There’s so much celebration and anticipation leading up to Christmas and New Year’s that it’s no wonder kids, and parents, often feel a letdown after the holidays. With our help, though, kids can learn that there’s much to anticipate and celebrate even after the holidays are over.
Here’s the plan that can make that happen in your house.
Talk about it
Kids need to talk about their let-down feelings, their disappointment that “all the fun is over.” Instead of seeing their post-Christmas grumpiness or sour mood as ingratitude for all the presents, see it as an opportunity to listen to their woes and help them deal with it. Let them know that you feel that way too and maybe if you work together, you can find ways to beat the post-Christmas blues.
Get active with your kids
Plan some extra exercise with your kiddos. Getting them out of the house and doing something fun clears the mind and helps get rid of the blahs. It doesn’t have to be expensive or a big deal. Even just an extra long bike ride or a trip to the nearby mountain to go sledding.
Celebrate other seasons
Although Christmas is definitely the biggie, put up a calendar where your kids can see the other celebrations that are coming: birthdays, Valentines Day, July 4th, or whatever else you’d like to celebrate. And then, when they come, be sure they are properly commemorated in your home.
Keep on giving
Helping others is a great way to get the focus off yourselves. Think of what your children are interested in and look for opportunities to help others after the holidays. Do your kids like animals? Try volunteering with them at an animal shelter. Do they like helping in the yard? Maybe there’s an elderly neighbor who needs your help.
It’s rather sad, don’t you think, that people are so giving at Christmas time, yet as soon as the holidays are over they return to their own worlds until next Christmas rolls around? The homeless and hungry are with us year-round, nursing homes and hospitals need volunteers 365. Plan a giving event with your kids before they have time to start feeling sorry for themselves that “all the fun is over.”
Schedule fun events
On that same calendar that lists upcoming holidays for your family to celebrate, add upcoming events that excite your kids. Plan a trip to Disneyworld, a camping trip, a night out at a local professional football or basketball game, or a visit to Gramma. Let them know that, yes, Christmas is over, but there’s still lots of fun things to anticipate and that trip to Gramma’s is just around the corner!
Change it up
No better time to start something new than after the holidays. Take on a project with your child: redecorate her room, enroll her in a new sport or class that interests her. Better yet, how about taking a class with your child?
This one’s for you, Mom and Dad
Set aside some Me time. Get alone, sit quietly and reflect about the past year and the upcoming year. What were the highs and lows of the past year? What did you accomplish that you wanted to? How can you correct things you are not happy with? What do you want to accomplish in the upcoming year?
You can call it New Year’s resolutions or setting goals, or whatever you want. The point is, it’s important to just stop and think.
Don’t let the post-holiday blues hit your house. There’s so much to celebrate about life when we stop looking at the empty boxes and garbage bags of wrapping paper and start looking at all the good surrounding us.