(The other night, my kids argued about who was better at brushing their teeth. That one was challenging. On the one hand, I don’t mind that they are being competitive about not getting cavities. I had an emergency root canal on Monday. I want our kids to avoid that kind of thing. On the other hand, they were yelling at each other. These kind of situations happen a lot at our house, which was why when author Tim Elmore said he’d write a guest post for me for free about peacefulness in kids at Christmas, I said yes. Click continue to check out Tim’s advice.)
Growing Peacefulness in Your Kids at Christmas
I just saw something amusing. I was recently in Michigan, driving through a shopping mall parking lot to pick up some cold medicine. As I drove by, I noticed a handful of men dressed up like Santa’s elves. They were large men holding up signs of Christmas cheer — words like “Ho, Ho, Ho” and “Joy to the World.” One of the elves caught my eye. He was angry. He was yelling at a driver in the parking lot. I mean — he was doing everything opposite what I imagine Santa’s elf would do: Ranting and raving about something this driver had done — perhaps missing a stop sign or driving a bit too fast. Whatever it was, everyone within forty yards heard the big elf. I thought a fight might break out. But, alas, something better happened. The elf stopped screaming and walked back to his position on the sidewalk… carrying his sign that read: “Peace on Earth.” (Imagine if he had broken that sign over somebody’s back? And the guy who gets beat up by an elf, how do you live that down? You can’t tell that story at a party.)
It’s ironic isn’t it? Christmas — the celebration of “peace on earth, good will to men” and the entrance of the “Prince of Peace” — is often the most hectic, chaotic time of year. Most of the time, we fail to experience peace because we have cluttered our calendars. We’re running at such a fast pace, we’re unable to enjoy peace, inside or outside. So how do we cultivate peace in our homes at Christmas?
Sit down at the kitchen table and talk about the value of “peace” in our lives. Then, contrast it with your schedules throughout the fall. Perhaps, especially during the holiday time. Together answer these questions: Why do we let ourselves get so busy? How does it negatively affect us?
Then, look at your daily schedules. Mutually decide what “clutter” could be cleared off the calendar to make room for a little peace. Don’t force anything — let your kids help decide what can be removed and what should stay. But once you cut some activities, choose together what you’ll do with that open space in your calendar. (Hint: Don’t add more noise and activity.) What about reading the Christmas story again and talking about the peaceful first Christmas. Sit back and relax a bit and soak in the peace before the hectic holiday.
“And He shall be called Wonderful, Counselor, Everlasting Father, the Prince of Peace…” (Isaiah 9:6)