Yep, it’s that time again – when all the amazing lists of must do activities and experiences to do with “your littles” to make sure that we maximize the holiday spirit. The amazing, but exhausting and usually impossible to do if you are also a working mom, lists. So to keep things real I like to put out my own list every year.
I have to say I do struggle every year with the title, maybe it should be “busy” moms instead of working moms, but being a working mom is what I know. 40 hours a week my time is focused on the company that employees me, leaving me less time to do all that prep and planning required for the list, so I’m sticking with “working mom”. Maybe the bigger question is, should it be “working parent”?
My goal is to make sure that the list is realistic but still festive. This year, with my kid now 15 and and with all the Covid measures in places, the list gets slightly more challenging.
This year the creation of the list is slightly more challenging – gone are the easy wins like attend your community light up, or attend a Christmas play or school event – replaced with more at home but not crazy elaborate ideas. Covid has thrown a lot of plans out the window this year, why would this be any different!?
As much as I would love to have the available time during the day to plan, organize and execute 24 fun holiday activities we all know that as a working parent that is pretty much impossible. That’s why this list has 12 ideas, spread them out, one every two days, or jam a few into the weekends, it’s up to you!
- Bake some cookies. No matter how old your kids are, everyone loves baking cookies (cleaning up, not so much!). Bake and decorate a batch of cookies and this year you don’t even have to share them with anyone! Our go to cookie recipe is this one Christmas Cookies.
- .Get take out. This year take out has taken on a whole new importance, it’s not just about saving you some time (and dishes) it’s about helping out your favourite restaurants.
- Send some mail. Send Christmas cards or postcards to friends and family. Who doesn’t love mail? Just remember that mail might take slightly longer to get where it is going! Maybe aim for Happy New Year cards?
- Donate to a cause close to your heart. This year there are so many to choose from: food banks, shelters, hospitals, school breakfast programs. The options are limitless, covid and the hit to the economy has hit hard and more people than ever need a little help. Let your kid choose which one (or ones) and enjoy the joy that comes from helping.
- Get outside and enjoy some fresh air and sunshine. I feel that this winter is going to be huge for cross country and snowshoeing but downhill skiing or snowboarding, winter hiking, ice skating or just strolling around the neighborhood. Depending on where you are reading this from I hope you get some sunshine. The Okanagan might have warmed winters than Alberta but sunshine is hard to come by in the winter!
- Try some yoga or meditation. Maybe with your kids, maybe just on your own. I’ve been enjoying Yoga By Adriene on Youtube, it’s a great place to start if you are new to yoga, I also know that many yoga and fitness providers are offering classes through zoom, facebook and instagram live – there are lots of choices out there, find one and tune out of the chaos around you for 30 minutes. It’s worth it.
- Make something. Go classic like stringing popcorn and cranberries into a bird friendly outdoor garland, find some pipe cleaners and make pipe cleaner candy canes and reindeer, or finally tackle that cool craft project you bought the materials for in March and get it done!
- Join an online event. This year there are so many options. I’m actually taking part on more things now that I don’t have to get dressed up and go somewhere than last year.
- Make a holiday cocktail (no time to research a new drink – take your favourite drink and give it a fun holiday name)
- Get dressed up and have a family dinner Bring out the “good” china, throw on that outfit you were going to wear to the company Christmas party and have a fancy family dinner. Go all out and make something awesome, or blend this with number 2 on the list and let someone else do the cooking!
- Watch a holiday movie. Maybe it’s the Grinch or Rudolph for you, or Die Hard or one of the 1 million Hallmark movies. Make popcorn, get comfy and tune out the world for a couple of hours. If you are watching a Hallmark Movie, I highly recommend goggling “Hallmark Movie Bingo Card” and playing bingo while watching. (Tip – Avoid the ones created by Hallmark if you want to make it extra fun!)
- Get out the board (or card) games and spend some screen free time playing your favorite games as a family. Make sure to stock up on the teens favourite snacks to keep them fueled (bribed?) so they stick around bit longer.
Tag me on on Instagram if you do any of these (@hcgardiner) I’d love to see what you get up to!
Keep an eye on the site as well – hoping to upload a fun holiday drink and easy craft to do as well!