In my family, we celebrated the festival of lights - Chanukah! As soon as the children were able, they recited the blessing for the candles and grandmothers handed out Chanukah gelt! My Zayde centered his entire evening around the children, he loved having us by his side and telling us stories. My grandmother loved handing out gifts and food.
In my husband's family, their Christmas Eve was nothing but family - at church, at home, and around the table. After dinner, everyone was around their tree with the children in the middle of the floor. His father told each of the children a riddle - and the children looked around or discussed what they thought their riddle meant and what present was coming their way.
As you can see, conversation, time together, and talking was a part of our lives and we continued those traditions into our life with our son - on both religious tracks, as long as we were together and talking to him all the time. He always had the best of mommy and daddy! He always had the best of both families and it continues to this day. 'The best of' includes little ones being the center of attention and everyone talking!
One of my favorite websites has some information for Language fun and the holidays - if you have the love of family like I do - check it out! I bet you already do some of these things, if you don't it's a great way to learn and incorporate language. www.listeningandspokenlanguage.org
Holidays and Language are just one more reason to share with your child and bring about the art of listening and communicating. Another way to combine two favorites of mine - books and the holidays, whether I am reading them or giving them as gifts. You can do so much through a book. The stories you can tell and the conversations you can have. The playing that will come about and the pretending, imagining and games you will love to have over and over again with your child. My son's favorite book was 'BJ Funnybunny and the Great Tricycle Race' - over and over again - even during the holiday season. The great thing about reading over and over again, your child learns the rhythm and movement of speech. They memorize their favorite books and will 'call you out' on messing up the reading or skipping pages. Go ahead - I dare you - change the words of your child's favorite book and see what happens. You will know if they have been listening. And if you don't have a favorite with your child - create one! This website leads you to a world of great books and they can be as interactive as you want them to be - but they are great conversation making books. Usborne books
Have yourself a merry little holiday and enjoy your family through conversation