Make magic this holiday season: Three family-friendly ways to enjoy Winter Break
The magic of the season reflects in children’s eyes like the glow of holiday lights. All things shiny and bright fill little ones with wonder throughout the year, but in December adults tend to take notice, too. Family time, shared traditions and coming together for holiday activities is the stuff of childhood memories.
Christmas, New Year’s and other holidays may not be part of your family’s celebration but taking time out during this season to enjoy one another’s company in intentional ways has benefits even if they’re not centered around a calendar observance. Intentional time together matters.
Children spell love “T-I-M-E”
As children enjoy Winter Break, parents and caregivers may take vacation time to be together or otherwise make the most of cozy evenings between now and the new year. Teachers, child development professionals and grandparents share the same advice: Make an intentional pause this holiday season and give the gift of time, making happy memories to reflect on for years to come.
Research shows bonding with a caring adult makes an important difference in the life of a child. What we know to be true is time spent with a child is never wasted.
Just add love Magic can get lost in the holiday hustle and bustle. Between places to go and people to see, parent to-do lists can be longer than Santa’s Naughty and Nice roster. Between holiday parties and parades, gifts to wrap and festive food to cook, there may be little time left to hang stockings by the chimney with care.
Enjoying time together doesn’t have to mean adding to your already-packed calendar or stretching your budget. Taking a break, turning off your phone and dedicating whatever time you can to something special with family has benefits for adults and children. Laughter, rest and relaxation tend to be part of the fun. Making it magical doesn’t always require extra effort; instead, the magic has a way of glowing brightly to light our way when we make the time and try, with all the love, hope and joy of the holidays.
Three easy ways to have fun together
Here are three suggestions for ways to make the most of the season in meaningful ways.
Make a seasonal bucket list: Our very own Carri Hicks, Rainbow Fleet CEO and mother of three, suggested this activity: Create a list of what your child would like to do during Winter Break. From visiting animals and seeing the new Safari Lights display at the Oklahoma City Zoo to decorating cookies or just having hot cocoa as a one-on-one parent/child outing, the simple ideas children suggest might surprise you. Write each on a strip of paper and add to a jar you can draw from throughout the season.
Set up storytime: Collect holiday-themed storybooks from around your home or check them out from your local library. Decorate a designated space where you can enjoy reading together. Choose a story hour each evening to read from holiday favorites and branch out to new additions. Adding a sweet treat and special pajamas is not necessary but it can add to the occasion, especially on the nights leading up to Christmas Eve with its famous Clement C. Moore “‘Twas the Night Before Christmas” poem.
Play alongside your child: Time flies when you’re having fun. If doing crafts, putting together puzzles, playing games, watching movies or engaging in other age-appropriate activities feels tedious for you as an adult, seek something else with mutual appeal. Once you find what you like doing together, it’ll feel like childsplay. Show your child what you loved to do at the holidays with all the nostalgia and anticipation for the big day. Make a kid-friendly charcuterie board together, play dress-up from your closet or take a drive. You’ll know it when you’ve found a pastime that can become a tradition.
Happy holidays from Rainbow Fleet
No matter how you spend your holiday season, we wish you peace and love in the community we share, from our families to yours. Happy holidays and happy New Year to all of Oklahoma’s children and the adults who care for them.