Thursday, December 13, 2007

The best time of the year...

The best time of the year for me is late December around the holidays. But not for the reasons that you might think. I do love the hustle and bustle of the Christmas season, the beauty of the decorated trees and houses, and the meaning behind celebrating the birth of Jesus. I adore watching my kids' excitement at everything to do with Christmas, and seeing their faces shine as they spy the gifts under the tree on Christmas morning gives me a wonderful feeling inside.

But none of those are the reason why this time of year is 'the best' for me.

We don't take family vacations. At least, we never have. The last 'vacation' that Ron and I went on was our 2-week honeymoon in Florida, 7 1/2 years ago. Between bills, bankruptcy, job changes and work hours, we just never have the time or the money to go on a trip. And taking 5 whole vacation days in a row has just always seemed frivolous to me since there are plenty of times where I need an extra day off for a long weekend trip, the girls' activities, or caring for a sick child at home.

So my only 'vacation' during the year is the time that I take off around Christmas and New Year's. My tradition is to take off every work day in between those two holidays, no matter when they fall during the week. This not only gives me a much-needed break at the end of the year, but also allows me to enjoy over a week off, by only taking a few actual vacation days. The only year that I wasn't been able to take that whole week off was the year I was pregnant with Becca, since I was going to go on maternity leave less than a month later. And now that the older girls are in school, it gives me time off when they're off as well.

For a little over a week, I get to be a stay-at-home mom. I get to spend the days with my kids without having to rush anyone out of bed in the mornings or miss out on important parts of their days. On some days we have plans - Christmas Day, obviously, and we also usually spend a few days visiting my friend Mary and her family. On the other days, we relax, go out, play with friends - do whatever we want, and it doesn't really matter what it is. I just enjoy having the freedom to choose what we're going to do, whether it be a lazy day at home or a hectic, frenzied one full of plans. I don't mind being hectic and busy so much if it's my choices that cause it!

It's always hard to go back - to work, to school, to 'real life'. But I do go back recharged and energized by having had this very special time home with my family. My 'favorite' time.


This post was written as a submission for the December Group Writing project at MamaBlogga, on the topic of "The best time of the year".

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7 wonderful people said...:

Jean said...

I'm right there with ya. I'm so counting down the days! It's my time to shop with my MIL and just chill out for a week. Enjoy you're week as I know I will mine. :)

Kerry said...

How wise you are to save those days for the time between holidays. My Hubs always take that time off too. This year will work out perfect when I go back to work during that week! :)

Jordan (MamaBlogga) said...

You're so lucky to get that time with your family! How wonderful to be able to take a break with your family!

Thanks for participating!

Mama Zen said...

What a great idea!

Jennifer said...

It sounds like you are doing it right the way you want too. I would have to add those vacation days to the July 4th or Easter time off if I worked a normal job..which hopefully I will soon.

Phyllis Sommer said...

that sounds lovely. isn't it nice to be able to anticipate that time spent together? great post -- and congrats on being the winner!

Kakie said...

Sounds like heaven. We have to make time with our families like that. It reminds me of an article I once wrote an article called Putting family first - how do we make it a priority that talks about the importance of family rituals and traditions. I Would love to hear your comments on it.

Happy holidays to you and your family. Warmest regards,
-Kakie
Co-Author Bur Bur and Friends children's book series