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The True Meaning of Christmas

2021 December 6
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by nannyjob

Amid the shopping, toys, hustle and bustle of Christmas time, it is easy to forget the
real meaning behind it all. Children become carried away with the excitement of the
promise of new toys (and who could blame them?), and parents become fixated with
preparing for the day itself.

It seems that most of us could benefit from taking some time out from the hype as the
big day approaches.

So how can we ensure that we, and our children, remember what Christmas is really
all about?

Giving
The theme of giving runs strong at Christmas. We all know that presents are usually a
substantial part of Christmas excitement – whether we are excited to give, or receive.
It’s natural to be excited about receiving gifts, and this shouldn’t be shamed or
quashed – however, placing an emphasis on giving is a wonderful thing also. There
are some really great ways you can do this for children:
• Together with the children, choose some old toys to donate to a charity shop,
refuge or children’s home. This will not only teach the children about the
value of giving to those less fortunate, but it will make space for the new toys
they will get at Christmas. However, the toy-donating shouldn’t be forced, as
it could be very traumatic for a child to unwillingly give away a much loved
toy. They should be able to give freely, or choose not to, or it defies the point
of giving in the first place.
• Encourage children to choose gifts for their siblings and friends themselves,
rather than relying on you to do so.
• Bake some Christmas-themed biscuits, mince pies or other treats together and
take them to a local old people’s home to give out to the residents. Some of
the residents will have few visitors at Christmas time; smiling children bearing
baked goods is bound to cheer a lonely heart.

Family
Christmas truly is a time for family – whether they are blood relatives, or our chosen
family. Today’s world is a big one, and families are often scattered across the globe
rather than living in close-knit communities. If this is the case for you, encourage the
children to make Christmas cards for absent friends and family members who cannot
be with you at this special time of the year. You could even organise a Christmas
carol sing-along over webcam for family members living abroad.

Christmas can also be an emotional time for families who are, sadly, missing some
members. Many people traditionally remember their loved ones who are no longer
with them with small ‘memorial services’ at home. This can be a great way to help
children grieve healthily. Grief is a powerful emotion, and children need to know that
they can express their grief openly with the support of their parents.

So, if you’re feeling the Christmas anxiety creeping in, try to relax and remember
what it’s all about. And most importantly, enjoy yourself!

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