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Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Merry Christmas to you and all our children

I am posting this e-mail for everyone, and for my own sons. I hope as to grow and mature, as you yourselves have families, please understand what is important in life. Live your life for God 1st. 
The order of your love is very clear, love your God 1st, love, honor and protect your wife 2nd and then raise your children with love and discipline as God has instructed in the Bible. This is the ONLY (and very simple) road map you have to parenting and living a happy and fulfilling life.


From Jayne A. Major;
Is it already Christmas time again? It seems like it was only a little while ago that we were ringing in the New Year. Now here we are again. It's always interesting to ask people what the holiday season means to them. Although the answers vary, one thing that is consistent is that our experiences in childhood are typically what determines how we answer that question. And it is typically our parents who set the tone for the holidays and ultimately influenced the positive or negative feelings that carry forward into our own adulthood.

We should all strive to make the holiday season a time of joy for our children. However, we too often associate a joyous Christmas or Hanukkah with the bounty of gifts that one receives. We see mobs of people in the shopping malls who will seemingly stop at nothing to get that last available popular doll or video game for their child. We condition our children to think that the expense and popularity of the gifts they receive represent a measure of their parent's love. This is a trap that all parents must avoid by teaching their children the true meaning of Christmas: the joy of giving.

I have gone into homes where it looked like the parents bought the whole inventory from Toys R Us. In fact, the children and their toys had taken over every room in the house. While merchants would be thrilled if parents would do this, I don't think that it is a good idea. Children have no restraint about asking for anything and everything that crosses their mind to want. It is easy to go overboard at Christmas and Hanukkah by spending too much money. Parents need to be the voice of reason and say "no" to unreasonable requests.

The best gifts are not necessarily expensive, but something that is meaningful that will enhance the quality of the child's life. In our family we posted a wish list. We wrote on the list everything that we wanted with the most important thing at the top. If the desired gift was an expensive item then two or more family members would go in together to share the expense. These lists took a lot of the guess work out of shopping for other family members.

On the other hand, many families don't have money to pay for Christmas presents at all. I suggest that you have everyone write his or her name on a slip of paper and put it in a hat. Each person in the family draws another family member's name. It is their job to think of something that person would enjoy, such as a poem, a drawing, a heartfelt letter, or something delicious to eat. 

A wonderful gift simply doesn't have to be expensive. 

Wishing your and your families a joyous Holiday Season and a Happy New Year!

Jayne A. Major, Ph.D.
Major Family Services