Be the Boss of Your Holiday!

Hello there!  I hope you had an awesome Thanksgiving.  Now it’s time for that final leg of the holiday relay – filled with parties, shopping, eating, baking, traveling…well, you get the idea.  I wanted to take some time today to address the struggles that families, including homeschoolers, can have with all the “festivities” that take place at this time of the year and to offer some suggestions for taking charge of your holiday, rather than having it bulldoze you into festal oblivion.

For most homeschoolers these last few weeks before Christmas and Hanukkah constitute a push to do some catching up – before taking time off for the holidays – and/or a time to engage in some special activities, whether religious or family-oriented.  Many families (and especially moms) find this time to be stressful…which I think we can all admit is probably counter to what the holidays are supposed to be about?

The first piece of advice I am going to offer you is that you may need to adjust your expectations.  Heck, you may need to just throw your expectations out the window.  And if the expectations are being placed on you by some outside source, no matter how important that source is to you – you need to evaluate if those expectations are the best for your family.

Okay, so what can you do to adjust your expectations?  One thing I would encourage homeschoolers to do is look at what you have accomplished so far in your school year, how much you plan to accomplish long-term, and evaluate whether you can push some of your studies off until after New Year’s.

Secondly, spend a little time actually listing all those activities that you have planned to do or would like to do over the next few weeks.  Can any of those be incorporated into your homeschool planning?  Or, after looking at your list, are you realizing that your stress level is increasing already?  If that is the case I would advise you to evaluate the importance of each of those activities and ask yourself  if you can’t cut a few.  And more so, evaluate whether or not those activities are in sync with your goals for your family.  For instance, three parties in one week might not be such a bonding experience whereas baking cookies to share with the neighbors can be fun and a good way to teach your children about blessing others.

You may get the impression from what I’ve written so far that the key to doing more than just getting through the holidays comes down to planning and prioritizing.  Frankly, that’s a good strategy for your homeschooling in general, and something that I addressed in a guest post at The Survival Mom.  So take a few moments this week to do just that: plan, evaluate, and prioritize.  And then enjoy yourself!  Be the boss of your holiday!

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  • we’ve never had a problem thankfully. I always planned on taking of 3 weeks (from school) and I don’t have parties (barely go to them), don;t send out cards (it seemed something I could take of my list to do), and decorating has always been minimal.

    but I agree- planning is KEY to survive any season/time span for me.
    (hip homeschool hop)

    • Anonymous

      Sounds like you’ve got a handle on it!

      I do send out cards – 100 (or so) every year! I include pictures of my kids and my aunts and uncles love getting them and watching my kids grow.

  • Neena

    Planning is everything isn’t it? But finding the time to plan – that requires a plan of it’s own!

    • Anonymous

      I hear you! Mommy time at the coffee shop anyone? 🙂

  • By the time Christmas came around I used to be a bundle of nerves. OCD is not your friend during holiday,lol. Over the years I scaled down a lot and that took away the extra stress. I just concentrate on being with my family and friends.

    Stopping by to say Hi from SITS.

    • Anonymous

      I’m with you. A scaled-back version that you ENJOY is far better then a “perfect” Christmas that leaves you thoroughly spent.

      Another thing I used to do with my kids when they were younger was to plan an outing for the week after Christmas. For instance, going to a movie or the zoo. Got everyone out of the house too, which helped to keep everyone from getting on each other’s nerves, which can happen if the holidays have worn everyone out.