12:15 am

Hey Unk! When you don't get real snow they have to bring in the man made stuff and we have to wait in line for our 10 minutes of snowball/angel/man fun…it's definitely worth it!


CSlane December 19, 2010 at 1:15 am

Catching up on some of your blogs….love this one! Its a hot topic for me with the boys! Love your ideas and super bummed we could do the kiwi picking! but the next picking crop we are all over it!! rain or shine :) XO Claudia


Bachan December 21, 2010 at 2:37 am

Great idea-mind if I pick an ornament when I'm there?



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