Kids are out of school: What’s your holiday fun plan?

Besides sleeping in, what is your holiday fun plan for the next two weeks?

We’re hosting a gingerbread house making party today with eight little friends – 11 kids total if you count mine. (More on that later probably. We had to postpone from Saturday because Lilina was sick.) Wednesday we are planning a day trip to the mountains, and Thursday is caroling with little buddies. Friday night is church and then of course the big day! We also have to work in seeing Santa Claus. We haven’t seen him yet.

Michael always takes off two weeks at Christmas so we are all home together. His brother usually comes to stay with us too.

I’m sure we’ll bake a bunch, watch our favorite Christmas cartoons (We DVR’d ABC’s Family Channel) and play video games. We’ll also drive around to see houses lit up.

So what’s your plan for the next two weeks? Do you have special parties planned? Will you go out ice skating, see light shows, playdates with far-away friends? How will you spend school vacation?

(Elf Jingles has finally arrived at my friend Sue’s house. She has started sending photos of the Jingles/Coco romp that I will probably group and share later in the week. Also coming this week lots of links to holiday crafts and baking with kids.)

60 comments Add your comment

[...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by AJCMOMania and News Tips 4 Mamas. News Tips 4 Mamas said: Kids are out of school: What's your holiday fun plan? http://bit.ly/gkS1xm [...]

Belle

December 20th, 2010
7:04 am

I picked up various crafts at the store. We’ll see how long they last.

DB

December 20th, 2010
7:20 am

Judging from the amount of laundry my kids brought home from college — I think we’re doing laundry!

ABC

December 20th, 2010
7:26 am

Fulton is in school until Wednesday, so maybe better to post this question on Thursday??

deidre_NC

December 20th, 2010
7:58 am

my car broke down…hoping to find a rental…probably about to lose my job…but hopefully another one is waiting in the wings..just waiting to hear…so im gonna spend this week praying like crazy lol…

madmommy

December 20th, 2010
8:01 am

We are going to do play-dates with friends as well as a baby swap for atleast two hours each day. It is tough when the kids are out of school, mainly because I don’t get my three hours of me time to head out to the gym or do anything I want for three hours. Sounds selfish, but I have long gotten over that guilt with the help of friends, family and my shrink (so please don’t bash me). We don’t have family in the area (all out West) so unless I pack the time with friends, it can seem a little sad in our home.

Going to try ice skating, roller skating and many trips to a jumpy place to keep the kids active and running around. I have a feeling that next week will be a bit better after Santa’s visit. T- I think it is great your hubby is able to take that much time off from work and your children will remember that time spent together over everything else.

We did cutter cookies and gingerbread men as well a few weeks ago. Just mixed frosting and made them all different colors and put every sprinkle/candy known to man on the table covered in wax paper and went to town. It was great fun and clean up was a snap. A tip, put all items into tupperware so if the kids get burnt out before all the cookies are done you can just pick it up again later w/o as much work. Don’t forget to take pictures.

motherjanegoose

December 20th, 2010
8:08 am

DB…. My son came home his freshman year in pajama pants and a T shirt…this was all he had clean and I showed him the laundry room….LOL. Good thing mine was done~

Sorry you can’t make it to lunch with catlady and myself today we will miss you! HUGS….

My daughter came home last week and ( told me that) before she left, she was telling her friends about the meal she would cook when she got home that day. One girl said, “Isn’t your MOM supposed to cook you a meal?” She replied, “well, I like to cook and wanted to try this recipe.” We got a kick out of it.

I love to look at lights. Question….does anyone else think $60 per car load is outrageous for Lanier Night of Lights. I heard it is $40 M-Th, per car and more for a van.

We drove to eat at the Marietta Diner on S (YUM) and had hoped to see the lights at Life College, where I think it is $5. We sat in line on Cobb Parkway for over 30 minutes and made it about 2 blocks…then gave up. Perhaps more folks are heading that way too? It was not that crowded at Life last year but I did not want to be wedged in line for hours, so we looked at lights in neighborhoods.

