One of our favorite ways to stay close to our kids was always spending one-on-one time with them. Yes, we had seven children in fourteen years. Yes, we were busy. Yes, my husband worked long hours.
But just about nothing got in the way of staying close to our kids. It was that important. (And it still is today with our adult children ages seventeen to thirty-two!)
In my last blog post, I talked about how to determine which traditions to keep for everybody and which traditions will likely go by the wayside. These are obviously very personal decisions – and you will probably want to discuss these with your older children.
There are some other traditions that we have kept in part. These traditions are ones that we still do with our at-home kids, but we invite the olders to as well.
One of the things that was difficult for me in having college and adult kids with Christmas was not being able to continue all of the traditions that we had formally done. I mentioned earlier that through homeschooling, we actually spent a lot of time on Christmas. Our entire December was centered around Christmas readings, unit studies, Christmas baking and cooking, and more.
In a previous blog post, I discussed the importance of finding out those traditions that mean a lot to your college and adult kids so that they do not feel left out of the things you are doing in your home – especially the things that you used to do when they were little. In another post, I talked about the invitation versus obligation. (Read that here…that’s important!)
This post will focus on the latter. We try to continue many traditions with our high school kids and our college kids living at home, but at the same time, we don’t want to leave out the adult children who are away from home–or impose upon them either. This is a fine balance. Because of this, we recommend that you invite them to some of those things, but be sure that they do not see those things as obligations.
One of the ways that we make our Christmas Eve super special is through special gifts and games (besides the traditions from long ago of singing carols, reading Christmas stories, and having the sibling gift exchange). Our Christmas Eve is a full evening of food, fun, fellowship, worship, reflecting, reminiscing, and play!
In the past few years as our family has grown, we could no longer fit around the table for Uno, Kemps, or Pit, so Ray did some research on group games and discovered something called “Minute to Win It” (we have been without television for years…and only in the past few with Netflix and Hulu do we know what’s out there! LOL). Anyway, he found things online, our daughter found some things for him on Pinterest, and he was off with new Christmas Eve traditions—Minute to Win It games.
Christmas is a time of spreading good cheer. It is a time of giving gifts. It is a time that we remember the best gift ever given to the earth. And yet it quickly becomes a time of selfishness when it comes to get-togethers, “getting” Christmas Eve or Christmas day for your get together when your kids are grown, etc.
Maybe this was easier for me because when our kids were little, we decided that we would not have a Christmas day that was filled with running around to multiple grandparents, especially with divorced ones making another place to go. Thus, if we had an extended family get together on the 25th, our Christmas day was simply a different day. It was easy, and our children came to realize that if they did not wake up to open presents on the actual December 25th, that was fine. Christmas was just longer and even more fun!