Living in Kansas it happens at least 3 to 5 times a year. The weatherman forecasts anywhere between 2 and 7 inches of snow. It gets cloudy, starts to rain, then snow, and suddenly everything changes.
The grocery stores suddenly a mad house. Combine the holiday shopping with the threat of a snowstorm and consumers go crazy. We made our way out late Friday night to pick up some extra ice melt to battle the projected ice. The shoppers in Wal-Mart were excited, anticipating the first major snowstorm of the season. They were pushing their baskets fast and grabbing essential items as fast as they could. The milk and bread are the first to go, followed by the favorite junk food items that you can't live without if you are going to be snowed in. For me it's popcorn. Gotta have popcorn if you are going to be snowed in for a few days.
The older I get, the more I am beginning to enjoy being snowed in. The never ending list of things to do suddenly become obsolete. As much as I wanted to have the Christmas play this morning at church, getting to stay home was just what the doctor ordered. Being snowed in allowed me to get several things done.
The best part of my day was the 3 hour nap that I so desperately needed. Curled up on the bed wearing my favorite sweats with my warm fuzzy blanket was just pure bliss. Once I finally woke up, I cooked a fabulous meal of broiled chicken wings made with my sister's seasoning Miss G's (www.missgsseasoning.com), sweet potato casserole with marshmallows, stir fried green beans, and rice. I was even in the mood to bake cookies, both chocolate chip and butter.
Next, time to write this blog, read my friend Gina Washington's new book, "Be Still and Know that I am God" (Tate Publishing), and look at a little bit of the Chiefs football game with hubby (sorry they lost). I still have enough time to get some writing done on my next book (coming in the spring). Last on my list is a much needed manicure and pedicure. I will end this glorious day with a giant bowl of stove popped popcorn.
Well, it was great while it lasted. I will be up early in the morning navigating the icy streets going to work, then stop by the grocery store to pick up the last few food items for Christmas brunch.
Lord, thank you for this day of rest and peace. I look forward to doing this again!
Holidays for stepfamilies can be just a little bit tougher than for biological families. Here are ten tips for ensuring a happy holiday season.
1. Plan, Plan & Plan. - It has been said if you fail to plan, you plan to fail. Holiday schedule plans should actually be made early in the year. Where will children spend each holiday?
2. Manage Step Schedules - Standard visitation schedules means sharing children with the other parent. Coordinate and be considerate of others, especially the children. Share calendar dates for additional activities at church, school or work.
3. Manage Expectations - Unrealistic expectations can lead to disappointment. Do not make promises you are unable to keep.
4. Establish New Holiday Traditions - Even traditions like holiday decorations and gift opening can be a source of contention when everyone wants to do things the way they used to in their original family. Combine the best of both worlds and make new memories and traditions.
5. Manage Holiday Budgets - Discuss how much you will spend for the holidays especially related to gift buying. Avoid competition with the other parent. Ever thought about agreeing on a gift and splitting the costs?
6. Holiday Meals - Involve everyone in the meal planning and always consider dietary restrictions. The husband and wife should sit in the King/Queen position at the table. Seat younger children closest to their biological parent if possible.
7. Consider Extended Family - Children in stepfamilies may have up to four sets of grandparents. Do not overextend your family time trying to visit everyone in one day.
8. Manage Guest Lists - Discuss guest lists with everyone to avoid surprises such as children inviting your ex to a holiday dinner. Be ready to explain your choices.
9. Learn from Mistakes - It won't take long to figure out what went well and what didn't go so well. Make adjustments accordingly and get a head start on next year.
10. Remember the Reason for the Season - Never forget holidays are about family, fellowship and food. Put aside your differences and have a happy holiday!!!
Janice R Love, Author
First Lady, Mom, Stepmom and Divorce Ministry Coach