As a final post in my Christmas memories series, I have to share some pictures from Christmas Day itself. With the kids being older, it is not quite as exciting as it used to be, but my kids still enjoy getting up early. My husband and I? Umm, no. We prefer to sleep in a little longer. Yeah, I know, we are party poopers. What can I say?
As part of my Christmas blogging, I thought I’d share some pictures with you from our Christmas celebration at my parents. They always have it two days before Christmas because it’s generally easier for me to get the day off from my retail job. It’s always a busy day because generally the boys still have school and I am trying to finish up any Christmas shopping. This day was no exception! But it was still a nice time with family, along with great food.
I am finally getting a chance to sit down and update my blog. It’s been a hectic holiday season, both at home and at work. Work has started to settle down first, so hopefully home will follow as well. To start 2012, I thought I’d share a few pictures about our Christmas Eve celebration:
* A repost from 2010*
One of the most difficult things I have encountered with being a working Mom is all the things that I miss during the holiday season. Because the holiday season is the biggest part of the retail sector, I end up missing a lot of time with my family during the holidays. It’s one of the things I have struggled with back when I worked as a nurse, too. At least with my retail job, the store is closed on Thanksgiving and Christmas, so that I am not completely missing out on those important holidays.
And it’s just not time with my kids that I am missing, being a working Mom. My husband is off the day before Christmas Eve, through the Sunday after New Year’s. Being full-time, I am only home with him 4 days during that two-week period(not counting Christmas Day). It’s hard, because time spent with my husband is so important to me. As you may know from my previous posts, my husband is more than just my spouse, he is my best friend as well. I didn’t realize how much I miss him sometimes till I’ve been on evening shifts a few days in a week, and then have a full weekend off with him. The bright side to this whole thing is I actually had 3 days off the week in between Christmas and New Year’s because I get a day of holiday time.
So what can you do to combat the guilt of working while your family is home? There’s a few things that may help:
Plan fun things on your day off. The housework and laundry can wait. Really. Do only the basics, and leave the rest. Time spent with your family is far more important than having a perfectly organized house, and the laundry will always be there.
Leave work at work. Really. Make a vow to forget about the office while you are at home. Before you get out of your car, jot any last-minute notes on a sticky note, and leave them on the garage wall. When you leave for work the next day, grab the sticky notes and take them with you. That way you are not constantly thinking about work when you should be enjoying your family.
Plan simple meals that don’t require a lot of kitchen preparation. The less time you need to spend in the kitchen, the more time you have with your family. Use paper plates and plastic ware so clean-up is a breeze. A quick swipe of the table, and you are done. If your budget allows it, go out to eat.
Recently we took a trip to a local corn maze for a Youth Group activity. We went to the same place last year, so we had an idea of what to expect. Of course, we couldn’t just do a regular corn maze, we had to be different, and have things a little more complicated. Our group does flashlight corn maze. It’s at night, and you navigate using a flashlight. One of the most important things to know about this corn maze is that you had better be well versed in useless trivia. It’s how you navigate the paths. Who would have thought that my son’s habit of reading every Snapple lid would actually be just what we needed? Some of the questions really made you stop and think about them. What you thought would be the right answer, actually was completely wrong, and usually led you to a dead-end. Last year, the kids split up from the adults(a big leap of faith for me, as my son wasn’t quite 12), and they ended up finishing the maze a good twenty minutes before the adults. Our time was a dismal 72 minutes last year. This year we all stuck together, and we ended up finishing in a very respectable 40 minutes. According to the answer key, average time was 32 minutes, so we felt pretty good. The most important thing was everyone had fun, we didn’t lose anyone, and no one had to call 9-1-1 to get out!
So here are some pictures from the maze, mostly at the end because you couldn’t photograph inside the maze.