In this five-part podcast, family life counselor Diane Moore shares helpful tips for families to survive the holidays.


When the weather starts getting colder and the hint of snow is in the air we look forward in expectation. Diane Moore reflects on the wonder of Christmas in today’s Parent Talk tips.

Diane Moore: Christmas is about wonder. We don’t want to miss the Christmas of wonder.

Children experience wonder at Christmas

A lot of times, as parents we just want to raise our kids and we’d want to do a good job, and we’re just working so hard that we don’t know how we are coming across to our kids. We really want them to do the right things.

And so, to our kids sometimes it can be interpreted as, “Oh, my parents all they care about is this list of do’s and don’ts. And if I just behaved this way, then I’ll be acceptable in my family. I’ll be loved.”

And that’s not what is in our hearts.

Don’t you think God has that same problem? We interpret Him that way too.

We say, “Why, God only cares about my outward behavior,” but that’s not true about God, and it’s not true about you.

And one thing that we can do at Christmas, with our kids is to take captive the message of Christmas. And look for ways to experience its wonder.

Because, we’re not going to sell the list of do’s and don’ts to our kid’s very well, they are not going to be buying it, like we want them to be buying it.

Do you know how we sell stuff to kids? We sell them the dream. We sell them the dream, that’s what’s sellable. The world is doing a really good job of this. Disney is great at selling a dream. Bill Gates was great selling a dream. The guys, who understand it out there in the world, they’re doing gang busters. They’re steering the culture. They’re in charge.

But do you know what I say to parents, who want raise kids of character and parents who love God? “We’ve got the best dream. We’ve got it!”

But we’re selling the list of to do’s and don’ts. Yeah, I know those do’s and don’ts, they’re important, because that’s the kind of stuff that keeps us from the dream. But we’ve got to start selling the dream better. Christmas is a great time to do it.

Jesus came. God came, as a baby. What’s that about? Who can wrap their head around that? You know, God’s in a manger. You could kiss his face.

You know, if I had to answer that question that I talked about in another podcast, “Who would you sit by at the Christmas table, the shepherds, the kings?” I’d say, “Mary, can I just watch over Jesus?” And I’d just kiss his face. And just wonder if that was even okay. That’s just mind bending.

Bring your kids into that wonder. Wonder means you don’t understand it. And they’ve got to see you grapple with it, and not get it, to get into that world. Cause, they’re not going to get it by you trying to make them wonder. They’re going to get it by watching you wonder. Watching you be moved by a beautiful Christmas carol. Watching you be moved by the things that you see. That they’re so beautiful, that celebrate Christmas and what they mean, the lights at the darkest time of the year.

So, celebrate that wonder. Experience that wonder.

Just go out and feel it. And let your kids watch ya.


Diane Moore is a certified family life counselor and parent mentor with a private practice in Vancouver. Her radio talk show is Parent Talk heard in Portland, Vancouver and Boise.

Audio captured and edited by Ed Stortro
Audio transcription by Ed Stortro