Random Ramblings - Christmas Vacation

Monday, December 29, 2008
Ahhhh, I remember this week fondly from my childhood. However, as a parent, this week has taken on new meaning...

This is the week that every parent, working or stay-at-home, comes to dread. The Christmas break. For me, it means that my babysitter (free in this case as my daughter attends public school) is on hiatus for 12 days. Yes, I said 12 days...December 23rd until January 5th (including weekends). Probably one of the longest breaks due to the days of the week on which Christmas and New Year's days fall. It's all quite manageable until about three days after Christmas. This is the witching day when the kids wake up and realize that Christmas is over. Santa has left the building. In the three days since Christmas, they have, quite frankly, become tired of playing with the 50 new toys that Santa brought. They are shopped out after having spent every cent of every gift card they've received. Yes, the novelty of Christmas has completely worn off of my children, and it's only December 28th! What's a parent to do? Organize activities to occupy 12 days of vacation for restless children??

These days it seems as though children need to be constantly stimulated. The overwhelming amount of organized activities in which children participate has conditioned them to think in this manner. They have no down time. The only life they know is the one in which they are being shuttled from activity to activity. So, this vacation, I am taking a stand. It's a week of play dates where Emma will play with her friends, her little sister and me. We will play with toys and use our imaginations in a fun and constructive way. That's how I spent my Christmas vacations as a child.

I should point out that there are some pros to this holiday vacation. For me, it means no rushing around in the mornings. Emma is notoriously slow moving at times when she needs to have a sense of urgency. I'm lucky enough to have a 12 day break from my morning struggle with her to get up, get dressed, eat breakfast, brush teeth, get coat and backpack on, and rush to the bus stop. It also means a chance to sleep late even if that means only until 8 am!

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