Starting holiday traditions with your child

Starting holiday traditions with your child

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Let your holiday traditions be a natural extension of the personalities, beliefs, and favorite pastimes of your family members. Maybe you and your spouse or partner will want to incorporate favorite ideas from your childhoods, or perhaps you'll come up with your own particular twist on the holidays just for your family. Most children readily accept new holiday traditions – as long as the new ideas are engaging and require their input.

As your child begins to understand the more abstract holiday themes of empathy, compassion, and sharing within the community, you can incorporate traditions that show your child that giving brings as much joy as receiving.

  • Create a Kwanzaa plate. Buy a porcelain or melamine plate-making kit and harness your child's creativity with dishware you'll enjoy for decades to come. Your child can illustrate and you can inscribe the seven principles of Kwanzaa (unity, self-determination, collective work and responsibility, cooperative economics, purpose, creativity, and faith) on the plate and use it each night of the African American holiday (celebrated between Christmas and New Year's Day) as a springboard for family discussions. And since handmade gifts are encouraged during Kwanzaa, a holiday plate can also make for a great present.
  • Craft your own ornaments. Encourage your child to contribute to the family ornament collection. She can mold an ornament from dough, make papier-mâché balls, or decorate store-bought ornament balls with pins, sequins, lace trim, and ribbon. Affix the date to each ornament, so you can commemorate the season each year.
  • Throw a tree-trimming party. This can be a family event, or your child can invite a friend over to help. Play Christmas music or sing carols as you hang lights and ornaments on the tree. Admire the ornaments your child has made, and explain the family history behind other special tree decorations. Celebrate around the finished product with eggnog and pumpkin pie.
  • Make a homemade menorah. Encourage your child to make her own hanukkiah, or menorah, out of household and found items (rocks, bricks, foil-covered blocks of wood or milk cartons), using metal nuts, shells, or clay for the candle holders. This way, she adds her light to the family celebration. Be sure to write or inscribe her name and the date on the menorah and use it from year to year. You can also teach her the blessings to recite over the candles.
  • Enjoy crowd-free family fun. You can celebrate a year of good times with a family outing reserved for the day after Thanksgiving or New Year's Eve. Spend time together ice skating, playing miniature golf, or taking a walk in the park. A bonus: These usually popular activities will be crowd-free for easygoing family fun.

Watch the video: What Holiday Traditions Are You Starting With Your Baby? (August 2022).

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