One of the best parts of the holiday season is having plenty of time off work. Hubs & I are fortunate to have this week off to spend with the kids. But is it just me, or does it seem that the days between Christmas and New Year’s seem to totally drag and last about a year?!
I didn’t always feel this way. In the good old days, when I was a carefree single gal or even when I was half of a DINK couple-Dual Income No Kids, I rolled out of bed, got dressed and went for brunch – the day was already half over. It seemed that I never had enough time to do all the things that I wanted to do. That certainly changed when we had the kidlets and it seems that we never have enough activities to do.
When our son arrived and started going to daycare, we eased into a pretty set school/work schedule in our family. Our son (and later, daughter) would hit the hay at sundown then get up literally at the crack of dawn with the roosters and be totally rearing to go, play and eat. It wasn’t so bad during the week and even on weekends Hubs & I would take turns getting up with the kidlets while the other one got a few more hours of precious sleep. But during holiday time, we had, literally, rude awakening.
Since school/daycare is closed during the week between Christmas & New Years, it was up to Hubs and I to take the reigns. We quickly discovered that we knew very little about what it took to amuse a baby/toddler for ten hours a day for at least a week. Especially at a time of year when it’s usually too cold to go outside most days (we live in NJ), and many places that cater to kids are shut down. We went online, scoured the local papers, and planned fun kid things to do as best we could.
We quickly learned that all activities, and you have to have plenty of them, could not last more than 20 minutes since anything longer than that gets boring. And we didn’t want to just plant them in front of the idiot box all day. So by about 9 AM we’d be fresh out of ideas and head out to the mall, not to buy anything, but to people watch and window shop, which hopefully would be amusing enough until at least lunchtime. No matter how much we planned, it seemed like we never had enough activities to fill the day. We often kept one eye on the clock hoping that bedtime would soon be upon us.
However, things have definitely gotten easier as the kids have grown up a bit. Best of all, in the past two weeks the kidlets’ sleep switches finally started working. They’re now getting up at 6:30 am instead of with the roosters, which is a luxury to Hubs and me. Plus now the kidlets are old enough to have actual playdates with their friends, take them to children’s museums and paint their own pottery. Our kidlets can now ride bikes, scooters, play with PlayDoh and now have the ability to sit through an entire Disney film from start to finish.
Don’t get me wrong, Hubs & I still have to plan lots of things to keep the kidlets amused and keep ourselves from going totally bonkers, but it is getting easier. Finally!
What is your favorite go-to activity with your kids during the long holiday season?