As the weather is heating up and the year is drawing to a close, the preparations for Christmas offer families and friends the opportunity to embrace old (or new) traditions. It is these festive season traditions that for many transcend cultural & religious backgrounds to embrace the essence of love, joy, and encourage a coming together for communities. While certain customs may vary between people, it is the spirit of the season that is universal and offers hope to all as we move into the new year.
Creating magical moments together
The foundation of every Christmas begins with decorating the home. The Christmas tree being front and centre which is adorned with the families decorations; many little ornaments that have been lovingly collected over the years capturing a families history. Decorating the tree is often a time that involves the whole family and signifies the beginning of the festive season.
Finding the perfect gift
Positioned under every Christmas tree are gifts. Navigating the busy shops is an integral part of Christmas preparations whether it be scouring the shops at the last minute for the perfect gift or months in advance; but the act of selecting, wrapping, and exchanging gifts is a gesture of great love and appreciation. For children this is a valuable time to teach them how to think about the person they are selecting the gift for. What are they interested in? What skills are they developing? Hobbies? Or What do they need?
If the decorations or gift-wrapping hasn’t quite set the tone for the festive season yet, time to cue the Christmas classics to truly set the spirit. Many families enjoy carolling together or attending a Christmas concert. For some though, watching Christmas movies is their preferred way to come together. Carefully selected Christmas movies may also illustrate to young children family values, Christmas spirit, and the joy of celebrating with loved ones and learning about showing kindness to all.
A time for giving
While embracing the joy of the festive season and what is received, embracing giving to others is also just as valuable. Many families embrace a tradition where together they give-back to their community during this time. Volunteering with local charity organisations or donating toys & food items to those in need is another way to share the spirit of the Christmas and teach children about supporting others who are in need.
Magic of Christmas Night
By the 24th of December, the spirit of Christmas is starting to deepen as Santa’s cookies and milk are laid out along with the carrots and water for Rudolf. For many families, Christmas Eve is just as important time for family traditions as Christmas Day, at this time families prepare for the traditions of the next day. Whether it be making Gingerbread Houses, carolling, laying out Santa Sacks, or opening “just one gift” the night before; every smell, every cookie, every movie; every little moment offers a time to come together to create cherished memories to last a lifetime. These are the memories, and the moments, that will then form the next generations Christmas traditions. This being the spirit of Christmas and the most precious gift of all.