TWU Professor Offers Tips On Making Holidays Less Commercial
TWU Professor Offers Tips On Making Holidays Less
DENTON With Christmas decorations showing up in stores
before Labor Day, and children's cartoons serving as year-round
marketing tools, how can families keep the meaning of the
It's a challenge, said Dr. Glen Jennings,
professor of family sciences and family therapy at Texas Woman's
University. It all tends to get overly
Jennings said it's important to involve the whole family in
talking about the real meaning of the holidays, whether it be
Thanksgiving, Christmas, Hanukkah or Kwanzaa. Families also need
to establish their own way of celebrating the holidays and
develop their own traditions.
Traditions anchor us; they root us, he said.
Jennings said families could choose a theme for the holidays,
then make decorations and perhaps even choose gifts based on that
theme. The holidays also could be an opportunity for families to
celebrate their ethnic heritage or learn more about other
cultures, he said. Preparing foods and decorations connected to
those cultures could become a fun family tradition as well as a
learning experience, he said.
Jennings said holidays should be a time of celebration and
fun, with less emphasis on the commercial aspects and more focus
on spending time together.
It's often the simple things that bring meaning to the
holidays, Jennings said. Playing games together, having a movie
night or singing around the piano can make lasting memories, he
said. Choosing a Christmas tree is a family activity that can
bring the joy of doing things together, he said.
Families also could connect the holiday seasons to nature by
camping, hiking or even having snowball fights. Rather than go to
the after-Christmas sales, Jennings said, families could plan a
picnic or some other activity that would bring them together.
It's togetherness that matters during the
holidays, he said. Commercialism tends to erode the
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