This is a funny question because it seems crystal clear why your kids love the holidays. It’s presents, right? Well, in truth, presents play a very major role in their affinity for the season, but they aren’t the only reason why kids love the holidays.
To understand your kids better, think about your favorite holiday memories. You may have one or two memories about getting your favorite toy, but most memories are centered around other things.
Your own memories can give you a clue as to what your kids are looking forward to during the holidays, aside from presents.
Most families sit down together for at least one holiday movie per year. And it’s often the same holiday movie every year. Repetition like this can reinforce the family bond and help children appreciate time spent together. You’ll laugh together at the funny parts and tear up at the sentimental stuff. You’re a family, and you’re all in this together.
When your kids grow up and have their own kids, they’re likely to share those same movie traditions with their own kids. At the very least, they’ll think of you every time they see the movie.
Seeing distant relatives
If we’re being real, your child isn’t going to look forward to lipstick-stained kisses from Great Aunt Bertha. But he or she will probably enjoy playing with cousins during family get togethers. As they say, cousins are our first friends. And this time spent together laughing at crazy relatives will leave a lasting impression on your child.
Eating holiday treats
Holiday dinners are also memorable events, if only for the food. Most children are ready to scarf down their food and get back to playing with the cousins, but they may get to enjoy some of their favorites in the process. Holiday meals tend to be decadent feasts where everyone has at least one favorite dish – even the kiddos.
And even if your child turns his nose up at all the savory foods, this season comes with many sweet treats in tow. Christmas cookies, holiday pies and desserts and non-alcoholic eggnog… yum! One of the best gifts you can give your child is a parent free from drugs and alcohol so consider rehab as a gift for not only yourself – but for them.
Your child may look forward to having any or all of these things during the holiday season.
Believing in holiday magic
With the streets aglow, there’s a certain magic that’s associated with the holiday season. Even the adultiest among us can get swept up in the warm and fuzzy feelings of the season. Holiday movies and pictures with Santa reinforce the magical element of the season. And on a particularly magical holiday, you might even start believing in Santa Clause again.
For your children, this is a simple and hopeful time. When they think back on their childhood, these will be the memories that fill them with love and light. If only we could bottle those feelings and access them whenever we wanted. There would be much more peace on earth, for certain.
Every family has their own set of traditions. Whether you get together to light a menorah or pile in your car to look at Christmas lights, your kids will look forward to these traditions.
Even if it seems like they’re over it (teenagers *eye roll*), stick with your family traditions. These things are important for creating a sense of family. And it becomes even more important as the kids get older. If you’re currently parenting teens, this is a good reminder that you may only have a few years left to carry out these traditions. Make them memorable.
Of course, your kids love the presents of the holiday season, but that’s just one part of a bigger package. Gift them with family time and they will have fond holiday memories for years to come.