Toss out the word “Christmas” in a word-association game, and chances are “family” will be among the responses. What could be more traditional than Christmas with family—those who live in your home and those who make long trips to see you?
So why are so many parents snapping at their out-of-school children to get out from underfoot? Why are we abandoning the trimming-the-tree-together tradition, and buying pre-decorated trees? Has “saving time” and “getting everything just right” really become the new Christmas spirit?
And as for another classic family tradition—visiting Santa at the mall—take a good look at the next Santa’s-lap line you pass, and see faces of all ages reflecting only impatience and annoyance.
Chances are, if most of those kids dared ask Santa for what they really wanted, it would be “Tell Mommy and Daddy to smile more and play with me more.” That means more to any child than eight stockings of presents.
The most valuable present is your presence. But you can’t give it when infected with the hustle-and-bustle virus that tells you December will be wasted without bought-out stores and a “Best Decorated House” award. However far you’ve already gone this year, inoculate yourself with these tips that will also help you get (and stay) in the Christmas spirit:
I mentioned that this was also a “how to get yourself in the Christmas spirit” list. That’s because you also need quieter periods and family togetherness so your soul can recover from “acquire and achieve” attitudes. Christmas was, from the beginning, a spiritual holiday in the best sense. Let’s all do our part to keep it that way.