Notes on Parenting

Insights for parenting babies, toddlers, teens, and young adults.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Applying "Good, Better, Best" to Christmas Break

“We have to forego some good things in order to choose others that are better or best because they develop faith in the Lord Jesus Christ and strengthen our families.”
-Dallin H. Oaks of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles

Christmas break has come and with that brings many things, but most of all it brings: our children being around when they are otherwise absent and the preparations for Christmas (Christmas dinner, presents, neighbor gifts, guests, etc.). We have all of these things condensed into a few days and even though we have been working to get the preparations finished we know there are last minutes things that fill up each and every day.

I find myself thinking that it is all right to focus on the Christmas preparations because it is for my child. They will be happy when Christmas morning rolls around and I completed all I set out to do.

Consider, though how good Christmas preparations and gifts can be, but how great memories are. Take some time to reconsider what has to be done and when. Can that gift wrapping wait until your little ones are sleeping so that you can go play in the snow together? Can the cookies be baked as a family after dinner instead of having your kids entertain themselves so you can “just get them done”? Can a note be written to a neighbor that expresses kindness rather than a gift that has to be made so you can spend more time with your children and less time baking, crafting, wrapping, etcetera?

I speak of Christmas because that is the pressing event, but bringing this to your life each day – thinking in terms of good, better, and best always will bring a richness, fulfillment and peace to our lives. I don’t believe this peace can come if we find things to busy ourselves that are good but ignore the best blessing we have been given – our children.

Each and every day I find things I “have to do” that are often really wants. I make myself busier than I need to be, or in hopes of saving time I do things alone rather than with my child that might be fun and/or a learning experience for them if I would just take the time.

Besides the benefit for our children of us focusing more on the best activities and duties, we will find a great benefit for ourselves. I am never more lighthearted and happy than when I have spent an hour just playing in my child’s room with them. I feel rejuvenated after running around outside and getting fresh air. I feel immeasurable joy when I hear that little baby laugh that can be so hard to coax out.

Consider this Christmas time as an opportunity to really challenge yourself to choose the best each day over the good. It is not a question of being wrong when we choose the good but it is a question of joy, quality time, and memories when we choose the best – when we choose our children.

Do you find it difficult to let go of the good in favor of the best? Why do you think it can be so difficult to do this?

By Brooke

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