There is nothing more fun than creating holiday memories with family and friends. During this time of year it is easy to get carried away and overlook spending quality time with our families. Unfortunately this is the time of year when we should be more in tune to the needs of our daughters. Their need to be included and to contribute more.
Instead of rushing about and being Super Mom, we need to invite our daughters to participate in a new way each year. As she grows up each year she will have different interests.
When she was young it might have been decorating the lower branches on the Christmas tree. However, when your daughter has graduated to the middle region of said tannenbaum she might feel it is time to branch out. If you skip over this moment you’ll soon find her tall enough to balance herself on the top rung of the step stool and place the star on top. Sometime after this it is not long before she’ll have a date on New Years Eve. Before that happens it is best to make the most of family time now with your daughter.
Here are some ideas to get her involved in the holiday festivities where she doesn’t get lost in the madness. All ages of daughters are welcome to participate.
First and foremost, enjoy the season. Really, everyday should be festive. Most holidays are celebrated over a number of days so maybe put her in charge of a particular day or have her choose to do one new and fun thing each day.
The Cards & Place Settings. Need correspondence or holiday decorations, your children are your in-house graphics team to the rescue. You can’t buy this kind of art anywhere and it is priceless besides, oh well, it might cost you a few hugs. Have them make Christmas cards, decorated paper placemats, table place cards with messages to loved ones or their own dinner conversation starter cards. There must be something they want to know, this will get them talking as much as it will you.
The Menu. Well, the family does have to eat every evening. Involving your kids in the meal selection adds to your quality time. Share one special dish from your family’s tradition or celebrate in new ways by enjoying a new tradition from another country. Many countries have special holiday menus with items to choose from to incorporate into your everyday meal. Have her pick a soup one night or choose a new cookie or dessert to make in advance for each particular evening your family wishes to celebrate this way. Depending on her age let her help as much as possible with the preparation.
Dessert & Beverage. Although cookies have been briefly mentioned, we cannot overlook the importance of sweets to your daughter. Fancy drinks and desserts are the icing on the cake when we talk tradition. They graduate to those fancy glasses and heirloom plates fast. Fancy glasses and plates are great for all manners of sweet concoctions. If you don’t want to get out the china every night, splurge on a fancy dish for dessert or one course of the meal (soup and salad apply).
Music. What is a holiday season without holiday music? Here is something else that each family member can have a chance participating in. Let them help select holiday music to set the tone for family game time or a quiet dinner. Have them scan your holiday music selection or surf the radio stations to find something different each night. More than one child? If you are having a party and they all want to be involved, split the evening up where each will choose music for a particular activity, such as before and after dinner music.
It only takes a few weeks to create new habits. Perhaps after allowing your daughter to participate more you’ll find that after these few weeks a new pro-family theme will be on the schedule into the New Year and beyond. If you haven’t been setting aside a family night or two during the year, now might be the time to let her plan a meal or pick a game or movie night for the whole family to share together on a regular basis.