Monday, December 19 begins winter recess for Aliso Viejo schools. Parents, if you’re looking for ways to share quality family time, consider starting new family traditions just in time for the holidays.
Traditions bring boundless benefit to families, and children in particular have the most to gain. The gifts you wrap together every year, or that obligatory picture with Santa has a reach much further than you may be able to see. You are providing your child with stability and a sense of identity that will help him develop into an emotionally secure adult.
Humans have an intense propensity to belong. Families and traditions help fill this need. They help people bond with one another and make us feel like we belong somewhere. Strive to have things that you do as a unit.
Here are some holiday ideas to get you started:
- Have a place. Whether it’s The Neighborhood Cup for hot chocolate or the mall to gaze at holiday decorations, have a place you like to go each year.
- Turn tasks into traditions. Chances are, you already have a list of holiday tasks to complete: baking cookies, decorating the tree, shopping. Include family in the process and make it tradition.
- Get philanthropic. Create a wonderful holiday tradition as well as a teachable moment for kids. Show them what the holidays are about by volunteering at a soup kitchen as a family, or collecting canned goods and dropping them off at a donation center. The Aliso Viejo Family Resource Center is always looking for volunteers.
- Tap into your culture. In Spain, families place a burning candle above the door on Christmas Eve. In Denmark, a chocolate Christmas log made of cake and cream is traditionally eaten for dessert. Find out what some of your cultural traditions are and embrace them!