The Times West Virginian

December 24, 2012

Relaxed family time important during holiday


Times West Virginian

— Every year, people lament the commercialization of Christmas, yet few are willing to do anything about it. Christmas displays seem to appear in August. Black Friday’s mad rush only grows madder.

But gifts that truly matter don’t come from a store.

In fact, some experts argue that children don’t really want clothes and toys and games. The things they actually want are:

• A relaxed and loving time with the family. Children need relaxed attention. During the holidays, normal family routines are temporarily set aside for parties, shopping and special events. It’s important that parents slow down and spend quality time with their kids.

• Realistic expectations about gifts. Kids enjoy looking forward to gifts and then having their expectations met. The key is to manage their expectations. By educating them about what “Santa” can afford, and is willing to give, it’s possible to prevent disappointment on Christmas morning.

• An evenly-paced holiday season. The modern Christmas season starts months before Dec. 25, when the first store displays go up. Things end with a bang on Christmas Day. Some suggest beginning the season late in the year instead. Get out the Christmas music on Dec. 15. Pick out a tree the following weekend. Schedule some low-key family events during Christmas week. Stretch the season to New Year’s Day.

For more information, visit http://www.thesimpledollar.com/2008/12/09/family-traditions-what-children-really-want-for-christmas/.