It’s the most wonderful time of the year… right? The holiday season is always so busy: holiday programs here, parties there, gifts for teachers, gifts for neighbors; not to mention trying to squeeze in lights, trees, cocoa, cookies, and keeping up traditions. Oh, did I mention gifts for kids and family? This last month, I’ve been hit with the “busy-ness” of life. Not only is it the holiday season, but regular life seems to be moving on at full speed. In the midst of chauffeuring kids to sports, finding time for doctor’s appointments, and getting some of my own work done, it hit me.

My family needs down time!

It hit me on a Thursday night.

We had been running from place to place all week, managing homework, volleyball games, and dealing with the cough and cold that never seems to end. I sat down, after getting my kids to bed nearly an hour late and thought about the fast pace of my family’s life. See, during the week my husband and I often have to divide and conquer to get everything on our list done. We meet back up in the evening and create a plan of attack to do it all again the next day. Day in and day out, this is exhausting.

But we always try to plan weekend outings and things to do as family to regroup and refresh. After all, it’s the holiday season and there are lots of fun family events to attend and we don’t want to miss making a memory, right?

As a mom, I feel like it’s up to me most times to plan the fun things, entertain, and keep the smiles flowing.

Yet, I sat there, late Thursday night, replaying the week’s activities in my head. The last thing I wanted to do this weekend was pack up the kids and truck out to see holiday lights and mobs of people. Then and there, our weekend plans changed. We didn’t need to go OUT to see lights or drive 45 minutes for dinner. No one was really going to miss seeing the Christmas market and the city decorations. We had lights, dinner, and decorations right here at home!

And I wasn’t going to beat myself up over my choice!

So, we ended up spending Friday night and Saturday in our pajamas, watching our favorite movies by tree light, playing board games, and putting together puzzles. We laughed, joked, shot each other with Nerf guns, and enjoyed breakfast for dinner. We reconnected as a family and were refreshed.

As my kids went to bed on Saturday, camped out in my oldest kid’s room, I heard them giggling and laughing as they replayed the day’s events. My husband and I smiled at each other. This down time was just what we needed. Not only for the physical rest, but for the sanity of our family. We may not have seen the city lights, but we WERE making beautiful memories while enjoying our “down time!”

That weekend was a wake-up call to me.

I know that seasons of life get very busy. As parents, we are pulled in so many directions between work, kids, and responsibilities. We aren’t going to stop participating in sports or going out with friends. We aren’t going to stop finding cool places to visit and sites to see.

But, as a new year approaches, we are making “down time” a priority for our family. We are going to slow down from time to time, not make plans, put on our jammies, pull out a puzzle, and have pancakes for dinner. My family needs this time… my kids need this time… I need this time!

Especially now, as the busy holiday season is in full swing and as 2020 approaches, I hope you will find time to slow down, throw out the big plans, and refresh in the moment. Maybe make “down time” a priority for your family because sometimes no plans are the best plans.

Cheers to the holiday season, the new year, and making some “down time” memories of your own.

down time