Christmas Eve...our kids furiously ripped open gift after gift from our large extended family....paused for a quick hug and a thank you....then it was over.
We needed to slow it down and make the special night more substantive plus we wanted to foster more gratitude in our kids.
How to move from just receiving 'stuff' to cherishing the 'experience' with family?
How do we teach them to capture consciousness...the joy of the present moment and be grateful?
How to enrich the memory and make it last?
My husband came up with a great idea to inject some pause and meaning into our Christmas celebrations. Starting with the youngest member of the group, prior to opening a gift, the person has to say one experience or memory that they are thankful for from the year. As we go around, we revisit a treasured experience, remember why it was special and experience it all over again as a group.
We capture it on video and it becomes a family treasure, chronicling the year's mountaintop moments, our best times of the year. The gifts are sure nice too!