The Christmas season is one of the most joyous times of the year. As we enjoy decorations, presents, and delicious food, we must remember to embrace the meaningful aspects of the holiday. In order to maintain the authenticity behind the holiday season, teach your children its origins, to practice diversity and to appreciate what the holiday season provides us.

Origins
Many children believe Christmas exists because of Santa Claus, and wait for him to leave gifts under their tree. “Christmas” comes from the word “Cristes Maesse,” a sacrament where the Catholic & Christian Religions celebrate the birth of a holy child. Catholics and Christians call this child the Messiah — as they believe the child is the saviour of their religion. As a result, the Roman Catholic Church anointed December 25 as a day to celebrate this birth. Children tend to shy away from this story because of narratives such as, “Santa Clause”, “Rudolph”, and “Frosty the Snowman.”  Remind children how the holiday was developed. Christmas is an amazing time to be excited about such tales, but more importantly, to appreciate a religious holiday.

Diversity
Different types of religions and cultures celebrate Christmas in their own special way. Teach your children about your cultural/religious background, as well as educating them in different practices. This will teach your children to further pursue their families Christmas practices, and to respect the practices others. It is important for children see unity within various forms of Christmas celebrations.  For instance, Christianity is a branch of the Jewish religion. The two religions have many common platforms but, Christians celebrate December 25th, while Jews celebrate Hanukah. Exposing your children to similar examples as stated above will assist in fostering a positive — yet authentic Christmas environment among your children and their peers.

What Christmas Brings Us
We receive more than just presents on Christmas Day. Teach children to cherish the time family members and loved ones have off work/school, how people who are far away come home to be with family, and the infectious joy people seem to display more often this time of year. Children are often kept distracted by afterschool activities and playing with their friends. They do not realize they should make the most of Christmas by spending time with loved ones who are home for the holidays. Teach them that this opportunity only comes around once a year. It will also make these loved ones much happier. People are also quite “jolly” this time of the year. Allow children to realize this attribute and teach them to explore sentimental ways to spread this joy. This can be done through guiding them to give presents rather than to receive, or to perform small acts of charity towards others. Christmas brings us more than just materialistic items, we are given numerous sentimental gifts which are priceless.


What Christmas is About
Christmas is based on a religious event, appreciating other forms of holiday practices, and enjoying the blessings brought upon us during this time. The more children practice and understand this, the more they will grow a humbled connection towards Christmas. This is also an important trait to develop as they mature.


Lizel | DBPC Blog