Let’s make Christmas merry and bright!

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By Beth Pinyerd

During the regular school schedule, we families have to multi-task in order to meet needs. We look forward to the schedule slowing down when we get out for the holidays.
But, the holidays are busier than the regular, routine days! We have different age children with many different needs because of different personalities. Holiday celebrations with cheerfulness, singing, bright lights, games and delicious seasonal foods are so much fun! But as parents of children, we have to balance all this in order not to push them into sensory overload as well as anxiety. We want our families to enjoy the holidays as well as each other.
I would like to share from resources and experiences some heartfelt tips that I hope will help you and your child to look forward to this holiday season with its richness of joy and love.
Find joy and happiness in your child, children. Children who enjoy each day are those who feel loved and accepted for who they are. Taking time in noticing what your child is doing spells L-O-V-E. Verbalize how much you love them.
Young children find inner happiness, confidence and pleasure in making and creating their own gifts to share. Their creative minds enjoy making Christmas decorations to display through the home. This builds cherished memories for your child.
Children can give gifts from the heart like helping out with younger siblings, simple sweeping, wiping tables, cleaning up their rooms, etc. In the early childhood classroom, making and giving Christmas coupons of tasks or chores to be done is a gift of love action. A parent tears off a chore that needs to be done for each day such as cleaning their room, sweeping the porch, setting the table for meals, etc.
Invite your children to help you make Christmas cards that can be sent to family and friends. The friendliness of our community post offices makes it a joyful field trip. Mailing packages and letters stresses giving love to others.
When children ask why and what questions be sure to spend time answering their questions. Children ask so many times why we do certain Christmas symbols. This provides a wonderful learning time for children and adults.
We are surrounded by so many lights everywhere during this beautiful Christmas season. The Bible records in Psalm 76:4 “You are radiant with light more majestic than mountains rich with game. God is resplendent with light.”
When we squint our eyes to view the beautiful lights, we think of love and the true light who came into the world, Jesus Christ.
Children love to sing and they learn at an early age! “Silver Bells” is a favorite as it announces Christmas time in the city! Bells are rung during Christmas to proclaim the arrival of the season and to announce the birth of Jesus.
Why do we have the colors red and green? The color red is used at Christmas to represent the blood of Jesus when He died on the cross. The color green signifies everlasting light and life.
Candy canes are a delicious treat for everyone. The cane is shaped as a shepherd’s crook which reflects that Jesus is the Good Shepherd. The red represents the blood that Jesus shed for us and the white represents His purity.
The beautiful Christmas wreaths that we see everywhere demonstrate the never-ending symbol of eternal love that God provides. They also represent giving in spirit and in heart as well as the gathering of the family.
Gifts tied with a bow remind us of the gifts that the wisemen brought to Jesus. The ribbon that is tied around gifts symbolizes that all people should be tied in bonds of love and unity during the holiday season.
Christmas trees are usually the very center of a home and community’s celebration of decorations! Children love to hear about the origin of the Christmas tree which is attributed to Martin Luther, the leader of the Reformation. It is said that on Christmas Eve, Luther was walking through the wooded forest near his home. He was awestruck by the snow-covered branches of the trees shining brightly in the moonlight. He wanted to recreate this beautiful scene for his family whom were waiting for him at home. He cut down the tree, set it up in his home, and decorated it with candles. Just imagine how beautiful this was.
Poinsettias are seen everywhere during Christmas. The poinsettia is a native plant of Mexico and is called “star flower.” Their star-shaped leaves remind us of the star of Bethlehem and Christ who is called the “bright morning star.”
Lighted stars and candles reflect the Bethlehem star which guided the wise men to the baby Jesus.
As Classroom Observer, I have just skimmed the surface of what this season offers in love and memories for children and families to cling to and have hope.
The Classroom Observer is here to serve the community in sharing the wonderful teaching programs in our local public schools, private schools, and homeschools. The column is provided to enrich the education of our children, youth, and families. Classroom Observer welcomes educational news, school news, pictures, and events by e-mailing her at donnapinyerd@charter.net.

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