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holidays

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									Teaching kids about Holidays

      We just finished the Fourth of July celebration at our house, and
my five year old was told all about the parade and carnival, and
fireworks to follow that evening. As we walked to the parade, he asked
me why there were flags on a lot of the lawns. I realized that I didn’t
teach him about what the holiday meant.
      It doesn’t matter what the holiday is, or what your beliefs are.
If we don’t teach our children what the holidays really mean, they are
going to get a different idea than what we want. Often we get so caught
up in preparing for the holidays that we don’t spend the time that we
should in teaching our children what the holiday means.
      Before the holiday, take a half hour to spend teaching about the
holiday. Give a brief overview of what the holiday is about, and find an
activity that you can do with your children to reinforce their
understanding. If you are teaching about Halloween, you can talk about
the holiday before you carve pumpkins.
      We celebrate Christ’s resurrection for Easter. One year I wanted
to teach my children more about what Easter is really about. I found a
recipe on the internet that makes a hollow cookie. Each ingredient
symbolized something to do with the Easter holiday and Christ’s
resurrection. My kids and I made the cookies and then put them in the
oven overnight. When we woke up the next morning, the cookies were done,
and they were hollow inside, representing an empty tomb.
      Whether you have a religious belief or just celebrate the
commercial beliefs about holidays, there are meanings behind each
holiday. Before we get caught up in the holiday itself, make sure your
children understand that it is more than getting together with family, or
dressing up in costumes.

								
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