So, it’s that wonderful time of year and for most of us “empty nesters” we received our Christmas gifts early, in the form of our precious babies coming home from college. Thank you Jesus! I am the luckiest mama in the world right now! I get to spend the next four weeks with my overgrown, underfed, hairy, and extra wrinkly child! Yay me!
Now, I know what you are thinking. This is what you’ve been waiting for. All those posts about missing your kid and now a less enthusiastic post about him being home?! Okay, I am excited, ecstatic, and over the moon do not get me wrong. It’s just that it’s a little bittersweet that’s all.
Remember when I told you I am a pessimist, I am going to spend this whole time thinking about how awful it’s going to be to send him back again. Instead of trying to enjoy Every. Last. Minute.
So that is where this post comes to save the day for you and me my little empty nesting friends. We must make the most of our time with our kiddos visit and not worry about the dreaded and inevitable time at the end. We must cram all that we can into our days with them like we are stuffing that Thanksgiving turkey with all that breaded goodness.
I kept the list simple this time 5 things. I know we have 9 gazillion other things we have to do so we can handle 5 right? Yes we can! Again, in no order of importance.
#1. Holiday Lights
Wherever you may live there are probably plenty of holiday light displays for you to check out with your big kid. In my area specifically our local Zoo has an amazing light display that we used to go to when he was younger. So it’s kinda sweet and makes me feel like he’s my little boy again. Sigh! There are also parks that you can drive through that have nice displays for like $5 bucks a car load. Cheap! Or there is always driving around your own neighborhood with holiday tunes blasting checking out your neighbors fanciful decorations. Free!
#2. Holiday Movie Marathon
Something that we love to do especially on days after the holidays is watch holiday movies! I am not talking about Hallmark Channel movies. I am talking about classic holiday movies. There are so many favorites that come to mind when thinking about Christmas movies. For instance, The Santa Clause with Tim Allen is always a favorite and it’s a series so you can watch it for hours! Of course National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation is a must, especially after driving around and checking out all those light displays. This activity can be done at home in your pajamas or even while wrapping those last minute gifts. Holiday movies are definitely high on the list of things for us to do over break!
#3. Outdoor Activities
Now this is something that will vary with what part of the country you live. However, I was thinking like sledding, skiing, snowboarding, or even ice skating at an outdoor rink. Again, these activities might mean you need to live in a colder climate and get snow or at least near a place that can make their own snow. Building a snowman is another favorite winter pastime that we so love to do together. Even a walk on a beach or in a park can provide some quality time. Just being together doing something you both love or somewhat like is important.
#4. Christmas Traditions
This can look different for every family. However, for my family it is setting up the tree together and decorating the house. Baking holiday treats is another big family tradition for most families. Making cutout cookies and frosting them was always my personal favorite. Also, allowing the kids to open a present before church on Christmas Eve was always a big to do for us. Whatever your traditions are it is important to stick with them. Especially this year. It will mean more to you and your kiddo this year than ever before.
#5. Game Night
I do not know about your family but my family loves to play games. We play them whenever possible and it is one of those things that we try to do at every get together. This is an easy and mostly inexpensive activity that we can do and it doesn’t have to take up a lot of time. I know trivia games are always a blast. Smartish is a newer trivia game that we just recently purchased and couldn’t stop playing! My son and I have an ongoing game on our Wii called Fortune Street. This is something that we have played together forever and we both love it. Well, at least I do and he pretends to anyway! Making memories people.
There you have it! My top 5 things to do with your college kid who is home for break. Hopefully, you will find something in this list that will provide you and your child with some new memories. I tried to choose activities that were meaningful and would provide quality time together. But also, not take up too much time since they probably have other people to visit and hang out with while they are home. And inexpensive, because as we all know the holiday time with a kid in college can be expensive. So keeping the price tag low was important as well.
And one more thing, this is like a bonus… share with your big kid what you have been doing while they have been away at school. Remember those coping strategies we talked about in my last article 7 Strategies for Coping with an Empty Nest? If not read it here. Well, I’m sure they would like to know that you haven’t been sitting around lonely. So share with them at the very least they will pretend to be interested. At least mine does. Love him.
Once again, thank you for stopping by. Please drop me a comment of some ideas you have for spending time with your kiddos when they are home from college. Or tell me your favorite holiday movie. Always. Dawn.