I love the days in between Christmas and New Year’s. They don’t last nearly as long as I would like, kind of like summer, but they are a moment to relax. I enjoy the structure of the school year, but I am not one of those parents that are glad when their kids go back to school. I love having my kids home and the freedom to go and do whenever we want, whatever we want. It usually involves working, especially in the summer, but the time is ours to schedule however we choose. I did homeschool my kids through middle school, and enjoyed that freedom, but never did I homeschool all of my kids at the same time, so we still had to maintain the public-school schedule to some extent.
But this time between Christmas and New Year’s is a magical time it feels like, no matter how old my kids get. The pace is slower, and the time is ours. Because my husband is self-employed, he is also usually home between Christmas and New Year’s as well, so we really can do whatever. So, what do we do? We do have a couple of traditions. One of the things we do, but not always (it is weather dependent), is to go sledding. When my kids were little, we would just sled on the small hills that are part of our driveway. Now that they’re older, we usually head into Wasilla and go to a golf course called Settler’s Bay Golf Course. Their driving range is open in the winter as a sledding hill, and it is a super fun place to go. But, if it’s raining or below zero, it’s not as fun and we tend to choose something different.
Often, we will go and see a movie. That is a real treat for our kids as we rarely want to shell out $10.50 per kid for a ticket, but if there’s a good movie, we’ll take some time over the break to go and see it in the theatre. My kids are super excited to do this, but then sometimes by the time it’s over, they’ve decided it’s just as good to wait for it to come out online so we can watch it at home. Then they have their pillows and blankets, free food, and if they decide they don’t like it, they can go do something else or we can pick a different movie. But, if it’s a really good movie, it’s worth the trip to town.
My kids also enjoy going into Anchorage (the big city). They usually get a couple of gift cards that are redeemable in stores only found in Anchorage, Barnes and Noble being the main draw for most of them. Just like money burning a hole in your pocket, my kids want to go and get stuff before they lose the gift card (which has happened a couple of times)! If we can remember, we also go to the Captain Cook Hotel and see the giant gingerbread town displayed there, eat lunch, and of course hit Costco on our way out of town. This is a fun drive, and spending time as a family is always a lot of fun.
I love the small break, and I love that it is rejuvenating to my mind and body, so that we can hit the ground running when January rolls around and we start into the push to the end of the school year and summer. What are some of your family traditions in between Christmas and New Year’s? I’d love to hear some things you enjoy doing!