Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday. It is a time we set aside to spend time with family and friends. Yes, there can be stress and tension when we get together with family and friends but it is a time to embrace traditions, make new traditions, be with the people we know and the people who know us best.
As we start into this holiday season I hope you take some time to set your priorities to make this a family-centered and stress-less (I know it cannot be a stress-free) time. It is hard to keep from getting caught up in the materialistic side of the holidays. We want to give our children special gifts. We want to make them happy. The nice thing about Thanksgiving is that it is time to encourage families to be aware of the people in their lives and the things they already have. Children are a gift to us and the values we share with them are the gifts we give to them. Take some time to enjoy the treasures you have in your children and reflect on all the joy they bring to our lives.
The days are getting darker and we will soon be inside more than outside. As we transition to the cool, wet days it is a fun to do family activities that do not cost a lot of money and can be done while you are hunkered down at home. Read a story by the fire or by candle light. Build a tent with sheets and use flashlights. Pop some popcorn and look at baby pictures – they love to see pictures of themselves as babies and are intrigued by your baby pictures. Spend a Saturday ―on vacation‖ -- pretend you are out-of-towners and be a tourist, or just stay home but don’t do chores— just fun stuff. Make a family movie or have a puppet show. Build with blocks and read Hans Christian Anderson’s Block City. Play a game. Stay in your jammies and eat breakfast on a quilt (or in bed?!). Just enjoy these little people because they will be big people before you know it!
I was talking to a new mom about how busy the days are and how fast the children are growing up. Some days it seems like your day will go on forever but in the blink of an eye your children will be in grade school, then driving a car (and, again, you will be waking up at midnight!) and heading off to college. During these years, while your children are small, you need to take time for yourself.
~ take a nap
~ go for a walk
~ go on a date
~ get out and clear your head.
Take care of yourself so you will be able to enjoy these precious gifts you have been given. It is a lot of work to raise children. You need to take care of yourself so you have the energy to take care of them. By sharing your joy with them, they will find joy in their world.
As I watch your children at preschool I am reminded how lucky we are to have the chance to see the world though their eyes. Take some time this month to count your blessings and give thanks for the treasures we call children.