This time is extremely festive, with many holiday celebrations going on. Not to mention, there is a lot of emphasis on cooking, family, friends, cleaning and shopping- regardless of what holiday. Many children will become excited during the holidays mostly because they are excited to get presents as well as eating sweets- that is if they are celebrating Christmas or Hanukkah. However, they also need to understand the meaning behind the festivities. The last thing you want to happen is if you are Jewish, that your child is jealous of his or her friend who celebrates Christmas that is experiencing something different. Or if your child has a Jewish friend, the last thing you would want to happen is if he or she asks you why he or she can’t have a gift for 8 days. It is time to educate your kids, and really get them involved. Below are 7 methods on how to do that.
1. Get simple books about their holiday, and read it with them in an upbeat manner. It is very important for them to know the history of the Christmas tree, or the menorah.
2. Have the kids help you cook and bake for the holidays. If you are baking cookies, get cookie cutters that are the shape of anything that is relevant to what you are celebrating. Make the experience exciting.
3. Buy your kids Christmas or Hanukkah pajamas and only let them wear it during the celebrations.
4. Sing songs with your children that are relevant to the traditions.
5. Always make it clear to them why you do not celebrate the same holiday as their friend who is of a different faith. Unfortunately many public schools ban holiday celebrations. As a parent, you are responsible for teaching your kids about different religions, traditions and cultures.
6. Get them to help you wrap gifts that you are going to give to other family members of friends. If any of them observes a different holiday than what you celebrate, be sure to make your kids aware of that.
7. Explain to your kids that not every child is fortunate enough to receive gifts like they are. Regardless of what faith you are, every child needs to understand gratitude- no matter what holiday is celebrated.
No matter what festivities are happening in your home, have a safe holiday!