As December approaches, we can sense the spirit of Christmas in the air. People look forward to meeting their families and friends over the holiday season. There is a sense of joy and happiness in the air. Children are the most excited as they look forward to their gifts, toys, new clothes, good food and having a good time.
In fact, all of us have a child like enthusiasm in this season. In today’s world, stress has been more on materialistic pleasures rather than on the true spirit of Christmas. There is nothing wrong in enjoying the magical season of Christmas with materialistic things, as long as we do not miss out on instilling the true value and essence of Christmas in the hearts of children.
As responsible parents, we need to make our children enjoy a meaningful Christmas. Telling them the true spirit and values of Christmas will help them treasure the same for a life time.
Some of the important values which we need to teach our children during the Christmas season are listed below –
Christmas is the true demonstration of God’s love for mankind. God sent his own begotten son for the salvation of mankind. You need to tell your children the importance of love. They need to be loving, kind and patient with family and friends. You can buy some gifts and toys, which can be given to orphan children or the underprivileged. Make them understand, that sharing and giving gifts to others will give them much more joy than receiving gifts.
Children are great observers and so you need to show them how to do acts of kindness and love.
Increase their faith.
Jesus is the reason for the season. In the materialistic world, it is easy to get carried away with fictional characters like Santa Claus, Frosty the snowman etc., and hence it is important to remember to share the story of the birth of Jesus Christ. Jesus is the real star of Christmas and so let the focus be on him alone.
You can fill your home with decorations, which resemble the birth of Jesus Christ, for e.g., the Crib, singing Christmas carols etc.
Prayer is one of the best ways of honouring God in this season. Help your children to share the hope and the love of God with those around them.
This time of the year is best known to be a time spent with family. Make an effort to be with your family, which will increase your bonding. Do schedule family activities like singing carols, Christmas dinner, sharing of gifts and toys, writing greeting cards with blessings for each family member. You can also plan a family getaway with close families. This will instill a bond of love, happiness, togetherness and warmth in the family.
Children love to capture these moments in their drawings or paintings, in their scrap book. Capture these moments in your camera, so that you can cherish these moments for a long time. A happy and united family provides a strong security for the children.
Always be grateful and thankful to God.
It is important to teach your children to be thankful and grateful to God for all the wonderful gifts that they have received throughout the year, regardless of the value. There is beautiful song which says:
“Count your blessings name them one by one, Count your blessings and see what the Lord has done, Count your blessings and name them one by one and it will surprise you what the Lord has done”
Teach them to be grateful for the non-materialistic things such as love, support, care, family and friends. Every night before they go to sleep, they can cultivate the habit of thanking God for all the good things that he has done in their lives.
Tell them to make a list of their prayers during Christmas time, pray them daily and tick it off when their prayers are answered. This will make them realise the amount of prayers that have been answered by God and the need for being grateful and thankful to God.
Teach them to appreciate simplicity.
This is a very challenging thing to do, in today’s fast advanced world. Teach your children to the value simple things in life. Any gift that they receive should not be valued as expensive or cheap according to its price but should be valued according to the love and the effort that the person has put into making it. They need to understand the significance of simplicity.
Involve them in making small cards, craft items, home baked pastries or cakes for family members. Tell them that the best gifts are given by a simple loving heart. Understanding the value of simplicity will help them to be appreciative of every small thing in their life. They won’t be easily disappointed or disillusioned when they don’t get the things they want in life. This will teach them a lesson, which will help them in their life beyond Christmas.
Sharing the Christmas spirit by giving.
We can experience happiness only when we share and give to others. Giving is the essence of true Christmas spirit. Involve them in visiting an orphanage or an old age home for giving food and gifts. Ask them to choose toys for your maid or driver’s children or the under privileged. Make an effort to teach them the importance of sharing and giving. In short, you are sowing the seeds of goodness and instilling important life skills, which will help them to lead a very happy and victorious life.
Finally, Christmas is the time of joy and sharing. Teach your children the true spirit of Christmas which will help them in their future life. God Bless.
Please read our earlier article Parenting Challenges.
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