The Christmas break – getting more out of the Festive period

The school Christmas holiday period is a critical time for parents and their children – particular teenagers who are at a key stage of their education. Teenagers may not be as excited about Christmas as they were when they were younger children, but, nevertheless, there are still plenty of emotions flying around. Whilst it is important to celebrate by eating and drinking and being merry, this is a very good time to relax, reflect and reenergise for the coming year. For those in school, both students and teachers, the break is well deserved, coming, as it does, after the longest academic term of the year. The Christmas break presents a great opportunity to do a few things that can make a huge difference to what one is trying to achieve in the coming year. This applies to both us as parents and also our teenagers.

People’s beliefs and what we tend to do at Christmas time

The last week of December and the very first days of January, particularly the period between 26th December and 1st January, are when many people are off work. It is a time of the year when many families get together and spend some time with each other. For those who enjoy bonding with relatives, it’s such a joyous time of the year, although there’s always negativity on the part of some people who say that it’s boring because they have to be with family. The good thing is that most people do not share that cynicism. Adults, in particular, appreciate the importance of spending time with their children at this time of the year – particularly those who have teenagers. If the teenager appreciates it too is a different matter! The reality is that, in a few years time, they will be young adults and they may choose to spend less time with their parents and more time with their friends instead – which is quite natural. Irrespective of whether one believes in the religious side of Christmas or not, in most parts of the world – with the exception of perhaps parts of Asia and most of the Middle East – the Christmas holiday is recognised as the time when people take time off from work. It is important to make the very best of it, as the summer holidays are a long way away.

In recent years, one of the things that I’ve managed to achieve over the Christmas break is staying away from the shops and refusing to be lured in by the big sales and all that. I see excessive shopping simply as a way of buying rubbish in the form of things that I do not really need and may never use. I’m glad I’ve got the habit of going to the shops at this time of the year out of my system!

Mixed feelings about Christmas time

Christmas can often be a time of mixed feelings for many parents, as, whilst enjoying all the festivities, they are also aware of the expectation of having to spend money on presents, food and drinks. One good side to the spending bit is that the only thing better than receiving gifts and presents is the pleasure of giving to other people. It is important to note that we do not necessarily have to give the most expensive gift, as the value lies in the gesture of giving, not how much the gifts cost.

Talking about money and cost, in the next part of this three-part blog I will explore the idea of money and ask whether money is the costliest of investments? Find out in my next blog in a couple of days.