It is the season to by jolly (so they say) but the festive period can be quite stressful for kids as well as the adults.
You see kids pick up on the stress of the adults around them (parents and teachers) and it then becomes a vicious cycle… the more frustrated you get with the kids, the mo
re they feel and react to your stress levels. Plus there is such pressure on children to have the latest toy or gift – as if that is a measure of your love for them (although some think it comes from Santa).
Here are a few ideas (including a meditation) on how to have a more mindful Christmas…
Food we eat
We eat such a lot at Christmas and often many sweet and sugary things. Guide your kids to enjoy chocolate or a sweetie more mindfully – talk about how the sugar canes grew with the help of the earth, the sunshine and the rain so they could make this candy. Show them pictures of sugar canes and cocoa beans to help them understand.
Engage their help in setting the table or clearing up – my nephew ryan helped me set the table when he was only 3!
Get them to write a list of their favourite foods and then for each one to notice how it makes them feel. Does their body feel happy or sad when they eat this? Perhaps help them draw an outline of their body and they can draw these sad/happy faces around their body (or use pre-drawn stickers).
Kids are encouraged to write to Santa for all the presents they want. This time, ask them to write a list for someone else – choosing one person and writing down a gift or feeling, thought or colour they would like to share with that person. If they can articulate a specific gift, they can do that but have to say why they would like that person to have it. The adults have to join in this ‘mindful game’ too.
Take a moment to count all the toys they have already – encourage them to notice the breath as they do this so that they don’t get too excited. Then for a mindful minute, they sit down and notice how all these toys make them feel. For another mindful minute they can think about children who don’t have these gifts – ask them to smile (physically) and pretend that in their imagination they could share some of their toys with children around the world. What would they share and why. (Smiling helps them to stay centered in the heart centre with gratitude).
Get some white paper and a cup and draw lots of circles. Help them to cut out the white circles and each one is a snowball. In the snowball they can draw a heart and a word or picture that they would like to give to someone.
Meditation – Christmas Tree of light
Guide your children to imagine that they are sitting next to a huge Christmas tree. The tree has lots of coloured lights – each one is a feeling or present that they can give to someone to make them smile. Ask them to imagine giving that coloured light to a person they know and how happy this makes them feel.
Meditation – winter wonderland
A magical sleigh ride through a snowy landscape. Ask children to imagine the speed of the sleigh, the cold air, the snowflakes falling and the sound of the reindeer bells. It’s a starry night and they are off through this winter wonderland….feeling happy, free and having fun.
Have a very merry Christmas….
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