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Christmas Time is Here

By Nathan Coker
In Bayou Kidz
Jan 1st, 2014

BayouKidZ DEC

Ideas For Festive Family Fun This Holiday Season
by Cindy G. Foust

CHRISTMAS TIME IS HERE…HAPPINESS and Cheer…Fun for all that children call…Their favorite time of the year. Greetings BayouLife readers from my computer desk, writing this month’s column and listening to A Charlie Brown Christmas soundtrack (further validation, I am sure, that my thrill level is right up there with watching potatoes boil), trying to muster up some holiday cheer to impart to our readers and their families.

To begin with, Charlie Brown must be one of the greatest cartoon characters of all time, and let me just say that Charles Schulz really got it right with the storyline for this classic story. If Mr. Schultz thought Christmas was over commercialized then, I wonder what he would think now? Sometimes I find myself wondering, IN JULY, why certain businesses even take their Christmas items off the shelf as it seems like this holiday gets earlier and earlier every year. Does anyone else feel like we just put our decorations in the attic, and now we are taking them out again? In the words of Charlie Brown, “Good Grief!”

Every year, I fight the same urge to start the holiday season earlier than I should, and this year is no different. As my children are getting older, however, and with the obvious over commercialization of Christmas, I find myself questioning what my children’s perspective of Christmas might be. What will they take into their adulthood that they will someday share with their own families? And so, it gets me thinking…and from columns past, we know my thinking cap will oftentimes find us “slap dab” in the middle of a time warp, circa 1980, and revisiting my Christmas list that included a jukebox and hot rollers. Well, it’s a Christmas miracle, but I am not going there this column. Instead, I’m going to tiptoe into encouraging families, including my own, to relish the holiday season, rather than letting it get you in a choke hold and sucking the life right out of your body.

So how do we do that? It’s certainly easier to say than do, and I am as guilty as anyone else of letting the holiday season run me over like a freight train. More importantly I think, what are my children observing as I run from “can to can’t” (I try so hard each month to be more like Mark Twain, but instead I think I sound like Shania Twain and some country song she would sing). Nonetheless, how do we put the brakes on the hustle and bustle and slow it down? Since I am hoping to reduce my break-neck speed as well, I think I will start with a visit to the Mr. Panzico’s for the family Christmas tree. When my boys were little, every year we would visit Royal Feed and Seed to let them pick out their tree. After their business closed, we shifted our allegiance to Mr. Sonny, and it’s a great way to get the season started with a fresh picked tree (and sometimes flocked, depending on our mood that year) for our family tree. After the tree is in its place, I think we will find a Christmas classic movie, perhaps Charlie Brown and maybe A Christmas Story (if we don’t shoot our eye out) to watch while we decorate the tree as a family. I know my 15-year old would rather have to clean his room, but every now and then I do see a glimpse of nostalgia from him, and so this leads me to believe that he will jump right in with his 6’2 self and help hang the tinsel. Next, I think we will sit down as a family (don’t you love that sound) and make a list of family and friends to bake and deliver goodies to sometime during the holidays. It can be very stressful trying to get them delivered right at Christmas, so perhaps this year we will reduce that stress level and bake our treats to be delivered the weekend before Christmas. My children do enjoy the house smelling like gingerbread and cookies, so I know I will have a high participation level for this fun. They both also truly enjoy riding in the car with Scott and I as we travel around delivering to our loved ones. I think it gives them a sense of giving, rather than always receiving.

FInally, I think this year I’m going to organize a Christmas carol party for some of our friends and family. I know that is truly a throw back to the days of old, but how fun it would be to visit some of our elderly or even sick loved ones and deliver maybe some fruit or baked goods. I know some of these ideas are probably enjoyed by many of our readers, but on the chance they are not, perhaps you will consider some of these ideas or share with us at BayouLife some of your own, for making this season a little less about hustle and bustle. In the end, it will be worth the effort to make new memories, or expound on the old, with your beloved family. And from the “Foust House” to yours, I do wish for your and your family a very Merry Christmas…it truly is the best time of the year.