As the holiday season approaches, you may be finding yourself wondering how much more stuff do your children really need? Have you ever considered giving your children a treasured memory instead of a new “thing?” Think about what you did as a child. What are your favorite memories? Do they revolve around an item or an experience? Very likely it is an experience.
According to Leslie Hundt, Center Coordinator for Ebenezer Child Care Centers with locations on Milwaukee’s Southside and in downtown Milwaukee, Oak Creek and West Allis, “Many studies show that material possessions do not equal happiness. Experiences are much more fulfilling and as adults our favorite memories are the experiences we had growing up, not the things that made up our lives.”
Think about what gives your children joy. We all feel excitement when we buy something new or give a child a new toy, but how long does that joy last? Does your child immediately want you to play with them and the new toy? Is your child wanting you or the toy? It’s you that gives your child joy. It’s you they want.
There is a certain place in our lives for toys. Children use them daily and adults want to give the best things to children while trying to create a memory. What are other ways you can create memories?
Here are a few ideas for creating memories during the holidays and beyond.
- Bundle up and go for a walk around your neighborhood looking at holiday lights. Add extra fun by bringing along to-go cups of hot chocolate.
- Have a holiday movie night. Stay up late, eat your favorite family snacks and watch funny holiday movies together.
- Make a holiday tent inside your home. Use blankets and chairs to create an indoor tent. Hang lights inside your tent, read holiday books in it and have a sleep over inside the tent.
- Visit your local library. Many libraries have fun holiday happenings just for families and kids and they are free. Check out some holiday books while you are there.
- Take your child to a theater production of a holiday show. Milwaukee has many shows this holiday season: https://www.milwaukee-theatre.com/index_holiday.php
- Encourage your child to create and/or pick out the gifts for family and friends. Children love to give something they chose, and your friends and family will love it also.
- After the holidays create a holiday book with your child. Staple together sheets of paper, glue or tape holiday photos inside the book. Let your child add the captions for each photo by writing what they see and remember about each photo. Guaranteed your child will look at this book over and over.
During this holiday season consider adding experiences as well as gifts. The family time and memories you create are worth so much more than gifts. Once you start thinking of your favorite memories, it will be easy to come up with many more to create those cherished moments with your child.
Ebenezer Child Care Centers is a not-for-profit, locally based agency committed to providing early childhood programs from the heart. The agency prides itself on being different from other child care providers in that it offers a home-like atmosphere; individualized, nurturing care; and a structured curriculum that is virtues-based for every child’s developmental stage.
Every Ebenezer Child Care Center focuses on all aspects of a child’s development: cognitive, physical, emotional, and social. In addition to providing quality care, the agency also offers other educational programming all aimed at helping parents.
The agency has locations on Milwaukee’s southside and in downtown Milwaukee, Oak Creek, and West Allis/Wauwatosa. The agency’s main office is located at 1496 South 29th Street, Milwaukee. For more information, please call 414-643-5070 or visit the agency’s website at www.ebenezerchildcare.com.