Monday, December 8, 2008

Holiday Rituals Are Gifts

When you think back on your childhood, what do you most remember … the gifts that you received or experiences that you had? For us, and probably for many of you, more emotion is around how your family celebrated holidays.

It is comforting to think about that in these times of financial stress, because rituals cost very little money and are so important in bonding families together and promoting healthy and positive feelings about each other and about this special time of the year.

Some of the rituals we have heard about recently involve family outings to pick out the Christmas tree, special food, drinks and music, baking for neighbors, midnight religious ceremonies, caroling in neighborhoods.

One of our favorites involves “train night”. We invite all of the grandchildren to spend the night, get out John’s childhood train and put it up. One of the grandchildren gets to go with Papa John to pick out a new accessory for the train every year. We have popcorn and hot chocolate while John reads The Polar Express and the next morning we all walk to the candy store to pick out special treats. The children make sure that we maintain the same routine and look forward to it every year.

Please share some of your rituals with us.

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