@ ABC…perhaps TWG is writing about what is on her mind and Gwinnett got out on Friday.
This will give you a head start list! I tend to write and talk about what is on my mind too…guilty!

I have absolutely loved my relaxed paced since Thanksgiving. This time of year is a real treat for me as I am not stressed with work. I have to pick up something for our mailman today and our neighbors…. then I am finished. We are working on our menu for Christmas dinner. We will also bake cookies and play games. It is going to be hard for me to get back to my travel schedule in 2011!

AreYouKidding?

December 20th, 2010
8:08 am

DB — Why are you doing your children’s laundry?

Chris Murphy

December 20th, 2010
8:15 am

If the school’s didn’t start so early in August, we working parents wouldn’t need to juggle kids and career for these wasted days. These vacation days are perks for central office types, not teachers or students. Let’s get back to some sense of reality and start school around Labor Day. And it sure would help the crime problem here in-town, too.

motherjanegoose

December 20th, 2010
8:16 am

@ deidre…saying a prayer for you

@ madmommy…we have the 4 of us here and my sister. I asked my husband if he wanted to tag along and see his sister in January, as they live out west and we have not seen them in a few years. He replied that they went to Germany, maybe they could come and see us? Not likely. Hi sister has come to see us once in 28 years. My husband flew out and got the cousins to come and visit with us, for a weekend, at least 12 years ago. I feel your pain about being here alone for the holidays. Our closest relative in 400 miles away and the farthest is 2500. Not as much fun with just 5 people and it is too hard to go when my kids are both in college and work. We are used to being by ourselves for the holidays.

smh

December 20th, 2010
8:19 am

http://www.conkerrcancer.org/help.html
We’ll try and make some pillowcases over the break. My girls enjoy that. We have a couple of play dates on the calendar. We will bake some cookies, watch a movie or two, that kind of thing. I do have the girls spend sometime doing a math or language arts game online. The third grader still has to read every day. The Sixth grader has a 4H project draft to create. The DH is off the week after Christmas so he will be here to oversee and help which is marvelous. Nothing overly scheduled just keeping a light routine in place makes the transition back to school so much easier.

motherjanegoose

December 20th, 2010
8:23 am

@ Chris…the school calendar has been discussed before, last I heard early start is so the HS kids can take their finals before the break and be finished. FYI…they are not scheduling the calendar to accommodate any parental group’s whims including working parents. Each district has a set number of days that the kids need to attend school. I do not think it has to do with the central office types. In fact, many in those folks work during the breaks the children have. They are not in the classroom, so they do not care if the kids are in or not.

You can look at your school district calendar and see when the kids get out, when the teachers get out, when the office personnel get out etc.

Lori

December 20th, 2010
8:25 am

Well, since I have an actual job, my plan for the next two weeks is pretty much the same as it always is. The only difference is I have to drop my son off at daycare instead of school. I wish I was fortunate enough not to have to work, but I’m not that lucky.

deidre_NC

December 20th, 2010
8:31 am

@are you kidding—maybe because she wants to lol…my kids all know how to do their laundry..and when they are home all the time they do it…but sometimes when they have been gone i just do it because it brings back the mommy feeling that you sometimes get lost from when your kids are gone.

motherjanegoose

December 20th, 2010
8:37 am

@ Lori…good point. Some of my friends tell me, “You are so lucky to be able to be off this time of year!’

I reply, “I guess you could be off too…just tell your boss that you want to take 4 weeks off with no pay!”
Their jaws drop. This is not a big time for schools to hire consultants and thus I am “unemployed”.
I plan ahead.

FYI…I just got an e-mail from Brown Bag Deli in the Suwanee Town Center and kids eat free today.
We love the park and there is plenty of room to run and roam. Lots of folks take their dogs too. If it is warm enough, this might be a good option today….if you are near Suwanee. I would love to move to the condos there but the TRAIN would drive me crazy…it is LOUD! Right off of Buford HWY.

deidre_NC

December 20th, 2010
8:37 am

@MJG thank you i need all the prayers i can get right now…things are a little rough here. you are a kind woman.

