Christmas Break or Bust!

I don’t know about you, but my kiddos and I are counting down the days until that last bell rings for Christmas vacation!! With one week to go anticipation is rising steadily. Picture the following as your favorite holiday music plays in the background:

You wake up lazily, refreshed after a long night of blissful uninterrupted sleep. Everyone is enjoying their favorite hot beverage. The snow falls as the children play lovingly with each other. They only pause to say things like, “Mother, could I please help you with dinner?” Or “Please, let us pick up while you take a WELL deserved rest.”

Now insert the image of beautiful Christmas music coming to a LOUD, SCREECHING halt!

I am not saying that we won’t ENJOY our long awaited break. However, from experience I have come to realize that I may want to be prepared for a few BOREDS….I mean BUMPS in the road.

But before we even get to vacation, we still have one week until the bell rings, the kids sprint out of the school, and the teachers that are still left standing at that point pass out cold. I’m not joking! I work on the inside remember:). So my goal is to get through this last week. At this point in the season it is VERY possible that brains are starting to short circuit, if they are not already completely fried. So here is a short list of things to do this week. If you have any ideas, please add them to the comments.

Week BEFORE Christmas Break Survival Guide!

Teacher Gift

First off, if you plan to get your child’s teacher a gift, get on it! Trust me, they spend much more time and money on your children than you think. If not, a thank you note from you AND your child will go a long way! There are a plethora of ideas for gifts online! Here are a few ideas that after years of being a teacher I found to be right on point:

  1.  A Girl and A Glue Gun
  2. Free Printable Rudolph EOS (Lipgloss)
  3. 50 Teacher gifts they will Like  and DESERVE:)  This one mentioned a great idea! If you send a thank you note to your teacher, send a copy to the Principal so that their hard work is recognized.

Now that we have the teachers happy it is on to the kids! Right?!? Hold on! Don’t forget yourself!FB_IMG_1450010721242

Make sure that you have what you need on hand for the week. This is not a time of year to run out of coffee! I also tend to grab a few packages of bottled water during busy weeks. I usually use a refillable water bottle or cup, but during weeks like these I like to have some back up to keep everyone in our house hydrated as we run around! Also having some fruit, veggies, granola bars, cheese, nuts, and other healthy snacks available is a great way to balance the goodies that WILL come.

This will undoubtedly be an exciting and possibly confusing week for some kids. Schedules will be disrupted, concerts will be held, class parties will come out of the woodwork. TREATS will be had! Let’s help those kids through the week by keeping schedules as close to normal as possible.

1. Check all backpacks, calendars, and notes from school!
I am the first one to admit that I am the WORST when it comes to going through my children’s backpacks on a Friday night. However, this is definitely a week to make a point to do just that. Save yourself the 10 PM or 6 AM trip to the store for treats or snacks for the class party. Make sure you are aware of any special themes like Pajama day! Last but not least sign and return permission slips.

2. Keep schedules as close to normal as possible. LIKE SLEEP!!

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Making sure your children are getting the right amount of sleep and balanced meals will help them when it comes to dealing with all of the change and excitement.

3. How about a few easy things to keep around the house to keep your kids busy and out of your hair while you finish those last minute holiday checklists.

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One of my favorite things to do is to get a cheap box of Christmas cards to keep on the counter. I encourage the kids to grab a card when they have time and write to a friend, neighbor, or even me! They can be delivered by hand or mailed.

Grandparents LOVE this!!!

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Books, books and more books! Yes…I am a librarian! Last week I went into my kids rooms and pulled all of our winter/Christmas/holiday books off of their shelves. Sometimes just relocating something to a new place piques their interest. If you need more books head on over to your LIBRARY or local Thrift Store!!! Here are a few of our Favorites!!

The Dinosaurs Night Before Christmas by Anne Muecke
Snowmen at Christmas by Caralyn Buehner
The Polar Express by Chris Van Allsburg
The Night Before Christmas by Clement C. Moore
Mooseltoe by Margie Palatini
Winter is the Warmest Season by Lauren Stringer
and MANY MORE!!

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OK…so let’s pretend we all survived the week with the least amount of trauma possible. Here is a little preview of how my Christmas break will PROBABLY start….

RING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! SHOUT!!! School is OUT!!!

Day One: I’m trying to pull the comforter over my head as at least two of my four children BEG me to get out of bed and get them some breakfast. When I finally drag myself out of bed and to the coffee pot it will very likely be less than 10 minutes before I hear “THE QUESTION!” You know the one!!! Come on….don’t deny it!!
“Can I have a CANDY CANE??????”
“ME TOO!”
“ME TOO!”
ME TOOOO!”
to be continued….if I survive this week! IMG_20151206_132110365

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