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What Lessons Do You Use Christmas to Teach Your Children?

Humility? Charity? Appreciation for what you have?

Each week in Moms Talk, our Moms Council takes your questions, gives advice and shares solutions. This week's topic:

"What lessons do you use the holiday season to teach your children?"

Erin Calvo-Bacci:

As a parent, I find teachable moments every day and am truly blessed and thankful for the children I have, the husband who is still by my side and the roof over our head.

The Christmas Season is a wonderful time to focus on virtuous lessons. Those lessons my children are learning, but may not know how to articulate are the following:

patience, charity, diligence, kindness, humility (humble) and temperance—okay the temperance is more for me so I guess I’m teaching by example!

The above should be self explanatory, but my current focus is on humility. Eight years ago, my husband bought The Chocolate Truffle for me and it was not our livelihood as he had his own successful business and was continuing his success streak with selling commercial businesses.

That time was the beginning of the end of our financial security because, just about four years later, we started to feel the pressure of financial strain.

I would not wish what we are still struggling through on anyone, which is where the humility virtue comes in, however we are diligent. We may not be able to take the vacations we use to or go on shopping sprees, but we have what we need.

It’s a tough lesson, and, just as I had to remind myself when someone helped themselves to my belongings when we first moved into the apartment above the store, I remind my children daily “there are always others who need it more.”

Christmas, to us, is the beginning of hope in the birth of a child. Today is a gift which is why we call it the present.

Alicia Botticelli:

The lesson I try to teach my children in the holiday season, and year round really, is one of giving.

I enjoy volunteering for many things from fundraising to doing work. I try to instill that in my children as much as possible.

They come with me to volunteer and to help others a lot. My son goes with my husband as much as possible to help him work; he enjoys helping and doing things for other people.

I think it is very important to help others; even if it is not in a monetary fashion, your time is worth so much to so many.

This is what I stress with my children through my words and especially my actions!

Meghan Cogswell:

It is so easy with little kids to get caught up in all the Santa hype and presents and party atmosphere.

Every year since we have had kids, we have "adopted" two DSS children to buy gifts for. We get a list of what they wish for, their ages and sizes. Then, we all go out as a family and buy them the presents they want and also buy the items they likely will need (such as hats, coats and other clothes). We then go home and wrap them all up and send them into work with Daddy, whose company organizes it.

While it is a great thing to do, and the kids enjoy the shopping, this year, we have decided to look into something a little more hands on, and are also looking into things they can participate more with. 

I think they are losing out on much of the true spirit of this as they don't really get to see it to fruition. There are times when my children show this ridiculous sense of entitlement. It is important to us that they realize how lucky they are and want to help out others who my not be. 

I find my self sounding like a nag this time of year and try to remember this should be taught year round!

Linda Erwin December 01, 2011 at 01:57 PM
To Erin, Alicia, and Megan, I'm very glad to read your words on teaching your children about the "Christmas Season"...(even though the photo that accompanied your comments portrayed the more "commercial" aspect)...You all seem to focus on generosity, outreach, respect for others...God bless each of you in the raising of your children, and in your family life. Merry "Christ-mas" to you! Linda Erwin, Reading
Erin Calvo-Bacci December 01, 2011 at 02:18 PM
Linda thank you very much for your kind words, Merry Christmas to you too!
Nancy Bond December 22, 2011 at 02:37 PM
My parenting days are over (well, I guess the hard part). Let me share with you my Christmas thoughts...about a babe born so long ago. Jesus grew to be a wonderful man. He taught us to "love one another as I have loved you" this is something to remember not only during this wonderful season of lights, but throughout the year. Let Christmas come. Let its spirit stay with us always.

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