CRB

December 20th, 2010
8:37 am

@Chris Murphy, I’m a parent representative on a Local School Council in one of the northern metro counties. I can tell you, with a high degree of certainty, that the schedule has nothing to do with office perks. We just went through a multi-page survey where the LSC was asked to provide feedback on a variety of schedule specific issues…including start times, winter / spring break, and etc. The focus was primarily the impact to the kids and families.

JJ

December 20th, 2010
8:37 am

I’m right there with DB. My daughter brought home all her laundry, sheets, towels, etc.

@Are you kidding me – I do my college-aged daughter’s laundry too. It’s a simple pleasure for me. I love folding nice fresh clothes. We do all the laundry, fluff it out on the back of the sofa, and sit and fold everything at one time. Plus, I haven’t had anyone but me in the house, so it’s nice to have something to do.

A

December 20th, 2010
8:49 am

We’re not out until later in the week, but I have a very flexible job where I’m able to work from home. So while I’ll be putting in some hours Thursday and Friday even though my son will be off, we will still be able to see the Rudolph show at the Center for Puppetry Arts and maybe a couple of other fun things. We’re also going away for a week right after Christmas, so I feel extremely lucky and grateful to have the time off.

momoftwo

December 20th, 2010
8:55 am

I have something productive to do today and tomorrow, bank, shopping, etc.All while REALLY sick>
Baking all day thursday and friday…

deidre_NC

December 20th, 2010
9:04 am

we need a like button on here like facebook has lol

Erica

December 20th, 2010
9:09 am

I’m working this week, as is my husband, so I just dropped my litle one off at her old school for a “camp week”, as her school is out for two weeks. She’s psyched….we’re a bit broker (smile). I’m off after Wednesday, so we’re looking forward to sleeping in, doing some play dates with some her friends who are at her old school, and just having fun. One post Christmas treat for her is a long awaited trip to American Girl for doll shopping and a nice lunch. We’ll probably go to the movies some and do some holiday baking. Off for a total of 12 days and I’m happy to see some much needed R and R coming!

TechMom

December 20th, 2010
9:19 am

Luckily I work from home. These breaks used to wreak havoc on our lives when my husband and I were both commuting into the office.

My son is now in HS though so I don’t have to do much entertaining. He has wrestling practice today & Wednesday. The youth at our church is headed up to Lake Lanier Nights of Lights tonight so he’ll go up there tonight and plan on hanging out with some friends tomorrow. Wednesday we’re having some friends for dinner and then my parents will be here Thursday for the Chrstimas festivities. I bought tickets on one of the discount sites for Bodies The Exhibit so I’m thinking Sunday would be a good day to go that. Monday he’s off for our church’s youth retreat in NC. He’ll be back in time for New Year’s and the long weekend to hang out with friends. Not much time for boredom to set in.

MomofOne

December 20th, 2010
9:36 am

Look for 1/2 price tickets to Lanier Lights, think I saw them at Halfoff.com, easy to find if googled. I have a wonderful husband who has 3 weeks of vacation, while I work hourly – no vacation – we flip-flop days so I can be at the office every other day and I also have a great boss that let’s me work at home during the my days at home. It is a win-win for us all. We are going to the movies, finishing shopping and whatever we feel like. Although, she woke up with a cold this morning, so I don’t know how much fun she is going to be!! I will get her doctored today and nip it in the bud!

Fire Rodney Ho

December 20th, 2010
9:41 am

Fire Rodney Ho, holla acha boy

JATL

December 20th, 2010
9:41 am

I will be off until the end of the year after Wednesday. Since this was my first year of being back to work full-time since becoming a mother, I’m looking forward to doing some of the things we regularly did and haven’t gotten to do very often this year. The zoo is down the street, so we still go a lot, but we’ll definitely hit it, and we’ll go to Fernbank, Children’s Museum, Botanical Gardens if there’s a nice day and we’re finally going to make it back to the Tellus Science Museum. My husband is taking next week off as well, and he’s never been, so I’m looking forward to it. That place is amazing if you haven’t visited! I’m also hoping for a few days of sunny weather so we can go hiking once or twice.

