December is a month when we can feel easily overwhelmed with all that has to happen for the Hanukkah and Christmas holidays…Black Friday, CyberMonday, GivingTuesday and we haven’t even tackled grocery shopping, cooking, buying presents, sending out Christmas/ Holiday cards and letters, wrapping presents, decorating the tree, work parties, going to services!! …the list goes on and on. These are the tasks of the season….
As parents, we can stay grounded in the wholehearted and soulful meaning of the holiday season….a season of HOPE, MIRACLES AND LIGHT!! Hanukkah is a celebration of hope, miracles and bringing light into the world…..Christmas happens near the longest and darkest days of the year, when the birth of Jesus brings light into the world. Jesus invited us to do unto others as we would want others to do unto us. Similarly, in the Islamic religion, 2015 is a very significant year because this month, Mohammed’s Birthday falls on December 24, one day before Christ’s Birthday. Mohammed is the Prophet of the Islamic religion and his main message was Peace and Mercy for all humanity. In fact, the word ‘Islam’ translated in Arabic means “Peace”. So the 3 main Monotheistic religions stemming from Abraham all have significant events this month!
As parents-moms and dads, we can ask ourselves…in this holiday season, how are we bringing light, hope and peace into this dynamic and often times uncertain world? How are we shining our light in the world? Perhaps we need to set our own rhythm for the holidays, one that fits with our purposeful meaning of the season and for our children.
Maybe there is someone who is sick in our family, or neighborhood… Maybe we enjoy shopping but want to limit the amount per person. Maybe we have decided that we will skip the cards this year or decide to spend one day giving back to the community by bringing a warm meal to a neighbor who is undergoing radiation or chemotherapy or by volunteering with our kids to make blankets for a homeless shelter.
Maybe we will choose to spend a day just with our kids…no errands, no presents, no chores….just spending time doing something that our kids enjoy…one on one time with mom or dad or both. When I look back on my childhood, it was not the big moments but the little moments that meant so much to me…the time spent responding to my questions, helping me with a problem, enjoying my company and caring about the things that I was interested in…this is what children need, want and crave. How do you navigate the holiday season as a parent….
I believe, that in this holiday season, one of the most fitting gifts that we can give our children is the gift of our unconditional Love for them and remaining grounded in the Hope for their life and this world!!