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 caring for kids can be so unpredictable

Cartoon of a boy and a crying baby
Cartoon of a boy to crying baby, “Wait! Stop! This isn’t part of the script.”

Some people shy away from kids because they just don’t follow a set script. They are so unpredictable! One minute they can be happy, the next, wailing like the world has come to an end.

It can rattle different types of people.

  • Planners can feel frustrated when a child sends their day off course
  • People who value power feel powerless, especially if they’re used to throwing that power around. Babies don’t care about your authority.
  • Manipulators can be stymied because a baby hasn’t learned to be manipulated (unfortunately, we all learn quickly how to be manipulated!)
  • Tired people just aren’t going to get much sympathy from a baby. Get help quickly!
  • Young people may not have the coping skills or maturity to handle such a situation

It can  lead to tragedy if someone doesn’t handle the unpredictability appropriately. It breaks my heart and makes me angry when you hear a story about an innocent child that has experienced shaken baby syndrome.

If you are a tired parent or caregiver, get some help. We all need our rest. If you don’t know anyone, reach out to your local church. They value you and your child.

In the end, it is worth it. Children will not always be crying. There will be good days along with the bad. The unpredictability of a crying child goes hand in hand with the thrill of rediscovering the world through innocent eyes. The spontaneous crying goes with the unpredictable hugs. You will learn as much as you teach. You will laugh as well as cry with them. In the end, it is all worth it!

Why who you hang around with makes a difference

Spear 3975

Cartoon of two boys observing a dog. One boy says, “If he likes it that much, I think you should try it.”

Walk with the wise and become wise; associate with fools and get in trouble. Proverbs 13:20

When I was a kid, I had met some friends in our town park. One of the boys in the group claimed he had eaten dog food before and it was delicious. He encouraged all of us to join him at his house and have a feast Fido would be proud of.

All of us knew this kid liked to brag and we also knew he had a tendency to kid other kids to do outlandish things. Still, for a moment, all of us were hesitant to turn him down. Nobody wanted to look like a coward.

One person you hang around with can make all the difference in where your life will head. If you’re in school, do you hang around with people who will bring out the best in you, or the worse? If you’re in business, do you hang out with people that will inspire you to move up and succeed or do they prod you to gripe and procrastinate?

Whatever group you hang out with, you will begin to exhibit some of the same characteristics of that group. Be careful who you hang out with!

Scaredy Cats

Cartoon of two men talking

Cartoon of two men. One says, “It’s about your Grandmother, Son. She’s afraid your goatee will scare her cats.”

How to start your commute off wrong

Sketch of a woman threatening to sue all the commuter traffic

Sketch of a driving woman. The caption says, “I’d like to sue the entire city for reckless driving!”

I just have time for a quick sketch today. You know, there’s that commute I need to barge into the middle of!

I was thinking about two of my coworkers who are now telecommuting instead of facing the drive to and from work each day. That lucky guy and gal get to stay in their homes while the rest of us find out how bad the rest of the county drives. I just hope the woman in the sketch isn’t talking about me as well!