We’ll do most of our outings in the morning and spend the afternoon at home playing with our new toys, doing some baking and going to or watching movies.

The thing I’m most excited about regarding Christmas this year is Santa’s special gift he’s leaving! My sons and I watched “The Polar Express” for the first time this year and loved it. Both of my boys are really into trains, and I’ve wanted a decent train set to go around the base of my Christmas tree most of my life, but have never had one. SO, I ordered the nice Lionel Polar Express set, and I’m setting it up after everyone is asleep and leaving a calligraphy written note from Santa to my boys. My 4 year old was so generous and giving with our “adopted” Christmas kids this year, I want the note to touch on that and the spirit of Santa that you can believe in your whole life. My husband loves trains too, and he’ll be delighted with it as well. I can’t wait! It even puffs smoke and has a real whistle!

motherjanegoose

December 20th, 2010
9:49 am

@ JATL…I am going to TRY to see if I can get your way next week. We are planning a trip to the lady where we bought our schnauzer. She lives up near Dalton and has 2 litters of pups. NO we are not getting another dog but we want to see them and show her our dog: who was the runt of one of her litters and is now bigger than her parents. My daughter has taught her 3 new tricks and it is cute.

Your boys will LOVE the train. We had friends once who had a room in their basement set up for trains. It was awesome. Maybe you should check this out….OTP:

http://www.tripadvisor.com/Attraction_Review-g34913-d559905-Reviews-Southeastern_Railway_Museum-Duluth_Georgia.html

JustMy2Cents

December 20th, 2010
9:58 am

@ChrisMurphy- central office in Cobb works Mon-Wed of this week…no perks for us! We are just lucky they took the two extra furlough days off, or we would have been off Tues & Wed (minus pay of course).

My kids are at home making cookies with my mom. Then tomorrow they will leave to travel with my husband to his parents’ house. They will come home Xmas eve, and no plans for anything next week just yet since hubby still has to work.

JustMy2Cents

December 20th, 2010
10:01 am

@JATL- you can take the kiddos on the “real” Polar Express up in Bryson City, NC. It is a couple hour drive, but my girls loved it. The train ride showcases a lot of the holiday light displays, they read the story, go to the North Pole, meet Santa, get their bell and do a snack & hot chocolate.

JATL

December 20th, 2010
10:14 am

@MJG -email me if you think you’ll have free time for lunch! Thanks for the link to the Souteastern Railway Museum -I haven’t been, but my husband took our oldest a year or so ago. That may be a good outing, especially now that our youngest is train-crazy too!

@JustMy2Cents -thanks for letting me know! I had heard of one out near the Grand Canyon, but I would LOVE to do the one in Bryson City! Hopefully it will still be around next year, because I’ll put it on the calendar. We try to do one really special, “big” outing during the holidays -so that could be it!

DB

December 20th, 2010
10:23 am

@AreYouKidding: Please note that I said “WE” are doing laundry . . . :-) Which consists of me yammering at them to get their piles of clothes suitcases and boxes out of the breakfast room (the “staging room” for the laundry when the laundry room is crowded!), and reminding them to keep the washer and dryer going until it’s all done — and then start over, because now there’s four people in the house instead of just me, and the ensuing towels, napkins, sheets, etc. I am NOT complaining, because laundry, to me, is cathartic — I love folding warm towels, and ironing pillowcases so they are nice and crisp. It’s a little thing that doesn’t take much effort that makes you feel like you accomplished something! My daughter loves to use my clothes steamer on her ruffly knit stuff if she forgets and leaves it in the dryer too long! I do my husband’s laundry, now that he is back in town for a couple of weeks, so there’s some there for me to manage, too! There’s also some mending that works its way in there, too. Yes, they know how to sew on buttons — but it is my pleasure to do it for them, and they are appreciative. JJ, you obviously understand! :-)

@deidre_NC: I’ll send a prayer your way. That’s a lot of stress on top of an already stressful season.

