Back to the Basics

Posted on Wednesday, December 22nd, 2010  |  

 

   This time of year always brings with it a sense of nostalgia.  I think back to each Christmas when I was a child and try to recapture those exact emotions, the waiting in anticipation for sleep to come, so I could get up and make my way down the stairs to see that Santa had arrived.  The reason I want to remember my childhood Christmas' is so I have the opportunity to give those experiences to my children.  My childhood Christmas' were deep with tradition.  We made gingerbread houses for the four elderly neighbors, we made 300 boxes of chocolate for family and friends and my Mom started a craft night for me and my friends, so we could make our own presents.

  Over the years, I have been very cautious with doling out Christmas presents to my children.  I want to make sure the present is relevant, worthy and will last for years to come.  This has become my philosophy. You know those special presents that your kids play with for years and years. Bryce, now 7, has his favorite car wash; which he got at the age of 3.  It has lived a good life and he still refuses to let it go.  Breana has a guitar, which she has had for about 6 years, and although she doesn't play it all the time, it became the foundation for her love for music.

  The hardest part of Christmas these days is trying to keep my family philosophy alive and well.  Especially when the first thing on the wish list is an IPad, and that was from the 7 year old, who likes to dive off of the steps onto the couch.  I am not ready to move in that direction yet.  I believe technology is important, however I think children should get to experience all that life has to offer in three dimensions first.  This Christmas, don't just give presents, give an experience.  Whether it is pajama day all day, sledding in the afternoon, or a fire and a special movie with family, create traditions.

  Our memories are sealed in our mind, when we have a relatable emotion, the hormones that are produced in our brains at that very moment, make it significant enough to store in your long term memory.  We remember all of the really great moments or the really bad ones.  We seldom connect our emotions to an object.  Traditions are the constant stable foundation of a great childhood.  This Christmas, live your life in 3D. 

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year,

Shannon