Holidays are a stressful time for everyone. There are more errands to run, additional social engagements to attend, and family obligations and traditions to uphold. You hope your gift choices will be the right ones.
There are 4 simple steps (H.E.L.P.) you can do to make your holidays more carefree:
(H) HOLIDAY TRADITIONS
Think through your family traditions, past celebrations and events. What do you wish to celebrate this year? Explain to your child what you celebrate and why. You may need to include why you do not celebrate or observe other holidays. Talk about who is included and where you usually get together.
Figure out if there is something your child needs to do (or not do) for upcoming events.
(E) EVENTS
Decide how many and which events you will attend this year. Don’t forget school, religious institution, sport team events, family or friends parties or dinners. If you have to limit how many you will attend, think of including your child in decision-making, as appropriate.
(L) LEARN TOGETHER
This is a good time of year for your child to join in the festivities. Learn all you can about your heritage and culture, as well as that of your child. Research foods, holiday activities and decorating ideas from each country and culture that is included in your family. If friends will be at an event, look into their backgrounds as well. Then include this information when you create your events.
(P) PLAN AHEAD
Let your child know what you will be doing for the holidays. Put a calendar where they can see it and add the events as planned or as you accept an invitation. As each event gets closer, talk to your child about what will take place and how they are expected to behave.
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If you are hosting an event, let your child help with the preparations:
  • Add a dish to your menu that reflects your child’s heritage or culture.
  • Decorate your table with the colors of their country or place of birth.
  • Have crafts (coloring pages, arts and craft supplies, etc.) for children to create cards and pictures of the holiday season.
  • Let your child make the name-markers for the dinner table.
  • If other children are coming, decide ahead of time which toys are on or off limits. If your child feels strongly they do not want a particular toy played with, put it out of sight and reach during the event.
The more you plan ahead for your events that include your child, the smoother they will be. Of course, you may need to allot more time to complete a task with a child’s assistance—but it is worth the effort. Involve your child, other family members and friends to make your holidays unique and special.
Holiday celebrations (not only the gifts) are remembered for years to come.
H.E.L.P. yourself to a happy and joyful season.