How to teach your kids about Christmas Joy

Cartoon of an annoyed girl and a boy with a santa hat

Cartoon of a girl and a boy in a santa hat. The girl is frowing. The boy is smiling and says, “It’s become obvious only one of us at a time can have Christma joy.”

It’s inevitable. The Christmas schedule is crazy, you want peace on Earth, goodwill towards men. Then you hear your kids start to argue. They’ve only been on Christmas break for one day and they are driving each other crazy!

It is difficult to have the holiday spirit when your kids are bickering with each other. How can you teach your kids about joy and have a little yourself?

Take a deep breath and consider some of these points:

  • Happiness and joy are two different things.
    • Happiness is a feeling that ebbs and flows.
    • Joy is based on what we know-our convictions. Even when things don’t go our way, we can have joy.
  • Our joy isn’t based on the perfect Christmas.
    • Let’s face it, people won’t cooperate
    • Things break down
    • Schedules become crazier than the flight schedule at O’Hare on Thanksgiving weekend
    • And said to say, tragedies happen
      • We remember loved ones who passed away
      • A separation or divorce hurts even more this time of year
  • Joy comes when we stop being self-centered and become others-centered
    • Get a present for someone in need
    • Volunteer at a soup kitchen
    • Consider why the other person is grumpy
      • Have they gone through a tragedy?
      • Are they lonely?
      • Have they spent all day working retail at the biggest Christmas sale ever?

Our happiness can go up and down with the thermometer. But we can have joy and teach our kids to have it during this busy Christmas season.

Why Does Shopping Mall Christmas Music Drive us Crazy?

Cartoon Template

Early last month, I was at a shopping mall. The streets were decorated for the season and Christmas music was blaring from  loudspeakers. You could see people grimacing and rolling their eyes as “All I Want for Christmas is You,” assaulted us.

I wondered if Ebenezer Scrooge would have changed his ways much sooner if the Ghost of Christmas Mall Music visited him first. Why do people react so negatively when they hear Christmas tunes at the mall?

  • We know the mall is in “The Christmas Spirit” not because of peace on Earth and goodwill toward men. It’s all about the money.
  • While holiday music is king, Christmas carols are gone at the mall. There’s no “Little Town of Bethlehem,” or “O Holy Night.” Now it’s all about Santa Claus and holiday flirting.
  • Original Christmas music is a no-no at the mall. They want the familiar, not the creative. You can have twenty versions of a song for nostalgia’s sake, but heaven forbid we’d get a truly new song. How many versions of “Santa Baby,” do we need, anyway?

I suppose it is asking too much to have the malls think beyond what they think is the right mood music for creating jolly spenders. You can’t expect much more than commercialization at a commercial place. Still, if they’re going to be so bad at setting the Christmas mood, don’t begin the sanitized, commercialized tripe in early November!