I know what everyone is thinking…Santa is here already, but I still have Halloween decorations up and candy on my counter!
Is It Too Soon For Santa?
It’s hard to accept that Santa, and all that comes with him, has taken over our stores and malls so early this year. It can even be quite annoying to turn on the radio and hear Christmas music or see a Christmas movie on television. (However, Elf and Christmas Vacation are perfectly acceptable year round!). We haven’t even planned our Thanksgiving meal yet and our kids want to make Christmas gift lists! How do we as parents make this a teachable moment?
I am not going to lie, even though I am overwhelmed by the Christmas cheer so early this year, I still brought my children to see Santa arrive at our local mall. Even though I may feel it is too early, why should I deprive my children of the joy and excitement of seeing Santa for the first time this season? The elation in their faces was enough for me to realize I made the right decision. We engaged in all the fun holiday activities at the mall, and my 4-year old even hugged Santa (which was a huge change from the screaming of last year!).
I know many parents feel like protesting any and all holiday events right now, but I am here to say let’s make this a teachable moment instead. Let’s take the opportunity to make this a positive thing instead of negative. Here are some of my suggestions in turning these jingle bells into a sleigh:
Teachable Moments for the Holiday
- Take the kids to see Santa’s arrival. Take pictures and enjoy the smiles on their faces and glow in their eyes. They will only be kids for a short time so enjoy the magic of the season. My suggestion, however, is to wait on professional photos until after Thanksgiving.
- Start a Santa photo countdown in your house. This can also be used as a reward system for good behavior. If your child behaves (within reason of course) until Thanksgiving, then they can take pictures with Santa.
- Explain the importance of giving back. With the season starting so early, this also gives families plenty of time to raise awareness and money for worthy causes such as Toys for Tots and Make a Wish Foundation.
- Volunteer!! This long holiday season will give families ample opportunities to volunteer their time. Visit our Make a Difference series to find articles on volunteering in your community.
- Attend the local holiday events and collect the crafts and bells, but put them away until after Thanksgiving. We have already collected bells and art projects, but they have been placed in a box to be taken out after Thanksgiving. This helps teach children about patience as well.
- Focus on Thanksgiving! Obviously you can’t ignore that Christmas trees are everywhere, but explain to your kids that although the trees are very pretty, and Christmas is coming soon, we first need to celebrate Thanksgiving. Explain to your children what this holiday is about and how important it is. This is a great time to read fun Thanksgiving books and make silly turkey crafts. Check our website for great articles on Thanksgiving books, crafts and recipes.
There are just a few out of many ways to put a positive spin on the early Christmas season. So parents, please don’t get mad at Santa! Embrace the holiday season and find new ways to teach your children about helping others and giving back.
I know I’m excited to attend all the FREE Christmas events coming up while still focusing on Thanksgiving crafts and books! Check out our Calendar of Events to find both Thanksgiving and Christmas events near you!