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Tuesday, December 08, 2009

Tips on Tuesday: Snow Day Survival with Your Sanity Intact

It's finally arrived--and a lot later this year than normal. For those of us in the Midwest, we're under a blanket of snow with more falling and more coming. So with bated breath, my children watched and waited for the TV, computer or smoke signal to notify us of the magic words, "Snow Day."

It's true, the phone rang within minutes of the district's cancellation posting online. School is cancelled for Tuesday, it's a snow day. It happened early enough that we didn't have to go through the normal "Snow Day Ritual." The children have been taught (by crazed teachers, not me) that to bring on a snow day, you have to wear your PJ's inside out and put a spoon under your pillow. (Yes, dear friends, THAT'S where your missing cutlery is located!) Depending on the year, there may or may not be a dance before bed consisting of one hand behind your head and the other hand holding your foot while you hop in a circle. Thankfully, that portion of the ritual is in hiatus this year so it's just clothes and cutlery.

After the ritual on the occasions that it just happens to work, how do you greet snow days? I know a lot of you get a knot in your stomach thinking of all the things you need to get done and won't be able to do. With just a couple weeks before Christmas, are you frantic with what won't happen today? I understand your panic and pain as I used to be that way. But, somewhere along the line, I discovered a new way of looking at a snow day. Instead of dread, I cheer with my children because a snow day is a gift day. A day when we can clear our slate of agendas, schedules, appointments, etc. and take time to do the things we "never" have time to get done.

We start our day with a PJ morning. Everyone stays in PJ's as long as they want to. No need to dress up, we're staying inside. At some point, the snow will beckon to the kids and we'll get them bundled up in all the gear and shoot them outside for a while. I arm them with shovels so they can start opening our driveway...but we all know it will really fall on dad or mom to finish that task.

When they come in, we have hot cocoa and warm snacks like popcorn. We don't make too much of mealtime and we eat a lot of convenience foods that are kid friendly. Nuggets for lunch? No problem. Corn dogs at dinner? Sounds great.

This year, I've been lamenting the fact that I haven't had time to watch one Christmas movie--not even my favorite, "Holiday Inn". I got the "Christmas Shoes" movie for our family and we haven't seen it, either. Well, with a snow day, we can have movies and popcorn with M&M's and catch up on our holiday favorites. That's the agenda for tonight! I'm also hoping to sneak in some craft time. I usually don't do many crafts with the kids because of the mess and time constraints. Maybe today we'll finger paint.

Snow days mean sneaking in a nap for dad & mom (hooray) and relaxing our own lists. I try to put everything on hold. I also try to move some 'at home' things up on my list. This morning, I'll get a bunch of gifts wrapped instead of waiting until the last minute. I'm going to move my laundry day forward this week so I can use laundry time to catch up on a few errands I won't be running today.
I know many of you will whine that the kids are going to fight and make you crazy. Well, that's a part of life, too. Surprisingly enough, since I've relaxed on snow days and stopped being a stressed out mess of "I needed to get THIS done today," my children don't fight as much either. I still break up a few fights and voices get raised off and on--but that's life with kids.

My greatest tip for snow day survival is to learn to relax. Take a deep breath and live in the moment. I now think of snow days as a way for God to grab our attention, turn our crazy lives full of scheduled events and appointments upside down and make us take a moment to relax. Take a deep breath of the cold, crisp air and live in the moment, just for today.

I hope your snow day is relaxed and relaxing. Enjoy the gift of the moment!

1 comment:

Cheryl St.John said...

We are just the opposite with food. I cook big meals and we eat like kings on snow days. I guess it's because I have more time and more people around, and I can't really work.

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