It is finally here. Winter break -- truly one of the most magical times as a child. No school, snow to play in, and Santa Claus to wait for. I vividly remember leaving my elementary school on the last day hearing the Principal say, “See you next year!” I excitedly looked at my brother and couldn’t wait for the next two weeks.
My mother, on the other hand, was probably in a state of panic to get everything prepped and ready for Christmas Eve and Christmas, hoping she could make Christmas as magical as our little minds were imagining and remembering. And then once all the hard work and hubbub is done… now what? What do we do with a couple of kids coming down from a Santa high leading into an after-holiday depression for a whole other week? Here are a few winter ideas to keep the break fun and the winter blues at bay (for you too).
Just because you’re sad Christmas is over doesn’t mean you have to be bah humbug with New Year's. Hype it up and get ready for a fresh new start! Set out your new calendar, set some goals and resolutions personally and as a family, reflect on what you learned and were grateful for this past year, and get party supplies! If your kids are little, watch the ball drop in New York and call it a night. Bang pots and pans and throw confetti.
Play in the Snow
There isn’t a whole lot more fun than playing in the snow as a little kid. Building snow forts and snowmen, snowball fights, sledding, skiing/snowboarding, snow angels, and just spending a cold day outside to get cozy inside is pure magic. Let’s be honest, it can be fun as an adult as well. It’s fun to play for a minute and then watch your child get so tired and worn out that they take a good nap/go to bed on time.
Every Christmas my family and my cousins' family would get a great new board or card game. Then over the break we would got to my aunt's and uncle's house with our games and play the day away. There was always a good dose of competition and enough laughter to give everyone a six pack. We'd usually end the night with a new movie someone got as a gift.
What is it about ice skating that is so fun? You literally go around and around in circles, and I could do it for hours. There are lots of outdoor ice skating rinks this time of year that are lit up and have hot cocoa nearby. Indoor rinks are never a bad idea either.
Stay a Night in a Hotel
I remember my family would sometimes stay a night in a local hotel with an indoor swimming pool just for kicks. We’d spend all evening swimming and then get take out and watch a movie in the room. I loved it. There is something about a hotel that makes you excited. All you need for a vacation is that beautiful hotel smell.
This one is great. On a day after Christmas, my aunt and uncle would do a movie day. They would buy movie theater tickets for their family for the entire day. They would end up seeing three or four movies right when all the big blockbusters came out during winter break. It was brilliant. If you aren’t into movie theaters, they would also have movie marathons at home (my whole family is super into movies).
Truly though, don’t stress about it and just spend time with your children. Your kids are going to be happy with any family tradition you do because it is with you. In first grade I would get so homesick going to school that my mom cut out a little family picture in the shape of a heart for me to carry in my pocket. Christmas break was magical not just because of Santa coming, but because I got to be home with my family.
For more ideas on how to entertain your kids go to babycubby.com.