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Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Tips on Tuesday: Protecting Home Plate MOPS Article

Here's an article I wrote for our MOPS newsletter. Hope you enjoy.
I recently read an article about a couple whose wedding sermon linked marriage to baseball. Their pastor explained that you protect home plate at all costs and the goal is to get home again when you leave. The article was aimed in one direction, but my mind swirls around protecting home plate during the holidays. So many things begin to pull at me and try to take each member of my family away from home during December and January. We try to protect our time and ‘get everyone home’ as much as we can…or we try to keep everyone at home protecting the plate.

Some of our methods are simple and easy, yet often ignored in a high-tech world. When we are having family time, we do not answer our phone. No home phone, no cell phones, we ignore the ring knowing we will call them back later. We figure this is why we own an answering machine. The no phone rule applies to mealtimes as well when we are all gathered together.
We do some sightseeing in our own neighborhood as well as driving past certain homes every year. We love looking at the Christmas decorations. We either play Christmas music softly in the car—or we turn off the music so we can talk to each other about the lights. We also like to temper Christmas parties for grownups only with a family trip to the Children’s Museum or other kid friendly place. I cut back on play dates for the kids and Sean & I cancel a few of our extra outings to try to keep the balance centered on our home.

The one other way we try to protect our home plate is by trying to rein in the give-me’s and I want’s from our children. Not always easy because they are children! We go through gift catalogs as a family from places such as World Vision or Samaritan’s Purse to pick a special gift for our family members. (Our family gives one main gift to each adult and spends the rest of the money by donating to charity in each other’s name.) I try to do Christmas shopping all year long, but try to finish early. We emphasize to our children that a kind note is often better than a gift for a teacher or friend. Finally, we try to give each child a few meaningful gifts focusing on quality, not quantity.

Take some time to look at your home plate and find ways to draw everyone near. Some of our greatest family traditions were created as we focused on protecting the plate and getting everyone home. Snuggle close to your children this Christmas as the years fly fast, even when the days are long. Protect home plate and tuck away sweet memories to cherish forever.


Anonymous said...

Family trip is a good idea for this Christmas to me also.

Erna Tovey said...

Christmas season is the time for family bonding and gift sharing.

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