As the holiday season approaches, the rush to perfect everything from decorations to presents can often overshadow the true essence of this time of year ~ connecting with ourselves and our children. In this episode of the Art of Homeschooling podcast, let’s consider slowing down for the holidays.
We’re diving into how to savor the holiday season by prioritizing connection over perfection, embracing stillness amidst the hustle, and creating an enriching environment for your family.
The significance of slowing down during this festive season cannot be overstated. We often get so caught up in the hustle and bustle that we forget to pause and appreciate the simple things.
It’s crucial to carve out time for stillness and solitude in our fast-paced world. When we slow down, we not only nourish our relationships with ourselves and our loved ones but also provide our children with a valuable model of what rest and relaxation look like.
Press play above to listen in to this episode all about slowing down for the holidays. And follow along with the show notes below for a summary and resources.
Modeling Meaningful & Joyful Work
One of the foundations of Waldorf education is modeling meaningful work for children, especially in the early years. Children observe and imitate our activities in their play, which teaches them about the world around them and encourages them to engage in movement and play that supports their development.
For this reason, we as adults want to engage in daily tasks that are observable when young children are by our side, as opposed to working on the computer, watching TV, or interacting on our phones.
In this day and age, I know this is hard! However, I encourage you to consider how you might reduce online activities to focus on meaningful creative work that children can observe and imitate. Simple daily tasks like cooking, sweeping, or folding laundry are wonderful activities to focus on as these activities allow you to engage with your child, watch them play, chat, or sing while you’re working.
But also, with this idea of modeling in mind, think about how slowing down and engaging in creative activities could influence the fabric of your family culture. Even as your children get older, they benefit from watching you engage with meaningful and joyful work.
What would it inspire in your children to see you as the caregiver modeling how to rest, how to slow down, and how to nourish yourself with something that fulfills you?
Slow Down for the Holidays
For many of us, the idea of slowing down is challenging, especially during the holiday season.
The pressure to create a perfect holiday experience is real! But often leads to stress and burnout.
I want to remind you that it’s not about the impeccably wrapped presents or the picture-perfect gingerbread houses, but the moments we share and the bonds we strengthen. So, let’s put down our to-do lists, pick up a cup of tea, and create pockets of stillness amidst the twinkling lights and jingle bells.
Here are some ideas for slowing down during the holidays. I caution you not to let these ideas create another item on your to-do list, however. It’s important to intentionally shape the space in your days and weeks to feel the positive effects of slowing down.
- Make handmade gifts
- Bake cookies
- Create holiday decorations for your home
- Draw, paint, or color
- Handwrite letters or cards
- Mend an article of clothing
- Brush your dog or cat
- Knit, crochet, embroider, cross stitch, or any type of handwork
- Do origami
- Fold paper window stars
As you make the space and set the intention of slowing down for the holidays, consider what it would mean for your children to see a model of what rest, relaxation, and creativity look like.
For many of us, this was never modeled for us when we were growing up. But we can change that for our children.
Ever made folded paper window stars? I invite you to join me and the Inspired at Home community of heart-centered homeschoolers for our monthly Make Along! It’s part of our December masterclass, Handwork + Stories, which includes 18 wonderful tutorials. We meet on Zoom and replays are always available!
Step Away from Perfection
Often as homeschooling parents, we’re constantly assessing ourselves and seeking ways to improve.
Slowing down for the holidays may also mean pausing our harsh self-judgment and letting our assessments, critiques, and analyses rest.
When you feel the judgment arise in you, take a deep breath and let it be. What a great thing for our kids to observe in us.
You might keep a brainstorming list of homeschooling or parenting ideas that pop into your head, but no editing or judging until January! Use your time and energy to model slowing down, relaxing, and making things with your hands.
A True Gift for Your Children this Holiday Season
Here’s a final thought about slowing down: not everything has to be educational all the time. Really, truly, I promise!
And we don’t even have to involve our children in everything we do. We certainly don’t have to be directing them all the time either.
We can take time to do things for ourselves and allow our children to just notice what we’re doing and choose to join us or not.
Get the materials out yourself and simply do what inspires YOU.
So this holiday season, slow down and relax. Find something to make with your hands. Whether they choose to join in or not, your children will notice. They will feel the energy. And that is a beautiful gift to give our children this holiday season.
A cup of tea can help!
Happy Holidays to you and your family. Here’s to us all slowing down and savoring the simple pleasures day by day.
Need some more inspiration? Grab your Holiday Season Inspiration Cards here, including 18 different quotes and mantras to support you with simplicity, gratitude, celebrations, and inner quiet. The perfect gift to yourself to help you embrace a more mindful and slower pace this holiday season.