Christmas time is a joyous season filled with friends, family and celebrating the birth of Jesus. Most of us are already running our schedules at max capacity, so how are we to enjoy the Christmas season without losing our minds in the process? After all, with so many extra activities added to the schedule, it’s a joyous but busy time of the year! I believe the key to enjoying Christmas time is to create some white space in our daily schedules.
White space is simply leaving time in your day unscheduled. Instead of filling up your schedule to max capacity, try only filling 60% of your day. Leaving a portion of your day unscheduled means you’ll have less stress this holiday season. You’ll be able to take your time enjoying each moment as it happens. This means you won’t have to rush the kids through their Christmas projects. You’ll be able to take the time to enjoy traditions like baking Christmas cookies.
Leaving white space means you’ll be better able to live in the moment rather than rushing through each item on your checklist. Leaving unscheduled time in your day means you’ll be able to say “yes” if something comes up. If your kids are bored one evening you’re free to take them caroling through the neighborhood.
On the flip side of the coin, it gives you the freedom to say “no” because you realize the need to keep some downtime on the schedule. Taking care of yourself is always important, Christmas isn’t a time to ignore taking care of yourself. Over scheduling yourself means you won’t be able to get the rest you need. After all, if you’re stressed to the max this holiday season, you won’t enjoy any of it. What’s the point to any of your Christmas festivities if you can’t enjoy it?
How to Create White Space
I think we can all agree we need to find ways to have some white space in our schedules. The question is how can we practically go about creating that white space? I think one of the easiest ways is to let up on some of our normal day to day activities. The following is a list of just a few ideas for you.
- Shorten your school week. If you have a 5 day school week drop it to 4 days for the month of December. If you have a 4 day school week, drop it to 3!
- Take Christmas week off.
- If your child receives any therapy services, maybe consider taking a short break from them.
- Skip a music lesson.
- Do a little cleaning everyday, rather than needing to dedicate an entire day to cleaning.
- Make sure your kids are helping with chores, many hands make light work!
- Do all of your Christmas shopping in one day. Don’t add extra stress by needing to go out shopping more than once. This is especially important if you live in a rural area and need to drive to any big shopping center.
- Be realistic with your Christmas baking. Set a limit on how many different cookie and candy varieties you’ll make. Even though you love dozens of recipes, pick a few.
Stay Focused on the True Meaning of Christmas
Perhaps the most important reason to leave some white space in your Christmas schedule is to keep yourself from becoming so busy you forget what it is your celebrating. Remember to keep your focus on Jesus and the miracles of the first Christmas. Don’t let your business overtake the meaning of the season. Take the time to read Luke chapter 2 from the Bible with your family. Play christian Christmas songs during the day. Spend some of your white space with the one who came to save the world.
How do you create white space in your homeschool schedule this time of the year?
I would love to hear your ideas, comment below!