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Walk the Walk
Give the Gift of Time To Show You Care During the Holidays

More family together-time is possible during the holidays due to time off from work and school. For many, holidays are filled with preparations, family visits, and changes in routine, which can bring about unusual stress, exhaustion, and frustration.

Holidays are also a time when expenses multiply, and the desire to find and buy those special “I saw it on TV” items on a holiday wish list threaten the budget even more. Many times, we cope with these additional family stresses by consuming copious amounts of food and drink: we drink more alcohol—sometimes too much—and eat too many unhealthy foods during the holidays.

Our children can feel that tension and stress without understanding what causes it. They also pay attention to what we do to relieve that stress and, in their later years, will be more apt to imitate our behavior. How can we model the best ways to relieve stress without breaking the family bank and resorting to unhealthy stress-relievers? How can we teach our children the gift of giving oneself rather than monetary gifts? With planning and setting aside plenty of time to share, children’s holiday hours can be filled with positive communication, role modeling, and family projects rather than more time alone or in front of the TV.

Three easy steps can make your holiday more meaningful, less stressful, and will model the importance of family time and giving for your children.

  1. Let your children help you create healthy snacks for family gatherings and family giving.
  2. Help your children make special gifts for other family members.
  3. Volunteer with your children to participate in a community help project to model the gift of giving time and oneself to help others.

Family Activities: Include ‘Time To Share’ on Your Holiday To-Do List

Educator Activity: Holiday Giving From the Classroom

Quiz for Parents: Relieving Holiday Stress

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Updated on 4/5/2013