Around the holidays there is a certain buzz in the air. Anticipation is building. You can feel the energy when you are out and about. Some of this energy is stress. If you have children there is extra stress attending their programs, trying to stay on schedule and wanting to give them them the “perfect Christmas” while you are juggling work, office parties, friends parties (insert anything else here). While all this activity can be wonderful I wonder about the purpose.
I think this flurry of activity is an attempt to achieve meaning, create memories and draw closer to those you love. If this is your purpose you have the over arching goal and can then make plans to fit that goal. I am offering some suggestions that might bring your closer to a more meaningful and mindful Christmas.
- Build 30 minutes into your daily schedule to “charge up”. Whether you meditate or pamper yourself, daily self care helps to alleviate stress. Encourage every member in your home to do the same. By doing this simple practice you are giving yourself and your family the gift of peace.
- In every home there is one person who does not thrive on over-stimulation or become energized by crowds of people. These individuals need private time built into each day. Over scheduling is a guarantee that there will be a meltdown for both children and adults. Provide some time for playing, drawing, coloring, listening to music or naps. You will be giving them the gift of understanding.
- In the heart of every child and adult there is his one gift that they desire. You can see the longing in their eyes. You can hear the voice inflection become softer when they talk about this item. Rather than focus on many gifts to fill up the space under the tree buy or make the one gift they want. The one gift that will be remembered. Then spend your time making memories and focusing on traditions. By doing this you are giving them the gift of stability and appreciation.
- Many people want love. They want others to listen to their heart, not just the words. I like to think of this as “listening for understanding”. The way to accomplish this is to make a date with each person in the family and listen to what they have to say about whatever interests them. When they feel heard you have given them the gift of self worth.
- Many people think of Christmas as family time. A time when the family gets together to laugh, enjoy each other’s company, reminisce about the good times, and to know you are part of something bigger than yourself. This gift is the gift of belonging.
- Whatever you do, remember the basics. Eat balanced meals, hydrate, exercise, maintain a regular sleep schedule, meditate and get outside for fresh air and sunshine.(if possible). This teaches the family the importance of respecting their bodies. This gift of health is an amazing gift that will last a lifetime.
My gift to you is to wish you a peaceful, purposeful and positive parenting holiday. Give the gifts that last a lifetime.