Celebrate the Holidays
Today’s post is a letter written by a resourceful farm woman with several young children. She shares her ideas on how to keep away the winter doldrums by allowing her children to plan a bit of fun for special days. Even today children can while away the long hours of a winter afternoon doing simple (low-tech) creative projects. Enjoy! –Elaine
Most all mothers of small children dread winter. I have found that by celebrating the holidays as they come, we always have something to break the monotony and keep the children interested.
We start with Halloween. Even the tiniest tot wants to be a witch. If no pumpkin can be found small enough for him, we use a squash. The children do the planning and decorating with as little help as possible.
Directly following this holiday comes Thanksgiving, then Christmas, New Years, Valentine’s Day, Washington’s birth, and Easter with All Fool’s Day to end the winter.
Each day has its own set of preparations. Each child is kept busy for days at a time with simple decorations for the Christmas tree or valentines. My task is to see that they, first of all, understand the significance of the day we celebrate and learn all they possibly can about it, to see that the jokes and games are not too rough for the smallest and appropriate to the occasion.
The children make the preparations. It will not always be just right but they are learning. Most of the pleasure anyway will be looking forward to or backward upon the holiday. The holiday itself is only a day (with the exception of Christmas).
Besides these holidays there are birthdays and special days for celebrating, such as if one of the family has been ill for several days and is sitting up again, or away from home and returned, or if John or Mary receive some merit in school—much is made of it at the evening meal when the sick one can come to the table or the absent one returns or the little one receives extra praise for good work. It may be nothing more than a favorite dish served or a pair of bright candles lighted and placed on the nicely-set table or a seat of honor designated by a bunch of flowers at the lucky one’s plate.
We never let these opportunities pass. I find my children to be happy and contented and good company and they often surprise me with their original ideas. Let them try plans you know will not work out all right. Next time the plan will be different. –Mrs. J. C.C., Iowa.
The article above was originally published in The Farmer’s Wife—A Magazine For Farm Women, November 1926; Webb Publishing Company, Saint Paul, Minnesota