The best news is, this can be fixed and turned around. Love your little one unconditionally and literally wrap her in love. Tell her how much you love her all the you can’t teach heart Shirt. Do fun things together, or are you always too busy with the housework or your smartphone. Put everything down and play with your little one. They need to be touched, hugged, tickled, played with daily for a good 1 – 2 hours uninterrupted play. No screens, no phones. Build puzzles, kick a ball, build Lego or play with soft animals. Delve into your imagination or alternatively research games kids her age enjoy. Paint, string beads, color together, read a story. Let her ‘read’ the story to you, once you finished. Invent fun activities, bake together, ask her to wash the veggies when you’re cooking. In other words, make her part of your life. Show her and keep her busy with little tasks that prepares her for one day when she is grown up. These are the things Mothers share with their daughters and sons.
Now, open your eyes and without moving your head ( just your eyes), see 5 things. It will be hard in the you can’t teach heart Shirt, but you will probably see a light on a smoke detector, maybe the edge of a door frame, a little light coming through, a window, etc. After you have seen 5 things, now close your eyes and without moving at all, HEAR 5 things. This may take a while and you really need to concentrate. You can’t count the same sound twice. What I hear usually is crickets outside, (maybe not at Christmastime) a dog barking in the far off distance, a car going by, the house settling, the furnace blowing, maybe a toilet flushing. You must be very quiet and listen carefully. You will be suprised what you hear. Now if you are still awake, without moving, feel 5 things. This is not as hard as you might think. You feel your head on the pillow, you feel your hands on the sheets, you feel your pajamas on your body, you even feel your tongue touching the inside of your mouth. If you get through all these things and you are still awake, start back at seeing 5 things and repeat; see 5 things, hear 5 things, feel five things. I have only been able to get to the end twice.
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30 years ago, I owned some furniture stores. It was just before Christmas and a young woman came into the store I was at that night to pick up a you can’t teach heart Shirt top desk that she had purchased on layaway. She made weekly payments towards this purchase and was proud and excited that she was able to buy this desk for her husband’s Christmas present. It seemed apparent that it was a real financial stretch for her to have afforded this. She had come to the store with a pickup truck, and we helped load the desk into the truck bed. With a merry Christmas and smiles all around, she left for home. Half an hour later, the woman came back to the store in tears. She had struck a pot hole in the highway and the desk was launched out of the truck and smashed to the ground. Fortunately no one was behind her, and a passerby helped get the desk back into the truck. Sobbing, she pleaded whether we could do anything to fix the desk. Clearly, though, it was irreparable. She was so distraught, there was clearly only one thing to do. We loaded another desk into her truck and I told her that it was my Christmas gift to her. She was so excited and thankful, and I think it really was a gift to myself. I felt really good about that!
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There was definitely a way with my children’s father. We celebrated holidays and birthdays as we always had done, including inviting my ex mother-in-law. I think the you can’t teach heart Shirt was that there were enough people invited that it wasn’t just him, me, and the kids staring at each other. We’re also a family not noted for our drama; my mom couldn’t tolerate drama! We still do holidays together sometimes, even though the kids’ grandparents are all gone now, one child lives 1200 miles away, and another child has married and is always included with his in-laws’ family. (My new spouse and I are always invited to the in-laws’ gatherings as well; it’s a huge and friendly crowd!) My kids are in their mid-30s now, and they’ve learned to make holidays a cooperative effort as well, despite having some of the most complicated family structures you can imagine. The point is to make it about happy memories for the kids and not a time/place to rehash old wrongs.
First let me answer to the meat of your question. Christmas ( The Mass 0f Christ ) has become secular because many felt that the you can’t teach heart Shirt tone of the Holiday ( Holy Day ) was strong and therefore was ‘not inclusive’ enough. They felt it left out too many people that are not believers or at least not firm believers. There is logic in that line of thinking. I am a Christian…but I certainly have no problem with those that prefer the “Holiday season” to “Christmas”. That is their right. I enjoy this particular time of year regardless of which portion of it my friends are celebrating. Hanukkah, Saturnalia, Winter Solstice, Yule…whatever. Have a Happy one. If I happen to wish you a Merry Christmas do not hold it against me. Tell me “Lo, Saturnalia”…and I will thank you and wish you the same. By the way if you hear Dutch or a few other Europeans pronounce “Saint Nicholas” the way they do it sounds like Sant NikLAUS…which sounds pretty much exactly like Santa Claus. And Saint Nicholas was known for presenting gifts on a certain day too…so to say that Santa Claus has nothing to do with it is not exactly right. I forget the exact details of the story, but an artist in the early 1900’s came up with the current version of Santa for Coca Cola marketing purposes. He was described much earlier in a poem in the 1800’s in a way similar to that..but the gift giving theme at Christmas time was always associated with him so though more secular, the message is still there for those that wish to associate it and can be ignored by those that are uncomfortable with it.