reconnecting: time out for us

with the hectic holiday schedule beginning to pick up (longer hours for my man and additional projects for me), reconnecting as a family becomes even more important.

how do we do this as a family?  there are set things we do together as a family during the holiday season, which allows us to reconnect and slow down.  it's not an elaborate list, and we're not legalistic about it or anything.  but aaron and i do plan out a few things.  we sit down for a few minutes and talk about december schedules (mostly his since it gets pretty crazy for him at work) then figure out what things we'd like to do (some may be different from last year while others are established family traditions).  we keep it simple which minimizes stress and allows us to focus on the reconnecting part of the activity.

why is this important to us?  we need to be intentional about carving out time together otherwise we become distracted with other things, and then time together is lost in the hustle and bustle of finding gifts, making gifts, aaron's work, baking, parties, aaron's work, events, christmas cards, aaron's work.  pretty soon you find yourself waking up christmas day and realizing that you need a vacation!

what are some of the things we do each year?  there are a few family-togetherness activities we do that are the same each year.  one is trimming the tree.  this is usually the first of our reconnection points, and the kick-off to our holiday traditions (for more on our family's christmas traditions, check out the links at the end of this post).  the second is our jesse tree, which is another family tradition that has been going strong for the past 3 years. 

other things we do that may change each year include our alternative black friday activity during the thanksgiving holiday weekend, visiting downtown cleveland's tower city, bazaar bizarre and the cleveland handmade holiday markets, and seeing the griswold-esque christmas lights display.

here is more information on our own christmas traditions:
:: jesse tree :: 
:: christmas tree decorating ::
:: gifts and stockings ::
:: christmas cards ::
:: the night before christmas ::


Amber@Nater Tot said...

Oh, I love these photos (and the new header too, btw). It's great that you are carving out the time ahead of time. It's crazy how fast this time flies. It's those family traditions that stick with you as you get older, while you might forget so many other memories. Happy holidays!!

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