Christmastime only comes around once a year and everyone, especially children, often get really excited during the holiday season. In fact, the Christmas season is so contagious that you might even find that you allow yourself to be talked into things that you would ordinarily say “no” to. So, with all of this Christmas joy in the air, what are some things that you can be flexible about and what should you remain firm about? I’ve got some suggestions.
Christmas is our family’s favorite time of the year, so we really try to enjoy it. My husband and I try to take time off from work to spend more time with each other and the children because it’s really important for us to celebrate Jesus and our family. I even find myself being more flexible as the kids talk me into lightening up a little because I enjoy seeing the joy that this flexibility brings to my kids. However, there is a balance and there are also some things that I simply will not budge on. I will share with you what I am flexible about and the things that I just won’t change my mind about.
Here’s what I sometimes compromise on
Treats: Yes, I admit it. My children eat more treats during the Christmas season than they do during the rest of the year. Honestly, it’s hard to avoid all of the yummy deliciousness that is all around us during the holiday season. Between Christmas cookies, candy canes, boxed chocolates, Christmas cakes, hot cocoa, and all of the other fabulous tasting treats out there, we do indulge in our share. I still have limits because good nutrition is important for growing children. However, in the month of December, the limit is a little bit higher.
Weekend bedtimes: We really enjoy watching Christmas movies as a family so bedtimes on the weekends are often extended. Of course, as with everything else, there are boundaries. I won’t let my nine-year-old stay up to midnight but it’s not unusual for him to stay up to 10pm or 10:30pm to finish watching a really good Christmas movie. I’m okay with this because there is no school in the morning and he can sleep in. If your kids are old enough and mature enough to handle an extended weekend bedtime during the holidays, then it might be something that you could be a little more flexible with during the holiday season.
Television: As I said, my family and I love Christmas movies, so we spend a lot of time in front of the television during the Christmas season. The amount of time that we watch TV is way greater than what we typically watch. But hey, it’s Christmas and we won’t get to watch these movies again until next year.
Outings: Weekend outings with others are generally limited because that is our family time. However, during Christmas time my children have been known to convince me to join other families on outings. There are so many magnificent displays, and Christmas productions, and holiday train rides that it’s hard to pass up an invite from another family to join them in the holiday fun. So yes, we go on more outings during the Christmas holiday too.
But there are also some things that I do NOT compromise on
School attendance: This is one of the things that are non-negotiable. Some families choose to go on vacation while school is still in session but my children know that this is a no-no for them. Any vacation or outing that we go on will always be outside of when school is in session. I believe in balance, but school is a priority over vacations. Of course, my kids will sometimes try to test limits and ask to miss school because some of their friends are missing school but they know that the answer is ultimately “No way!”
Fruits and veggies: Once again, I’m a very balanced person, or at least like to think that I am. Although the kids get extra treats during this season, they are still required to have their daily amount of fruits and vegetables. Proper nutrition and diet is important for growing kids so daily fruits and vegetables are non-negotiable – even during Christmastime.
Weekday bedtimes: I do not budge on the weekday bedtime routine. I’m more flexible on the weekends during the holidays because there is no school the next day. However, on the weekdays, my kids are in bed by their regular bedtime. This avoids cranky children in the morning and keeps them from falling behind (or asleep) in class.
I absolutely believe that flexibility is important but that also includes balance. Make sure that your kids experience balance, even if you are a little more flexible this time of the year.