The Homeschool Minute ~ Diana Waring
Before we talk about how to de-stress, may I offer you some Christmas shopping cheer? Exclusively for readers of THM, we are offering FREE SHIPPING (media mail) on U.S. orders now through Christmas Eve, 2013, on all products at www.dianawaring.com. When ordering, simply write “THM Christmas Gift” in the comments field, and as we process your order, we will deduct the price of shipping!
Now, on to today’s topic. You already know the basics:
But when we focus on what we should NOT do, what normally happens? That’s right; it begins to consume our thoughts–much like being told not to think about pink elephants!
So, let’s turn the microscope the other direction and consider, in the de-stress-Christmas-mood, what we CAN do. Here are some steps that may allow you to take charge of this wild and wonderful season.
First, make a list of your top three most enjoyable things to do at Christmas. Then, ask your spouse and each of your children what are the three things they most love to do at Christmas.
To give you a flavor of what I mean, here are my top three:
Now, look at the list you and your family have created. Are there any overlapping ideas–like making cookies and giving homemade gifts? If your family is large or if the ideas listed take a lot of preparation, the list may seem overwhelming, so in a family meeting, trim it down to size.
I suggest writing each one out on a chalkboard or easel pad. Then, with everyone happily sipping hot chocolate or spiced apple cider, talk about each person’s number one choice. No criticism allowed!! If the little one’s favorite thing to do for Christmas is play Candy Land, then no grumbling. If the teen’s favorite thing to do is build a snowball fort for snowball wars, then no grumbling. If your favorite thing to do is watch White Christmas (one of my must-dos!), then no grumbling.
Depending on the size of your family and the energy required to do these things, you can choose how many ideas are chosen–one, two or three per person.
This list is now a potential GOLDMINE for you! Mine it for the treasures contained within, treasures of laughter and delight for your family. And let this list guide your choices over the Christmas season. If you all have chosen your favorites, and a particular tradition or ritual is not included, maybe it’s time to let that one go. Lighten these days with delight, dear friends.
I have to say this. Plodding through school at this point is accomplishing very little. You might want to consider taking three or four weeks off from formal school–at the very least, two–and do life. It is probably the number one de-stressor for you and the number one joy-generator for your kids.
As wise people have long noted, if you love what you do, you’ll never work a day in your life. And if you do what your family loves this Christmas, precious memories will wrap themselves around your children’s hearts with bright ribbons of laughter and joy.
Remember, stay relational.
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