The holidays are a magical time for children. Presents, extra holiday treats, and a vacation from school are just a few perks of the holidays. With freedom and excess of the season, it’s easy for children to get a little carried away. At some point, children will get overly tired, greedy about presents, or would rather play on their electronics than talk to family members. Make the most of your child’s holiday break. Show them how to find their holiday spirit.  

When a child receives a gift, it is one of the best parts of their holidays, but the holidays are much more than that. We know, as adults, to give a gift can be just as rewarding as it is to receive one. Parents can help children learn this lesson now. Children can make a present or help pick one out from the Marine Corps Exchange (MCX). Some of the best memories of the holidays come when you pick out a gift for your mom, dad, or siblings.

Sometimes we need to remember that the best gifts you give your children won’t be material ones. Enjoy time together as a family. Play games, watch a movie, or decorate cookies. These activities are the real joys of the holidays and will be what your children remember as they grow up.

If you host a holiday celebration, keep kids engaged. Children can set the table, decorate the house, and wrap presents to feel part of the celebration. Preparations for the holidays are usually as fun as the actual celebration, and children love to join when it is time to deck the halls.

Don’t forget. You can volunteer, participate in a local toy drive, or give your kids a little money to give to a charity of their choice. All are all great ideas that help children understand how to be generous. Check with your local Volunteer Program for opportunities in your area.

Maintain your children’s routines. Holidays are great for many reasons, but especially because they give us a break from the everyday routine, but it can also be stressful for those children who gain comfort from routines. Keep things consistent for children. Kids still need snack time, attention from parents, and an opportunity to unwind before bed.

If you notice kids are stir-crazy at family events, give them a bath, put them in pajamas, and let them unwind. Watching a movie is a great solution. Children need time to decompress, and what helps kids (or adults) relax more than a good bath and movie before bed?

Remember that your kids are kids no matter their age. Many holiday traditions, such as lengthy services, big family meals, and parties, require children to be on their best behavior. Try to keep those events to a minimum and customize festivities for your kid’s ability. Don’t schedule more than one event in a day. Also, ensure to include physical activity and lots of downtimes. You will be grateful for the holiday break, and so will your kids. For more ideas on how to make the most of your child’s holiday break, contact your local Child & Youth Programs Office.

Holiday Survival Kit