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December and the Young Child

lit candle on wooden table near window
Sherry Jennings

December brings the shortest, darkest days in the year. For the young child, the day closes early as the sun has already descended by dinnertime. A sense of quiet can be felt, unlike in the summer when the sun is still shining as the child goes to bed.

So it is in these mid-winter nights, the sleep of the young child is often deeper than at other times of the year. Parents can help guide the child into these nights of deep and restful sleep by creating a quiet mood at bedtime with gentle lullabies, a simple story, and a lighted candle. The glow of the candlelight fills the room with a mood of peace and calm that prepares the child to enter this place of deep rest.

For parents, this may not be the case. Perhaps even before the child is asleep, the parents are thinking about all the extra tasks this time of year asks of them — holiday planning, preparations, and activities that can leave the parents of young children doubly stretched, stressed, harried, and exhausted. Parents also need the nourishment of the calm and peace emanating from the lighted candles and quiet singing. As parents of young children, you can also extend care to yourselves by pausing, sitting for a few extra minutes, and bathing yourselves in the light of the glowing candle.

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