Thursday, December 20, 2012
A Family Christmas Date
For years now we arrange our schedules so that we all have a day off within a week of Christmas so that we can have a special family date.
We head out as soon as we can after breakfast to do some sort of simple mission project. We've kept these very kid-friendly so that we can all participate.
After that, we usually head into the Triangle for lunch out together. We don't do this often, so it's a big treat, and we all enjoy hanging out around the table, eating and laughing.
Something fun usually follows. One year it was a movie. Another we took the kids shopping so that they could pick out something for their sibling. Last year we went ice skating.
There's a very pretty mall in south Durham that is half indoors and half outside. It's unusual in that there are fountains, lights in all the trees, and it's set up as if you're walking down a street - but traffic isn't allowed in that part of the outdoor mall, so it's a fun place to people watch and enjoy decorations. We usually end up there in the early evening, where we check out their enormous outside tree and enjoy the festive decorations.
On the way home we hit a few neighborhoods known for their fun light displays. We all like to look at the lights.
The first time we planned this, I was completely stressed about being away from my Christmas to-do list, but now I look forward to it. While we try to build quality family time into every day, it's especially crazy during the month of December, when all of the normal things must be done plus the holiday extras.
Now, however, having one entire day devoted entire to family and service is wonderful. We may visit a store, but not with the intention of any major shopping; we enjoy lights but don't hang any, we eat food I didn't cook, and we help out as many people as possible.
What's your favorite holiday tradition?