TALK BACK: finding meaning in the season

The holidays are a time that can quickly be swept up with shopping, decorating, baking, santa, and other sorts of busy-ness.  It's often hard to impart to our children a deeper sense of meaning around this time.  How do you handle this with your own children?  If you have religious traditions around Christmas, how do you involve your children in that?  If you are trying to model service or generosity during this season, what do you do to get your children involved?


  1. We do lots of things, but I think the kids' favorite this year is that we're taking our baked cookies each Monday of December, packaging them with little tags that say "from 3 little secret elves" then randomly leaving them on friends & neighbors' porches. "Ding-dong ditch" (as my oldest calls it), Christmas-style. They love it, and I think it's a perfect age-appropriate selfless act.

  2. We have advent calendars and we fast from chocolate, (when the children are older and I'm not either pregnant or breastfeeding we'll hopefully fast properly!) which makes Christmas chocolate taste even better!
    Oh, and the money we save (which is obviously more when you're fasting properly, instead of just going without chocolate) you're supposed to give to people who need it. The idea is that you actually put it into their hands, rather than just upping your bank order to charity. We buy a lot of magazines from street vendors in December!

  3. When I was growing up, my parents made us read (aloud) the Christmas story out of the book of Matthew before opening presents. We hated it then....but I love it now. And will be doing it with my family.


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