September 21, 2017

Connect With Your Kids With These Christmas Questions

hiking familyBy Lowry Manders

I started this family ritual in an effort to keep my busy young kids at the dinner table for more than a one minute overlap, and to practice the art of dinner conversation! It’s also a fun thing to do at bed-time or just riding around in the car. You could just have these questions in the back of your mind to pull out at random, or you could write them down on scraps of wrapping paper, and stick them in a pretty Christmas box set on the table.  

Let the kids take turns drawing a question out each night. Not only does it add to the anticipation of Christmas, but it gives you an opportunity to practice LISTENING, for gaining insight into the people that you love, for sharing a favorite memory, for imagining together, for learning something new about someone old! It provides an opportunity for true CONNECTION. (You could also use this idea for a holiday party or family gathering, too.)

  • What is your favorite Christmas Song? 
  • What is your favorite Christmas Memory? I love to tell my children the magical story of the Christmas Eve when I was about 7 years old and I went to bed in my old bed, and awoke in a beautiful canopy bed! Santa had worked his magic while I slept!  My children love to hear about how Santa must have snuck me into my brother Jake’s bed with him while I was fast asleep, and then returned me to my new bed.
  • What is your favorite Christmas gift you ever received/ gave? 
  • What is your favorite Christmas book? - My new favorite Christmas book to read with the children is Unwrapping the Christmas Creche by Lisa Flinn and Barbara Younger. It makes setting up your family nativity a magical event!  
  • What is your favorite Christmas ornament on the tree? 
  • What is your favorite Christmas Tradition?  I’m thinking a nice new tradition would be a Christmas Candlelight slow dance to Diana Krall’s “Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas” – it’s like wrapping yourself in a rich velvet blanket by a fire with spiked egg nog! Listen and enjoy…
  • What is your favorite Christmas Movie? My favorite one to watch with the family is a lovely, relaxing British film called “The Snowman” based on the book by Raymond Briggs. It has no words, but simple animation set to beautiful music by the London Symphony. And it helps to put us in a magical snowy land even if it’s 80 degrees outside! The one I like to watch after the kids are in bed while I’m wrapping gifts is “Love Actually” – such a feel-good movie! My favorite scene? Tie between Hugh Grant as the British Prime Minister dancing to “Jump” (dance along to the video), and the proposal scene in…what country is that? watch the scene – I promise it will put a big smile on your face. 
  • If you could be any character or animal in the Nativity story, who would you be? 
  • If you could have any of the 12 days of Christmas gifts, which ones would you choose? I think it would be pretty thrilling to have the 12 drummers drumming show up on the doorstep as long as it wasn’t “rest time”!
  • If you could celebrate Christmas anywhere around the world, where would you want to go? We’ve been watching the Rick Steves’ European Christmas special which plays this time of year on PBS, and it really makes me want to experience a magical Christmas in several places – Paris, Salzburg where “Silent Night” originated under the towering fortress, and the Black Forest of Germany where you can take a sleigh ride through the snow to a magical castle.
  • Have you ever had a Christmas away from home? 
  • And that brings us around to a great question that focuses on the “giving” part of Christmas. What is your favorite way to spread love and joy at Christmas? Just by asking this question, by bringing it into conversation with your children, you are teaching them that it is something your family values.

 

Lowry Manders is a Dallas mom of 2 young children, a Kindermusik teacher, child development expert, creator and speaker for Parent with Purpose, seminars, and writer/ blogger on Mommy Manders.

 

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