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Challenge: Reducing Holiday Stress

The Refreshing Christmas Break Plan

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It is oh-so-tempting to walk in the door, dump the backpacks on the floor, and not think about school again until “next year”. The reality, though, is that next year is only a few weeks away, and if we aren’t careful our kids will head back to school in January exhausted and cranky with glitter, crushed candy canes, and old papers jammed in their backpacks.

So, I activate our 3 Steps to a Refreshing Christmas Break Plan - just don’t tell my kids it’s an actual plan with an actual name or they will freak out.

Step 1 - Get Rid of School

Clean up all school related detritus from your life immediately - ideally as soon as they walk in the door. Recycle all study sheets, notebooks, tests, and quizzes. Have them clear their desks, rooms, and the dining room table of anything and everything school related.

We always blast Christmas music while freeing ourselves of school. We love Ella Fitzgerald, and think the best Christmas album ever is Ella Wishes You A Swinging Christmas. (amazon affiliate link)

Turn their backpacks inside out and wash them. It is so nice in January to head back with a fresh clean backpack. After school has been purged and the backpacks are drip-drying, make a quick list of any new school supplies they need, and put shop for school supplies on your calendar, then forget about school until January.

The whole process will take less than an hour, and it is the single most important thing you can do to ensure a refreshing school break.

Step 2 - Get Rid of all Electronic Devices

I wish.

This year, I think I will have to settle for limiting screen time…for real.

This Christmas break we will spend time talking to each other, visiting with extended family, seeing new places - the kind of stuff that feeds your soul.

Wish me luck with this one, but in the immortal words of Winston Churchill, “never give in, never give in, never, never, never." If England could persevere against insurmountable odds and save the free world in the process, I can continue to fight the good fight for my children’s souls.

People instead of electronics. I can enforce this!

Step 3 - Get Rid of Bad Habits

The final step of the Refreshing Christmas Break Plan is to be healthy. We are all going to get enough sleep (the good kind - the before midnight kind), enough fresh air, and enough salads to balance the treats intake…hopefully!

I am so looking forward to these next two weeks, and I know you all are too. I hope your holiday breaks are full of love, laughter, and lots of family time!

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