The five senses. There is something so powerful about them. As an example, isn’t it amazing how one single smell or sound can trigger a sequence of events in an instant? One whiff of a pungent musky scent can transport you back to your grandmother’s warm lap; visualizing her green velvet sofa and the stack of dusty Reader’s Digests on the wobbly table beside you. Just a hint of peppermint in the air can take you back to Christmas day surrounded by cousins with sticky candy canes.
It is a powerful gift that God gave us. With that power comes great responsibility. The way we conduct ourselves, the places we attend or don’t attend, the activities we partake in, all have a part in forming memories (good or bad) for our children.
So let’s talk about Christmas time! What are some holiday traditions kids can take part in? How can simple traditions impact our children for good for a lifetime?
Maybe you can create that staple food that you make every year, just at Christmas time. Can you think of one? For me, it was my mom’s famous pizza roll! Make some hot cocoa on the stove and let your children plop the marshmallows in their mug! Start a yearly Christmas cookie bake with family and friends.
The touch of a tree, the tinsel, the grip on the rope hooked to their sled, building gingerbread houses together, the sensation of licking the frosting off the knife as you frost cookies, the feel of ice under your feet skating at your local ice rink. Simple things, but so profound as they lodge into their memory bank forever.
Cinnamon and spice candles, fireplaces, popcorn and cranberries strung on a string, the smell of serving at a local food shelter (the food, the people, the clean up afterwards) … it’s all woven together into beautiful memories.
Christmas music! Need I say anything else? Oh the power of music, especially Christmas music. Have you noticed how opinionated people are when and where Christmas music should be played? Why do you think it’s such a hot topic? Because it has the power to evoke strong emotion and stir up memories! I personally don’t listen to Christmas music until after Thanksgiving, but I don’t have a problem with people listening to it all year long! It puts people in a happy mood and what’s the harm in that?
Read holiday books aloud before bed every night. God Bless Our Christmas is a must read for your family this time of year! These small, snow-animal families teach us how to be grateful for Christmas blessings, traditions, and especially the gift of Jesus. Join them in a special prayer and have your family echo the heartbeat of this powerful message!
When you receive those fun Christmas cards in the mail, save the pictures and pray for those families. Get a group of people together and go caroling! Have you ever done it? What a way to brighten up your community or local nursing homes!
Feeding the homeless, delivering or mailing care packages, enjoying a lit up Christmas tree by a blazing fireplace, watching those family favorite Christmas movies together with the lights off, all cozy snuggled together under blankets. Collect special ornaments each year and watch their excitement as they find their special ones and hang them on the tree themselves!
I want my family to take every part of Christmas in and make great memories that will last a lifetime. Don’t you?
What are some of your ideas to fully enjoy Christmas in every sense?