Making the Most of Precious Holiday Time Off

Even Santa gets overwhelmed

The holiday break begins and you mentally start the timer. How will you fit in family, hostessing, relaxation and couple time during a few short days?

  • With young children, you’ll be up with the roosters just like usual. Plan to load up the mornings. You can get in and out of the Galleria carousel or Chuck E. Cheese before the crowds (did you know Chuck E. Cheese opens at 9 a.m.?).
  • You probably rush through breakfast with cold cereal or pop tarts during most mornings, so make breakfast special. It’s easy and cheap to make pancakes or have  a waffle bar with toppings, and pre-cooked bacon will make for easy clean up.
  • If your kids nap, use that early afternoon time to handle things around the house and let that be it. If you work full time, you probably never get to see your home in daylight, so enjoy your kitchen or the reading spot where you never actually get to read. Save the time after the kids go to bed for the evening to relax with the hubs.
  • Speaking of bedtime, stick to the nighttime schedule as much as possible so you can have time to yourself after the kids go to bed.
  • This is your time off as well, so don’t fill it with errands and to-dos. Invest your time in doing things you really enjoy and that will give you a payoff. Only start a project that will be easily completed or else you’ll return to work frustrated and feeling that you didn’t accomplish all you had hoped. Save the scrapbook catch-up for your 2012 resolution.
  • If you and your spouse are taking turns with days off, let whoever has the day off  bring the kids to meet the working spouse for lunch so he/she doesn’t feel left out of the fun. Offices are usually a little more relaxed during this time of year and might accommodate a slightly longer lunch. Lunch menus are cheaper than dinner and the kids will still be fresh if you opt for early dining.  You must go early to avoid office lunch parties, but everything is decorated and festive and every bit as much fun as evening.

A well-executed break will help prevent the post-holiday letdown and feel refreshed remembering the family you work so hard to support and encourage the rest of the year.