What To Do When You're Done With Christmas

“Our hearts grow tender with childhood memories and love of kindred,and we are better throughout the year for having, in spirit, become a child again at Christmas-time.” Laura Ingalls Wilder

It's been rainingpouring monsoon-ing all day.

No big deal.  A day inside never hurt anyone.  However, this weekend's fever has been kicked into overdrive by kids who are out of school and are only able to focus on how many days until Christmas.

My kids started the MONTH with ants in their pants, but now that they are sleeping in and spending 24/7 together, there's a special energy level developing.  They are thoroughly enjoying themselves, but it's killing my productivity.

I mean, I have gifts to wrap (while working around the dog who was laying in the middle of the staging area), and I need to make another batch of Spicy Nuts.  I am looking for a little space to work, and, I think to myself, I wouldn't mind hearing my name a little less (MOOOOOOMMMM.....).

But still, I hold it together... until I don't.

I could hear the bickering in the other room and I barked,

"Josh!  Get OUT of the room and leave your sister alone!!"

I yell this forgetting that showing impatience isn't an effective technique for teaching patience.

Predictably, a pouting Josh came into where I was wrapping.  He snuggled next to me and offered an explanation of what had happened. I wasn't interested in the story, so he sat there for a while, staring at the tree.

"What's your favorite ornament, Mom?"

Hmmmm.  I looked up from wrapping and glanced at the tree. I had to give it some thought.

photo 1
photo 1

I love the Santa whose legs are the clapper in the bell.

Josh didn't have to think about it.  He knows his favorite -  this guy. (Greg, right?)

photo 2
photo 2

Before I knew it, we were playing a game..  We took turns picking out ornaments three at a time and ranking them according to our favorites.  This exercise continued for 20 minutes, until we only had the unranked bulbs left (everyone knows bulbs which are too dull to be considered!)

By the time we were done, everyone was in a better state of mind.   My daughter had her personal space, my son got over my bark, and I paused long enough for a reset on my priorities.

If you're like me, you'd benefit from a few well-placed pauses this season.

So as you go into the last few days before the BIG birthday celebration, remember to breathe.  Maybe sit and stare at your ornaments with your kids and rediscover a few favorites!

Your chores can wait.