Lady Strange

December 20th, 2010
10:30 am

I have to work until Friday, then I am off until next Tuesday. Haven’t decided what fun stuff to do with my son yet. I’ll have to see what we can do on Friday since Saturday will be family time and Sunday he goes to see his dad. What’s good for a toddler that might not be too crowded?

Shannon

December 20th, 2010
10:34 am

Disney World!!!

motherjanegoose

December 20th, 2010
10:47 am

@ Shannon….have fun. You would not catch me in Disneyworld over the Christmas holidays if someone paid for the entire trip but that is just me LOL….too many crowds. We went to MGM one year when the park was AT CAPACITY and the gates were then closed…wall to wall people! I know the decorations are wonderful, as we went YEARS ago between Thanksgiving and Christmas….not crowded then. January is also a good time.

Luckily, mine are old enough to go by themselves. Guess I’ll be back in the game if I ever have grandkids :).

BLUE JEAN BABY

December 20th, 2010
10:51 am

WELL IF ANY BODY REALLY WANTS TO NO THIS IS THE SADEST XMAS I HAVE EVER HAD IN MY LIFE .I NO GOD IS TESTING ME BUT I DONT NO HOW MUCH MORE I CAN TAKE I GUESS GOD THINK S, I AM STRONG BUT I AM FELLING NOT SO HOT. I AM SURE I COULD WRITE A BOOK AND I AM SURE ALOT OF WOMEN CAN JUST FELL LIKE DIEINGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGG THANKS FOR LETTING ME VENT

Becky

December 20th, 2010
10:53 am

We will be wrapping gifts, baking, watching Christmas movies and hanging out..Not sure that we will go anywhere yet..I have to work the rest of the week, then will be on vacation between Christmas and New Years, so we may just get up one morning, throw some stuff in a suitcase and go..

@Chris..Ain’t grownup life a b**ch? Usually when you have kids, your life always has a monkey wrench thrown in the mix, so you need to learn to go with the flow..Have a very Merry Christmas..

@deidre..Will be praying for you and wsihing all the best for you with the car..

@JJ & DB..I don’t mind putting the clothes in the washer, then the dryer, but I don’t like folding them and putting them up..:~)

motherjanegoose

December 20th, 2010
11:03 am

@ Becky…hugs girl…I hate folding laundry…also hate putting groceries away but I am blessed to have clean clothes and food so I will suck it up. I will try to catch up with you in January!

Becky

December 20th, 2010
11:13 am

@MJG..Hugs to you also..I love to go grocery shopping and enjoy putting the food away..So as I’ve always heard, being different is what makes us get along with others… I will be around in Jan, so am looking forward to seeing you…

JJ

December 20th, 2010
11:30 am

I love to grocery shop.

I’m working till Thursday. The company is giving us Friday and Monday off for Christmas, then the following Friday & Monday off for New years. I’m taking an extra day on Thursday.

Tonight, we will put “A Christmas Story” or Jim Carey’s “Grinch” in the DVD player, and we will start wrapping presents. We always watch one of those movies while wrapping. I set up at the dining room table, and my daughter sets up in the living room.

We had the cookie party Saturday, and it was a blast. My daughter’s friends all came over and so did a few of my friends. I made so many cookies, I must have used 5 rolls of dough. We even took some over to the neighbors, and their little two year old decorated a few Gingerbread men. Very cute. I still have a roll of gingerbread dough, so we will be making cookies all week long…..

Shannon

December 20th, 2010
11:49 am

@motherjanegoose, I have been warned in advance about the crowds. We have to go when my daughter is out of school. I do not let her miss school to go on vacation especially when I’m paying for it. I heard Spring Break was worse than Christmas and I don’t do well outside in the summer heat. If it’s really that bad it will be the last time we go.

TechMom

December 20th, 2010
11:59 am

@Shannon – We went to Disney one time when I was kid between Christmas & New Years and it was so crowded that I still don’t want to go back- even 20+ years later as an adult! Good luck and bring an extra dose of patience.

