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Christmas and Families - What if You're Just Not Into It?

By Sally Collings - 13th December 2010

You might have noticed a few changes around your local area. Shopping centres draped in tinsel, supermarket aisles crammed with chocolate Santas, carols being sung in the park, the odd school concert featuring songs about reindeer … ringing any bells? Hey, that’s right, Christmas is coming. And has been for about six months, it seems.

Forget about whether your kids believe in Santa Claus. What about parents who are just not that into Christmas? Maybe the whole Jesus thing is not for you. So what do you do? Lock the doors, turn out the lights and hope your children won’t notice that all the other kids are getting presents? Book tickets to Ulan Bator and hope that Mongolia is a nativity scene-free zone?

Here’s another idea. If you set aside the crass commercialism of the season (please do), what is it all about? Let’s skip over the whole Jesus/God thing for a minute. When you get down to it, the essentials of Christmas are peace, love and joy. What can be bad about that?

This year, your Christmas can simply be about the Big Three: peace, love, joy. Let’s call it the PLJ factor to shake any negative associations you might have with papier mache babies in matchstick mangers.

Writer and founder of SpiritualParenting Mimi Doe says that ‘giving, sharing and forgiving are truly more rewarding than taking, accumulating and avenging.’ There’s a message for all children and adults haggling over the last slice of Christmas pudding this year.

So how do we get more PLJ happening this year, for ourselves and our children? Glad you asked. I’ve got a few ideas for non-sectarian, non-threatening, non-commercialised ways to pump up the PLJ in your life.

1. Make it a family mission to put together all of the old books, toys and games that you don’t use any more and give them away – some charities will take them to sell or use, or contact a women’s refuge. Give things that are in good nick rather than anything that has been loved to death. As they say, it is more blessed to give than to eBay.

2. Think of someone you haven’t spoken to for a while. Maybe you’ve had a difference of opinion, or you’ve just moved further away. Write them a letter or a card, or give them a call.

3. Get personal with your generosity: find out if there is a family in your area that has gone through hard times – loss, illness or financial challenges. Make up a box of homemade biscuits, or bake a cake and tie it up with cellophane and ribbon and give it to them. It may not solve their problems, but it will let them know you’re thinking of them. Leave it on their doorstep if you want to be anonymous.

4. Each day between now and the end of January, get everyone in your household to empty all of the loose change in their pockets or purse into a special box or jar. Collect up the money at the end and donate it to a local food charity.

5. Know anyone who will spending Christmas day alone? Even if you’re not that into it (see above), this can be a very lonely time. Ask them to spend some time with your family on Christmas day.

image freedigitalphotos.net hinnamsaisuy

Comments (2)

Great piece

Thanks, glad you enjoyed it! Hope it helps to alleviate the 'Christmas blues'...

Great piece. Loved it!

Great piece. Loved it!

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