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Beginning of the holiday season

November 10th, 2008 / 3 Comments

Beginning of November marks for me the beginning of the holiday season!

What is the first thing that comes to your mind when you think of Thanksgiving and Christmas?

Food? Shopping? Stress?

Celebrating the holidays is not merely for the food and fun even though we certainly look forward to those. Holidays are also an effective way to pass on meaningful values and traditions.

Consider this: what do you remember about last Tuesday’s dinner? Probably nothing.

But what do you remember about last year’s Thanksgiving dinner? Probably a lot more.

The messages of thankfulness, of giving, of sacrifice, of Jesus as our Savior, are all rolled up into the festivities of the holidays. Those important values are passed on to our children through holiday traditions, and remembered for years to come.

Values are “caught” when we maximize them with the good feelings that go along with the season.

Does it have to be a big deal? Absolutely not. I am not a big matching-throw-pillows-with-seasonal-seat-covers type of person.

If I had to boil it down to the three most important aspects to focus on during the holidays, these would be:

1. The atmosphere.

No elaborate decorations needed. A simple seasonal table cloth, some flowers, and Thanksgiving school projects from last year would bring in a bit of autumn. We go outside and pick some autumn leaves and spread those around for the atmosphere.

For Christmas, strands of lights can make any room festive. Listen to my podcast with Cindy last year for some quick tips.

A few changes from the everyday look gives a special memorable feeling.

2. The giving.

Most non-profit organizations depend on year-end givings to cover a great percentage of their budget. Give to the can drive, volunteer at the soup kitchen, help out at the homeless shelter.

Here are a couple of our favorite giving opportunities: Pack a shoebox, Angel Tree, Sponsor a Child

Associating giving activities with the holidays teaches much more than associating the holidays with the mall.

3. The laughter.

Measure the success of the holidays not by how beautiful the decorations are or how perfect the homemade cookies turned out, but by how much laughter there is in your home.

If getting the right picture for the Christmas card and picking the perfect present is turning you into a grouch, then it’s not worth it.

I will be posting more about passing on values during the holidays. Only 45 days to Christmas!!

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  1. No way. 45 days??

    We like to do a walk for hunger at Thanksgiving, and give gifts for children who’s parents aren’t around thru the church at Christmas.

    But mostly – lol – we just enjoy being able to hang out together. No school, no work. And maybe even a trip!

  2. MammaDawg: A walk for hunger sounds like what I need for exercise…Thanks for the suggestion!

  3. […] you to all who entered and told us about your Christmas traditions. You inspired me to give an extra ounce of effort at making Christmas a memorable time for my […]


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