How many ways do you include musicin your Christmas activities?
Maybe you haven’t given that much thought, but think about it.
Grocery shopping, with an overhead ambience of Christmas songs.
Let It Snow, Let It Snow, Let It Snow on the Car radio while driving to work.
Headphones enclosing you in a world of sound as you walk or jog around the block.
Music is everywhere, right? And in today’s world much of that is when you are alone going about your daily business.
But how can you incorporate music into your Christmas celebrations with family and friends to make it extra special?
Let’s say you’re competing with time to get too much done before the kids get out of school for the holidays. You need to buy new clothes for the Christmas office party or prepare all that fabulous food for family and friends.
It’s a bit like competing in a boxing ring to get in the right jab. Dodge the right hook of stress. Time limits. And punches in the gut.
But wait, there’s good news!
This year I’m going to help you to break through the ambient Christmas music in three ways. You may have even better ideas that you can add to the comments below. Sometimes just pausing to take a deep breath to think through how to handle stressful moments can help. Celebrate this joyous time of year as you consciously choose your music events. Choose to immerse yourself in music and you will heighten the celebratory moments. And provide wonderful good memories in your child for future traditions of their own.
Music Event #1: How do I encourage my child to love Christmas music in a world of distractions, like TV, video games, and stressful moments?
It’s quite easy if you focus some of your Christmas joy on what is happening in her life. This way you won’t be competing so hard with the distractions.
Here’s what I mean.
Claire McCarthy, MD Faculty Editor for Harvard Health Publishing says, “There are plenty of things you have to do. Make your family rituals things you want to do.”
Let’s say that your daughter is auditioning for the school play. She’s nervous and is worried that she won’t be selected for a part in the play.
Have you ever auditioned for a part in a school event? Or know of someone who has?
Would your daughter want to know all about it?
In fact, she’d be jumping up and down to discover what happened, eager to hear from someone who understands her world. The familial bond strengthens.
Meanwhile, you’ve prepared the atmosphere. You’re focusing your Christmas joy on your child. Favourite Christmas songs play softly on the TV screen’s YouTube, or iPhone app. And you’re sitting side-by-side in deep sharing. Wisdom of experience and hindsight of school auditions prepare her for what’s to come.
It’s a moment to capture in her memory forever of favourite Christmas moments.
Music Event #2: Okay, that’s fine. But what if she doesn’t get the audition and is broken hearted?
You need to make sure that you know the outcome of your child’s audition. It’s quite easy to focus all your Christmas preparational efforts on the BIG DAY. There’re gifts to be wrapped, cookies to be baked, and a roast beast to cook.
When your child comes home remember to ask how the day went. Sometimes busyness makes us forget important little things. Like, “How’d the audition go?”
If she got a part, she may come bouncing in to tell you. But if she didn’t, the silence might cause the moment to slip by.
Now believe me, there are few moments that stand out in life that really make a difference to inspire and uplift a child. But if it only takes one moment, then all the effort is worth it.
And if you are sensitive to such potential moments you stand a good chance for HUGE impact in creating magical Christmas memories.
The point is, one way for amazing Christmas memories to form in your child is to focus on her, combined with music and celebrations.
For instance, you might sympathize with her that she didn’t get the audition. Sometimes all it takes is a hug of understanding. Sometimes an encouragement for her to congratulate the winner may be in order.
And a reward to celebrate her courage to try out for the audition may boost her confidence. This could be something as simple as helping you make those cookies. Or … a musical event.
This year the Markham Theatre presents several Christmas presentations. I have no affiliation but a live ballet of The Nutcracker, or a Swinging Christmas with Toronto All-Star Big Band sounds like a fun memory making event.
This is what happens when you focus some of your Christmas joy on your child. And hundreds of more ways you can choose to create those fabulous Christmas memories. Anything from attending live musicals at the theatre or church or chatting over hot chocolate and listening – really listening, cooking food together, crafts – and don’t forget helping with food banks and serving others all while enjoying your favourite Christmas music.
Music Event #3: What else can I do to increase my child’s love of Christmas music?
There was a time when music wasn’t so – everywhere! Neither was it so free. Music lessons were rare. But when they did occur in well-to-do homes, the child held their own private musical concert by entertaining family and friends.
Today that can still be repeated in homes as I did for my family and neighbours my mother invited. I played an off-chord rendition of Jingle Bells that made my audience laugh and clap.
More likely your child will play at a Christmas recital your music teacher sponsors. Make this a big moment in her life. Celebrate afterwards in your home with hot apple cider and hot chocolate.
Use your imagination and enjoy Christmas music filling your home with joy, love and laughter.
And don’t forget to add your own fun and creative ideas in the comments below. Merry Christmas!