Making time for reflection during the holidays

I love the holidays but it seems that every year my kids focus a little more on the "stuff" under the tree and less on what really matters: family and relationships. I feel like I am struggling against a tidal wave of holiday advertising. Is it a lost cause?

Lupita, Texas

Lupita, What a wonderful question. For most families, the holiday season is still about good will toward others, family gatherings, and time-honored traditions. But over the years, with the help of advertisers, the holiday season has also become a celebration of over-consuming, over-spending, and over-indulging on entertainment media. Even worse, every other ad on TV encourages us to stuff our faces and run up the credit card bills. This can make it difficult to help our kids reflect on and celebrate what really matters during the holidays.

ImageThis year, with the economy on all families’ minds, it’s probably a little easier to resist giving in to impulse and overindulging on fattening foods and big-ticket gadgets. Nobody thinks a troubled economy is a reason to celebrate, but you can make it an opportunity to reclaim the holiday season for spending quality time with family and friends.

Of course, if you stay home to save a buck, you may be tempted to plop down in front of the TV or stay buried in Apps. There's nothing wrong with holiday entertainment, but all these distractions give us more reason to carve out time for reflection and family fun ahead of time.

Check out these tips for enjoying the holidays together. Do you have a holiday tradition you would be willing to share?

Have a wonderful winter season,

Dr. Dave, Monica and Erin