But then I had the chance to tell you about the Forester’s Tech Timeout Challenge, the sponsors of today’s blog post.
The very day I shared my decision to take a break from this blog, I signed an agreement to take an hour of technology-free time a day. You can sign the pledge too by going here.
It was worth it to break my month off because I want you to know how sweet it can be when we step back from technology.
No, I don’t think everyone needs to quit their blog for a month. And I don’t think we all need to dump social media. But I do think taking an occasional social media fast is healthy. The more connected we are to the internet, the more we tend to disconnect to those around us. We feel an artificial connection to our Facebook feed and substitute that for real community with our family, our neighbors, and our local church. If we’re not careful, we’ll miss out on our children. I see the wonder of Christmas lights in my child’s face, but I can’t see it if I’m glued to my phone.
Right now, with the holidays in full swing, our kids need nothing more than time with us. And sweet memories. And maybe some homemade cookies.
So this month, my favorite month of the year, I want to spend more time making memories with my kids. Here are just a few ways that we are making memories during our technology free time.
1. Holiday Baking
We love to bake goodies and deliver them to the neighbors. My daughter’s favorite is gingerbread cookies, which we decorate to look like the neighbors. I love these chocolate toffee bars.
2. Read, read, read
My friends, you saw this one coming, didn’t you? Sit on the couch and let the kids bring you book after book after book to read, with no limit on how many books you’ll read. My kids love the snuggle time. Or work on a great read-aloud with your older kids. I’m reading Charlotte’s Web with my 5 year old and my husband reads Alice in Wonderland with her every night. Need a list of good Christmas books? Here’s my favorite list!
3. Hot cocoa and an Advent devotional
Every night of Advent, we are working through Truth in the Tinsel, a sweet Advent devotional and craft. It’s perfect for teaching younger children like mine all about the birth of Christ and how it connects to the Gospel. We usually do a snack or hot chocolate for the kids, mainly because they’re incredibly quiet during story time if they’re sipping on hot chocolate! And it gives them more to look forward to at bedtime.
4. Attend local Christmas events
A quick glance at a newspaper (yes, those still exist) or an internet search should help you find a ton of ideas for local events. We recently attended the lighting of the Christmas tree in a nearby town and my children loved it. It was a quick and simple thing to do for an hour.
5. Make popcorn garland
Old-fashioned fun is often the best kind. My daughter saw popcorn garland at a friend’s house and has been begging to do it, so we did! This works best with unsalted & unbuttered stale popcorn, so we just popped our own on the stove.
6. A Nutcracker Date
Make it a daddy-daughter date night or let mommy take her to see the community ballet’s version of The Nutcracker. Last year, we stayed around long enough for my daughter to meet some of the ballerinas and she was in heaven! In her mind, they were celebrities.
7. See the Lights
We usually attend Walk Through Bethlehem, which makes all of us feel like we’re really in the town during the time of Jesus’ birth. Afterwards, we drive around the city looking at all of the Christmas lights.
8. Say YES to something your kids request
Pretty vague, eh? This is one way that I’m working on being a yes mom. For some reason, my kids have wanted to simply lay on the floor with pillows and stare at the lights on our Christmas tree. So last night, I did just that. We put on Christmas music and I spent a few songs lying on the floor, watching the lights in the dark while snuggling next to my daughter. It meant so much to her. And all I sacrificed was a few minutes of my time and my comfort (I’m too old for that!)
9. Serve others.
It’s the best way to combat the “I Wants” at Christmas. My friend, Elizabeth, takes her kids to help out at the Toys for Tots hub. You can also pack care packages for the homeless. At our house, my little kids do chores to earn money during the month of December. I’ve been teaching my daughter how to wipe down the bathroom sink and sweep after lunch to earn money. We put the money in a bag we call the Shepherd’s Purse–a birthday gift for King Jesus. We’ll use this money (plus more!) to purchase something like chickens or a goat for a family in a third world country.
10. Build a faux gingerbread house
Last year, we ditched the creative and elaborate house. Instead, we used hot glue to put together a graham cracker house. That’s what I call a low stress Christmas memory. And it’s an easy way to spend your hour of tech-free time.
What are your favorite tech-free ways to make Christmas memories? Will you sign the Foresters Tech Timeout Challenge?
And now excuse me–I’m off to do something fun with my kids that doesn’t involve a computer. (So if you’re here for the weekly Pin-it Party, check one of the other host’s sites–I’m taking the month off).