‘Tis the Season… Or, Maybe ‘Tisn’t

Dear Mr. Dad: When our daughter was younger, Christmas was her favorite holiday and she looked forward to it all year. Now that she’s 13, she refuses to celebrate it. Christmas is always a big deal in our house. How do we convince our daughter to participate and enjoy this special holiday?

A: Generally speaking, young children love the Christmas holidays because of what they see as the magical and enchanting atmosphere–beautifully decorated houses, Christmas trees, sleigh bells ringing, Santa Claus coming to town, and opening gifts on Christmas morning (not necessarily in that order). Even in my house—and many others—where we celebrate Hanukah, I love to pack the kids into the car and drive around town oohing and aahing over the amazingly elaborate light displays. And yes, some of that gift-opening magic has rubbed off on us too.
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