Have We Lost the True Meaning of the Holidays?

Growing up I remember absolutely nothing was open on Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s Day.

This year, many stores opened up for holiday shoppers earlier than ever on Thanksgiving. On our drive home after a decadent feast with family, we passed an outlet center with a jammed packed parking lot. Are people shopping because they can’t miss the sales, walking off their turkey or slipping to stores to avoid more time with their loved ones?

The holidays have become so commercialized and all about material goods.

As parents, it’s up to us to instill the importance of the holidays in your own family. Whether you place emphasis on the religious significance of the holiday, spending time together or giving to charity, your children take cues from you.

Spending time together as a family will reinforce that it’s important to be with your loved ones. Create your own family traditions and rituals that don’t focus on gift-giving. Plan special outings; make holiday cards or other arts-and-craft projects together; watch a holiday classic; bake cookies – the possibilities are endless and will be special to reflect on in years to come.

Engaging in charitable activities is one of the most powerful things you can do to remind your children of the purpose of celebrating the holidays. Whatever you do together to help others, no matter how big or how small, is certain to bring joy to both you and your children.

No matter how you celebrate this holiday season, try to remember that’s it’s better to give than to receive. Ho, ho, ho!

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Lainie Gutterman - Before giving birth to her son in 2009 and becoming a stay-at-home mom, Lainie was a founding partner of a Public Relations firm. Lainie describes herself as "a natural born publicist who is constantly spreading the word about new products, activities and events." When Lainie is not chasing after her son or they are not watching Nick Jr or reading together, she scrapbooks and writes posts for her blog, "Me, Myself & Baby I" at http://memyselfandbabyi.wordpress.com. Lainie and her family live in New York City, where she sacrifices living space (but not style) to be in the center of it all in "the city that never sleeps." (Fortunately, her toddler is a sound sleeper who doesn't rise until after 9am, on most days.)

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yakbuttertea
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I think it’s a shame that we are now taking time away from our families on Thanksgiving to start shopping for Christmas. I love your suggestions in this blog for spending more quality time with family during the holidays. Thanks for taking the time to write about this!

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