You're in school thinking about the upcoming winter holidays, and you
can barely sit still in your seat. Parties! Punch! Peanut-butter cookies!
Perfect presents! But even though the holidays can be great, sometimes
they can leave a kid stressed or confused. Check out the links below to
learn more about the different winter holidays and the best ways to enjoy
them - whether you'll be breaking out the mistletoe, dreidels, or
Mistletoe or Menorah
The most well-known
winter holidays are Christmas (this Christian holiday celebrates Christ's
birth), Hanukkah (this is a Jewish holiday and a festival of lights), and
Kwanzaa (this holiday is an African-American celebration of culture and
family). Many families (but not all) celebrate one or more of these
holidays. Some families celebrate other winter holidays.
family may enjoy different winter holidays than your friends' families do.
Or perhaps you enjoy the same holiday, but you celebrate in a different
way. If you have a different religion or if your family has its own ways
of celebrating, you and your friends should talk about the things that
make your family holidays special. Ask them about how they celebrate and
talk about the things that you and your family do. You might even want to
visit your library to learn more about winter holidays other than your
own; there are many great kids' books that talk about Christmas, Hanukkah,
Kwanzaa, and more.
There's no right or wrong way to celebrate the
holidays. Families enjoy different traditions, which are special
things they do every year at the same time.
Dreaming of Piles of
A sweater and socks again? Of course it's fun to
dream about a special toy you want to get this December, but remember that
you may not get what you ask for. The presents are not what winter
holidays are about.
People give you presents because they love you.
If you don't get what you want, it's OK to feel a little bit sad about it,
but you should always be happy and thankful that someone thought of
You might feel upset when you rip off the wrapping paper and
don't see your dream toy, but you have other chances to get the present
you asked for. You can save your allowance to buy it for yourself or wait
for your birthday. In the meantime, enjoy the presents you did get and
remember that you may get what you wanted later on.
If Your Family Isn't the
Same as Last Year
Maybe you've moved far away from family
members, your parents are divorced
remarried, or someone close to you has passed away. The
holidays can sometimes be a sad,
difficult time for kids whose families aren't the same as they once were.
Here are a few ways to make a new situation better.
If your parents are divorced, you may spend the holiday in two or more
places or you may not get to see both parents on the same day. You may be
asked to share the holiday with one parent and his or her new boyfriend,
girlfriend, husband, or wife. You may spend the holiday with new
stepbrothers or stepsisters.
If you feel unhappy or confused about
the way you'll be spending the holiday, talk to your family about it. It's
OK to be sad or upset, and you should tell your mom or dad or another
adult you trust how you feel. It's also OK to have mixed-up feelings. The
most important thing is to share those feelings and not keep them
It may help to ask your mom or dad exactly what the holiday
plans are. This way, you'll know what to expect. If there's something you
really want to do, like go to a party at your school, church, or temple,
ask your mom or dad ahead of time if you can schedule that event as part
of your day.
Also, it's a good idea to plan a fun activity just for yourself. You
could make a craft,
read a book, or play with a new toy to keep from
If your family is different this year, start a new
tradition. Make special cookies, dance to a special song, light a candle,
or have everyone decide on something that will make the holiday special
The holidays can also be a time to remember the
people we love who have died. It's OK to be sad about missing someone. It
may make you feel better to do something in the person's honor, such as
making him or her a card or small gift. Some families also find that
sharing fun and nice memories of the person can help them feel
Remember that no matter which part of your family you are
with this holiday season, you are still important and loved by
Keeping Your Holiday
If you've ever been shopping right before the winter
holidays, you'll remember that the mall was crowded, the lines were long,
and people were crabby. This kind of holiday stress could affect you, so
try to keep your cool.
Make sure you get plenty of sleep and
and don't eat too many sugary
snacks and candy - a little bit is OK, but a lot will make you
feel yucky. Keep yourself in good health this holiday season to keep your
Try not to worry about all the parties you hope to go
to and the presents you hope to get. Just enjoy yourself and have a good
time playing with friends and visiting family. Making gifts for the people
you love is fun, and they will love getting presents as much as you do.
Remember that holidays aren't about getting stuff; they're about spending
time with people you love.
Another nice holiday idea: give to
charity or help those who have no family of their own. Tell your mom or
dad that volunteering at a hospital or homeless shelter is a great way to
share the holiday spirit and ask if you can make it a family
Whether you find the holidays super or stressful,
remember that they'll be over in about a week or so. Have a good time and
have fun with the people who love you the most.