A

December 20th, 2010
12:23 pm

@Shannon–we have been to Disney between Xmas and New Years, and while it was more crowded than when my son was 2 and we were able to go in early February, it was not unbearable to us personally. I too can’t deal with Florida outside of the winter months, and with school you go when you can go. I am the same about not having my child miss school for a vacation. You’ll be fine. Try to get to the parks right when they open in the morning. Most people seem to stroll in much later in the day, so you’ll have a good experience first thing when they open.

Leigh

December 20th, 2010
2:47 pm

The Fish 104.7 is running a commercial for the Jim Ellis car dealership in Buford. If you test drive a car, you get a free ticket to Lake Lanier Lights. We did this the Friday after Thanksgiving. No pressure to buy, although I let them know up front I could NOT afford a new car and didn’t want one. Saw the lights with the free ticket on Saturday night. Not worth $60 but is worth it when it’s free!

Denise

December 20th, 2010
4:15 pm

@Blue Jean Baby – I am so sorry you are having a rough time. I don’t know your issue and I often feel like God has more confidence in me than I do; He doesn’t give us more than we can handle but I sure wish he wouldn’t give me so much dang credit! LOL! I will send a prayer up for you and deidre_NC. I hope I don’t offend either of you or anyone else on the blog but I want to share with you a scripture that helped me the other week when my uncle died: I Peter 5:7 – Cast your cares on the Lord because He cares for you. Phil 4:6-7 also got me thru.

JATL

December 20th, 2010
4:36 pm

@LadyStrange -I may be way off the mark, but the Imagine It Children’s Museum downtown probably won’t be that crowded on Christmas Eve day. Check out their times, because I think they close early. It may be covered up, but I would think a lot of kids will be with their parents traveling or something. It’s a GREAT place for toddlers!

srh

December 20th, 2010
4:48 pm

@diedre. I am sorry about your potential job loss. I own a business that writes resumes. As a fellow reader, I would be happy to provide a review, and some tips, free of charge. I have been doing this for 20 years, so I am pretty good. I won’t leave my website name on this post, as I know I will get a flurry of bad responses for trying to “promote” my business. I really am not – just think I can help, and a review from a professional is always good. Let me know if you want/need a review and some pointers. Maybe Theresa can get us linked up. Thanks.

deidre_NC

December 20th, 2010
5:32 pm

srh—thank you…i would love that. i have a resume and it would be great to see what a professional thinks of it. and thanks for the ‘im sorry’. i work for a company that is not an employee friendly place. i really have never had any trouble on a job like i have at this one. very discouraging. theresa…could you hook us up? you can give srh my email addy. thanks

deidre_NC

December 20th, 2010
5:38 pm

denise-becky-and db—thanks for the encouraging words. had to borrow lots of money for repairs and car rental. if i get fired i will be so mad that i spent the money on a rental!!! i hate to whine-complain-whatever. there are so many people who have it so much worse than i do. its all relative i know…but i have a roof…kids who are healthy…altho my new grandbaby was rushed to childrens hospital last night-couldnt breathe…she is better today and on the mend. that was scary. one of my best friends just lost her lifelong best friend to cancer-but my sister has survived cancer this year. lots to be thankful for regardless of whether i lose my job or not. ill just deal with it when and if it happens. i love thi blog..so many caring people. DENISE-it is encouraging verses like this that keep me ok…or almost ok lol….

deidre_NC

December 20th, 2010
5:40 pm

oh!! yes the Polar Express is wonderful for a certain age of kids…the resort i was a manager at had a deal with the great smoky mountain railway who does this trip. its great…not sure if you can still get tickets..it used to sell out fast…but the kids love it! im pretty sure you can do it in both bryson city or dillsboro.

road trip fun

December 20th, 2010
7:17 pm

[...] Kids are out of school: Whatâ??s your holiday fun plan? – Atlanta Journal Constitution (blog) Besides sleeping in, what is your holiday fun plan for the next two weeks … Wednesday we are planning a day trip to the mountains, and Thursday is caroling with little buddies. Friday night is church and then of course the big day! Dec 16, 2010 2:24pm [...]