For the past couple of weeks I've been ratcheting down our academics in favor of rest, food, family, puttering around the house, and Christmas prep. And over the next few weeks I anticipate more of the same: less time spent following lesson plans, more time spent enjoying the season of Advent together. What does this look like, exactly?
For the past couple of years I've reached Christmas with a nagging feeling that I was too distracted, too busy, too ambitious. Last year around Christmas my son even went through a period where he said he felt like I didn't love him. I tried to figure out the root cause of this (I am quite affectionate!) and realized: of course he thinks this....he's used to a different life, and a different mother! In the weeks leading up to Christmas I had become dominated by my to-do list, my calendar, and my obligations. I had also, in the course of that, become a little snappier, more exhausted, and more on edge. A child notices even a subtle difference in his mother.
So this year I am aiming to be intentional in the way I spend my time during Advent.
*violin (!) recital
*church Christmas play/program
*co-op Christmas party
*nightly Advent readings
*morning Advent readings (for me)
*hot cocoa by the tree
*reading our many Christmas and Advent books....every day!
*reading my favorite Christmas book
*visiting the Fancy Hotel in town with all the decorated trees
*attending a musical concert
*baking a plethora of Christmas goodies
*singing carols together at home
*at least one or two Advent weekend hikes
*making a gingerbread house
*creating some herb wreaths
*decorating the chicken coop (don't laugh....okay, go ahead and laugh)
*lots of Christmas sewing (this borders on a must-do)
*driving around to look at Christmas lights
*make a Jesse tree (maybe a little ambitious)
In addition to wanting to enjoy the savor the season, I'm also scaling back on school now that we're nearly done with one "term." It's always good to learn new things about oneself. This term I think I've learned that I'm a hopeless case when it comes to curricula. I like having resources and a booklist, but lesson plans? No. Not so much. I've felt a little over-burdened this term, to be honest. My children have even felt the pressure of not having as much margin in their days as they are used to having. Today Finn, celebrating his freedom from most formal lessons, spent about 2 hours at the piano. Who can say that time wasted because it wasn't spent in a "balanced" way between more subjects? I can't!
Seasonal living feels right to me, and I think it helps us live more fully in the present moment. So I'm committed to a different kind of Advent this year.