Watch the dead time.
“When is everyone coming?” is a question I hear often before Christmas or “what are we going to do today?’ While I have a list a mile long of what I need to do (not all Christmas related because life goes on) and presents to wrap to boot my answer is usually stilted or short, “We are not going anywhere today!” or “I have a bunch of stuff to do!” My doing sometimes creates dead time for children. Dead time has no purpose.
Waiting. Remember the waiting? Yes, it seems to be more intense the closer it is to Christmas. Kids are on break. There are long hours for them and much preparation for us Moms. Family coming to town means we need to clean, shop and plan. We Moms sneak away to wrap presents. And for kids this is sometimes dead time. It can create havoc. It creates whiny kids wondering what is coming next and if it is EVER going to happen.
Christmas doesn’t have to be condensed to one day and if it is, it can be a let down. All that dead time for this? All that waiting for this? Dad’s too tired on Christmas Eve to play. Mom is ready for a nap after Christmas dinner?
It’s tough, I know. Grownups are tired. Kids are wired.
Try to fill the dead time with short activities during the day. Give the kids some Christmas jobs.
- wrapping a present or two
- helping with baking
- get the board games out before company comes and play a few warm-up rounds
- have them run errands with you and TALK and LISTEN
- purchase a few easy meals that are a special treat and have the kids help make them
- help them make home made gifts
Turn the dead time into life skill time. Before long the children will be adults. Prepare them by training them in participation now!