If you’re like me, the morning after Christmas wakes you with a bit of a hangover. Not literally (although sometimes that, too), but more a dull headache knowing the fanfare is over and normal life begins again. For some it’s facing a work day. For others it’s the continued entertaining of family. For me, it’s the thought of the kids out of school for another week accompanied by a slight panic that we blew the Christmas budget. So I do what I do best–I make a list. On this list I need things to do to satisfy my kids. I need these things to be FREE to satisfy my obliterated bank account. And it would satisfy my sanity if a few things on the list proved productive as well.
The 26th: Be Present
Most of us will have this day off. Challenge yourself to be present with the humans in your life. As in don’t-touch-your-cell-phone-for-hours present. But OTL, I’ve been with my family for days now! Yes, and I gather it looked like a cell-phone drum circle in the living room. If you need to get out of the house, your best resource is the WRAL Go Ask Mom Winter Break Guide for pretty much any and all things to do in the Triangle this week. (Parents: you are missing out if you do not subscribe to GAM. It’s simply one of the best local resources around.) My newly frugal self will opt to be present at home trying out the new toys and games my two kids received. Galaxy Swing anyone?
The 27th: Purge Something
After being Cool Mom playing sans distraction, it will come to my attention the house feels overrun with toys, clothes, and STUFF. My purge radar will beep on high alert and I will head to the nearest closet or playroom shelf to make room for the new stuff. I find my children are more receptive to me purging their belongings after having received replacements so the week after Christmas is the perfect time. I could talk all day about purging because I love to do it any time of year, but the idea here is to take an hour or two and purge something start to FINISH. Seriously. No garbage bags sitting in the trunk for weeks. Kids love riding to the dump! If you’re discarding kids’ or women’s clothing, consider donating to Schoola, an online consignment store that gives 40% of proceeds to your child’s school. Request a bag here.
The 28th: Scrapbook Your Holiday Cards
Oh what to do with all the smiling faces of your friends and family! It seems a shame to throw them away when we all know the time, thought, and bribes it took to capture the perfect picture. I finally got down to business and collaged seven years’ worth of holiday cards into two huge albums. Now I’m on top of it after each Christmas season passes, and while it’s no Pinterest-worthy display, family and guests enjoy looking through the albums to remember the faces of past and present. I did find a Pinterest-worthy option here, which looks adorable and appears easy enough to involve the kids.
The 29th: Visit a Park or Library on the Other Side of Town
We are extremely blessed to have a plethora of fantastic park and library options in the Triangle. And for that reason I’m willing to bet most don’t venture far from home when the notion strikes to visit one. I’m a N. Raleigh gal, and my idea of “trekking it” to a park would be Pullen Park or Sassafras Park at Laurel Hills (formerly the castle park), both of which are worth any amount of driving. But I’ve always been curious about Jack Smith Park in Cary and Apex Nature Park (location?). That’s where you will find us if the 29th proves to be a mild one. Check out Go Ask Mom’s Park Reviews to find a park that appeals to your family. (I told you it was resourceful!) Too cold? We’ll spend a couple of hours devouring the inventory at a library we’ve never been to before. Remember, you can return any checked-out books to your old faithful.
The 30th: Jumpstart Your Resolutions
Stop building up January 1st and the “new you” to epic proportions and start today. Planning to get healthy? Try a new recipe from the always delicious and doable SkinnyTaste or take advantage of post-Christmas sales to stock up on activewear. Planning to do less of something? Start minimizing your vice immediately even if just a smidge over New Year’s weekend. The same applies to those who plan to do more of something–like me, who hopes to bring you On The List often throughout 2017.
No matter how you spend the week between Christmas and New Years, I wish you and your family a Happy New Year and continued blessings in 2017.