The Best Lesson I Taught My Children This Holiday

The Best Lesson I Taught My Children This Holiday

They say kids learn from what you teach them. I am positive I did not teach them to lay belly down in the store and throw a fit over not being able to have a gift even if Santa is taking orders. Santa can’t handle every request and neither can I.

That kind of fit like behavior would ruin my hair and lipstick, and I just wouldn’t do it in public. I mean do you know how many people walked on the floor with dirty shoes? I can say the stomping of the foot when one is mad could be a learned behavior or perhaps genetic. It is possible that we evolved from horses.

It was this single act of earthquake child with flailing arms and legs and tears escaping and mucus flying in the middle of the store that sent me into an entirely new holiday direction.

I know how to stretch my money to the point that it resembles silly putty and I know that memories are more important but what I didn’t know was me seeking gifts and buying gifts was turning my children into spoiled lunatics capable of natural disasters in retail locations near you.

I only had one chance to make a change, so I decided what I needed was a National Lampoon’s Christmas type plan. When you think back, each movie revolved around the family having to spend time together. I liked to watching how they got to know one another like it or not.

My plan was simple, to hold my children hostage for one hour while teaching them the miracle of the holiday. I needed 4 things for my mission:

Cooper Tires

1) A car expertly equipped with Cooper Tires. (Cooper Tire is the best choice for a quality tire at a great price – and from a company, you can trust.)
2) Holiday Light Printables
3) Bottle Waters and PB&J
4) 3 children with bad attitudes and one husband without his phone or laptop to receive work calls

We all gathered in the car with a couple of minor incidents over seat location. We took to the road steadfast with my mommy van newly adored with Cooper Tires. They really hug the road and my car no longer vibrated like those dancing ornaments. They also helped with that vibrating noise when you open a window that sounds like a child trying to reach the highest notes without a vocal ladder. They made my van more effective than Santa’s sleigh.

I printed out a Christmas light tracker for each child and handed them a pen and a clipboard. They were to embark on a scavenger hunt.

Scavenger hunt printable

The Scavenger hunt is fun, and it will be a tradition of ours for years to come, but I wanted to create an experience. I want to show my children what the holiday was about instead of just telling them.

What I am trying to teach my children is to reach for meaning. I want them to uncover the truth like a detective on the final clue of a mystery. I want them to go beyond what we can afford and what we can’t afford. I want them to understand it isn’t what you can receive but what you can give. I want this lesson to happen for so many reasons.

This is what I did, I bought one loaf of bread, 1 bag of sandwich bags, 1 jar of peanut butter, 1 jar of jelly, and bottle waters. Then make PB&J sandwiches enough for your family and as many as you can with the supplies you have left. You are going on what I would like to call the “Bless express.”

You are now armed with what the holiday is about service to others. It is about being open and helpful. It isn’t about shiny toys. You will jump in your car and go on a holiday light show. You can use this fun printable to collect your findings. It is also your mission if you see anyone who doesn’t appear to have a home to stop and give them the PB&J you made them.

As a parent, we all struggle with “if only I could buy more” but truth be told it should be “if only I could give more.” I promise, giving your time and giving to others will not only restore Christmas in your home, but it will set a tradition for years to come. The holiday isn’t about what shiny gift you can provide it is about opening your heart to others.

I knew life is about making choices and in our home we make decisions in this order: health, safety, needs and wants. That is why when faced with everyone out buying one another. I got creative. I was determined to capture the true meaning of the holiday. I hope that you also find the true meaning of the holiday for your family, create traditions like the magic tour of wishes and pass on your good fortune. We are in the position of giving something.

May your road be filled with love and may your travels be safe. I do suggest making sure your car has Cooper tires like mine. I always say tires are the most important decision you make as a car owner.

Cooper Tires

It’s winter, and most of us are going to be on the road whether to visit relatives, shop around, see the sights or to spread blessings to others. It’s important to choose great tires, inspect and to maintain them well to make sure you and your family are safe. Tires play a crucial role in your safety on the road and the performance of your vehicle. Cooper Tire has more than a century of experience in designing and manufacturing tires, making them one of the trusted brands.

Here are some of the tire maintenance and safety facts that Cooper Tire uses to help consumers realize that “Tires Matter.”

Did you know that “All season” tires are not winter tires?

“All season” tires are a great choice for the majority of customers, as they are designed specifically to perform well in year-round moderate weather. If you live in an area with severe winter weather conditions, it is highly recommended that you install winter tires during the winter months, typically from November through March. Winter tires are specifically designed and formulated to improve braking and handling on snow and ice. It is highly recommended that winter tires be placed in all 4 positions for optimal winter performance. However, if you choose to only install 2 winter tires, they must be placed on the rear axle positions. Winter tires can be identified by the 3-Peak Mountain and Snowflake symbol that is located on the tire’s sidewall.

Tires should be checked at least once a month and before a long road trip for routine maintenance and safety.

Cooper Tires

Checking your tires for proper maintenance and safety is a simple, do-it-yourself routine that will get you road ready. As the only part of your vehicle connecting it to the road, checking them monthly and before road trips is recommended.

Follow these easy steps that take approximately 10 minutes to complete.

Check the Pressure
– Be sure to check air pressure when tires are cool (minimum three hours after driving).
– Find manufacturer’s recommended air pressure located on the vehicle doorjamb, glove box, fuel door or the owner’s manual.
Note: the tire pressure listed on the tire sidewall is the maximum pressure, not the recommended pressure
– Remove the valve cap and take the tire gauge and press firmly on valve stem.
– If the reading is lower than the recommended level, add air and check again
– Over inflated? Push on the metal valve core in the center of the valve with the nub on the back of the tire gauge to release air, and check again.
– Once recommended pressure is reached, replace valve cap.

Check the Tread
– Insert the edge of a U.S. penny in the tire tread, with Lincoln’s head down.
– If the top of Lincoln’s head is covered by tread, there is at least a minimum acceptable amount of tread.
– If the top of his head is visible at any point around the tire, it is time to replace the tire.

Check the Overall Condition
– Visually check for cuts, cracks, splits, punctures, irregular wear and bulges.
– If any of these conditions are spotted, or if you are doubtful about the condition of your tires, visit a dealer for a professional inspection.

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Cooper Tire . The opinions and text are all mine.