Take Time to Have Fun During the Holidays #MotivationMonday | Confessions of a Stay-At-Home Mom

December 8, 2013

Take Time to Have Fun During the Holidays #MotivationMonday

Holidays should be all about fun and festivities, right?

But as I shared last week, we've become a culture who is more interested in wracking the most debt, buying the best gifts and generally giving ourselves an ulcer before New Years Day. I encouraged everyone last week to take time to reflect during the holidays.

This week?

This week I want you to have FUN during the holidays!

Yes, I know, that in general holidays are fun. They are full of food and gifts and people we love. But just as the chaos steals away from our joy, it also hinders our ability to enjoy. The holidays are stressful. Fun, but stressful. I always have this great ideal in my mind of what the holidays will be. With two kids, they should be majestic and magical. 

Yet, it never is.

November flies by and it's all we can do to hold on to our hats before it's Christmas morning. We gripe about getting our gift lists together, then brave the crowds to go shopping, which only makes us cranky. The baking with kids always seems like it should be memorable, but I usually end up frustrated that flour gets everywhere and neither girl listens well to instructions. We enjoy the line up of so many parties, but stress over babysitting and fitting it all in.


This holiday season, let's let it all go.

This holiday season, I want to embrace the flour on the counters. I want to smile amidst the crowds of shoppers. I want to revel in the perfect gifts for loved ones. And I want to party like it's 1999 at every holiday gathering.

This holiday season, I want to treasure making memories with my family.

So a few days ago, Hubby and I sat down and made a list of all the fun things we wanted to do with the girls. This doesn't include the fun things we can enjoy without the kids, like grown-up parties, dinners out, and buying and wrapping gifts. Activities and attractions we want to experience as a family, no matter what melt-downs or missed naps or messes will most likely ensue. 

Experiences that will no doubt make memories.

Here is our running list (to be added to as inspiration arises):

Macy's Light Show in #Philly

I first heard about this light show from my friend Jen. They go into the city every year with their kids, enjoying an overnight that includes a visit to the Wanamaker building to see this fabulous show. I'm a sissy when it comes to having my kids get off schedule or miss naps, but I finally succumbed last year and took the girls. IT WAS PHENOMENAL. The show lasts about 10 minutes or so, and it's all lights and songs and magic. Chica and Bug were mesmerized. And I want to make it a yearly holiday pilgrimage! We might consider strolling a few blocks down afterwards to catch the Comcast Holiday Spectacular, which I hear is awesome as well.

Longwood Gardens Christmas light display

I know, I know. I live 5 minutes down the road. But I am in no way biased: A Longwood Christmas is an attraction not to be missed. I'd even say if you live within a 2 hour drive, it is worth the trip. Over a million lights show off the beautifully decorated gardens. Catch a holiday-themed illuminated fountain show, or meander through the exquisite Conservatory where they have literally, decked the halls. All visitors need a timed ticket, so make plans in advance. 

Also, consider making a day of it: head into Historic Kennett Square to visit all the fantastic Kennett Square Merchants to do Christmas shopping and grab a tasty bite to eat. 

Also also? If you do this, call me. I'll seriously come meet you for a cuppa coffee.

Movie night watching The Polar Express with hot cocoa

The book, The Polar Express , is one I enjoyed as a child. So why not snuggle up under some blankets with hot cocoa and watch the book come alive in a movie? Some have mentioned the movie can be intense for younger kids. If that's the case, I may have an alternative holiday movie handy to enjoy. I will also vow to just laugh if any hot cocoa is spilled.


Making handmade ornaments for family

The handmade gifts I've been given over the years are some of my most cherished ornaments on our tree. I love that they remind me of people and places I love, and I appreciate that time and energy went into creating them. Last year, the girls and I whipped up a batch of Reindeer Fingerprint Ornaments. I may make the fingerprint ornaments a tradition, or I may try something new this year. I've pinned a bunch of ideas onto my Christmas Ideas board on Pinterest. I'll take a vote from the girls and let you know what we come up with.

Baking Christmas Cookies

This is a necessity, right? As an Italian, it's practically religion. So far on my list are childhood favorites, Pizzelles and Chocolate Chips Cookies. I am also considering Ricotta Cheese Cookies (or the even more awesome Nutella version), Sugar Cookies and Gingerbread Cookies. 

Any others I should add to my list?  

Visit to Christmas in Hershey

This is actually only a possibility, as we may not be able to make it happen this year. I've wanted to take the girls to Hershey at Christmas since they were born. It has a special significance to me, as my family used to go every Winter Break for 3 days, leaving the day after Christmas. As a kid, Hershey Park is magical. During the holidays? It's nothing short of epic. Rides, food, decorations, lights. And since we stayed overnight, the Hershey Lodge had many special activities planned for guests, including chocolate bingo! 

I want my girls to experience this fun holiday place too. So we may go up for the day if we can find the time in our schedule. If not, we'll make plans for our own overnight mini-vacay next December!


There are so many things that steal joy and squash the Christmas Spirit this time of year. How will you be reclaiming the holidays?

What is on YOUR "Holiday Bucket List?"

Make sure to check out last week's post: Take Time to REFLECT During the Holidays!


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