Sunday, December 29, 2013

Embracing Family Time During the Holidays

In the past few years around the Christmas break, my wife and I have handled the holiday time with our children a little differently than this year. We had the kids in a full time day care and since the days were already paid for, we would keep them in for some of the time. Then we would take a family trip to Niagara Falls to enjoy an indoor water park and the famous lights. And the rest of the days were spent either celebrating holidays with family or doing some family activities. But this year, our twins are only in before and after school care and only three days of the break is care even offered. We decided to decline all these days and also to change or trip to Niagara Falls into a one-night cross border shopping excursion for just my wife and I at the beginning of the holiday. Thanks to my in-laws, the kids had some time away from us, and we had a much needed break from them. But the rest of the time we have embraced family time together, and have scheduled a wide variety of activities so that the kids will be entertained, and we can enjoy ourselves too. So far we have taken them to see a minor league hockey game (at the Air Canada Centre) and to see the movie Frozen. We have been skiing for the day twice (it is only an hour drive away) including once with another family, and also ice skating. And on another day we had an afternoon of playing scrabble. My parents joined us for an afternoon of games and Rainbow Loom and my in-laws took the entire family out for lunch. Tomorrow, we are planning to take the kids out to a pet store to purchase the fish and accessories that will go into their new fish tank (a Hanukkah gift). We have some tentative play dates arranged for this coming week, and hope to go sledding. We are really enjoying our family time together and I believe this is because rather than avoid or fret over spending the break with our children, we have largely embraced it. There have been a couple of times, we needed to separate them (see a previous blog entry for our approach) but twins require this, especially during a period of time that they see so much of each other. And we aren’t lamenting the fact that we have to spend almost the entire holiday at home and in the cold winter weather!

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