Showing posts tagged with: family memories

Time to Enjoy YOUR Holiday Traditions

holiday card (2) As we head into our final weeks of holiday preparation, I want you to identify your most favorite holiday traditions. Opening one present on Christmas Eve? Lighting the candles together on Hanukkah? Having a family dinner on Christmas Day? (Going to a movie on Christmas morning with my kids is my favorite tradition which we will again do this year.) We all have our favorite things from our childhood that we want to continue with our kids, and some we feel obligated to continue. But now you are the parent and you get to decide what your holiday traditions will be. The truth is that we can't do everything and we can't have everything that we want (or think we want). I see families being stressed and anxious and bothered by the holidays, and unable to fully enjoy this time of year. I would like to see you and your family enjoying the holiday season with anticipation, excitement, and joy; not with dread, exhaustion, and high expectations. Look at the difference between “need to” vs. “want to”. When you hear yourself saying “I need to do mail holiday cards”, stop and ask yourself if you need to or if you want to. If you truly need to, then either do it yourself or get others to help. But if you don’t NEED to, if you really WANT to, then do it with joy. Let’s teach our children that the holidays are a time to be together, to connect, to enjoy each other. If we demonstrate that the holidays are stressful and filled with pressure trying to fit everything in, that is the lesson they will take with them into their adulthood. Let’s teach our kids the true meaning of the holidays: peace and love and fun and excitement. So go ahead and write a letter to Santa, light the candles together, pull a tag from the Giving Tree, or go to a movie. Enjoy your five most favorite traditions. But do them all with joy and love, and let go of the rest. My family joins me in wishing you and yours a memorable, fun, and safe holiday season and a happy, healthy 2018.

Read more

My Favorite Holiday

Thanksgiving Photo I love Thanksgiving. I call it the "F" holiday: fall, family, friends, food, football, and fun. I love that there are no gifts, only those of being together and connecting. I love cold mornings and cool days. I love the smell of roasting turkey. As a child, I loved getting together with my extended family. Now, my family and I love hosting friends at our home who are missing their families. Come on, it's a great holiday! Thanksgiving is a day when you don't have to worry about what your kids eat. Serve every dish family style, and let your kids choose what they want to eat. Maybe you have a kid who will not eat turkey, stuffing, OR mashed potatoes. (I know, weird, right?) So you can also serve macaroni and cheese, and not just to your child, but as another side dish for every guest to enjoy. And encourage your kids to put black olives on their fingertips and eat them one at a time. (I know, weird, right?) Encourage, but don't force, your child to eat. Let this be a relaxing meal, for you and for them. Thanksgiving is the holiday I use to begin teaching children about charity, about sharing with those less fortunate, about thinking of others before themselves. So this week, go grocery shopping with your kids. Let them fill the cart with canned goods and a turkey, and then drive directly to a homeless shelter or food bank. Have your children experience the joy of giving. What a valuable lesson to teach your kids. I hope you and your family have a very Happy Thanksgiving, and a fun long weekend. Perhaps I will see you at the San Francisco Zoo the Friday after. That is where my kids and I always go on the busiest shopping day of the year. We like walking in fresh air and being together more than fighting crowds and being consumers. Whatever you do, it's a chance to create some family memories, so just have fun together. Enjoy!

Read more