Holiday Sanity Savers for Parents


The countdown is on. In just a few days my daughter’s Christmas break will commence. She delights in telling people that soon she won’t have to endure seven looooong hours a day in a classroom until 2012.

I too am thrilled that she will be home, though I know better than to count on the time being stress-free.

The first few days of the holiday hiatus from school is filled with giggles and grins, but by day three, I hear more, “Mom, I’m bo-bo-bored!” than “Ho, ho, ho!”

Over the years, I’ve learned to prepare for periods of whines and wails. This year I’m ready with several seasonal boredom busters that should keep the doldrums at bay and preserve my sanity until the New Year:

Sock Snowmen: Stuff white tube socks with cotton balls, fiberfill or leftover fabric from other sewing projects. Stop filling when you get to the place on the sock where the ankle ribbing starts. Next, use a piece of string or a rubber band to close the sock where the filling ends. Then, fold the top of the sock over to create the snowman’s hat. Use markers or paint to add some color to the hat. Or, you could use a sock with stripes to add some detail. Measure roughly two to three inches below the hat, then tie a scarf made from leftover fabric to differentiate the head and body. Finally, use paint or markers to add eyes, nose, mouth and buttons.

Christmas Collage: Put the kids to work creating a seasonal collage to hang in your home. Younger kids can use safety scissors to cut out Christmas-themed photos from magazines, or allow them to repurpose Christmas cards that are too beautiful to stash with other mail. Then, embellish with paper snowflakes, buttons, ribbons, bows, silk flowers, your child’s drawings, and angels made from tissue paper.

Treat Tree: Create a Christmas tree using holiday candy. Simply purchase a Styrofoam tree and place it in a pretty pot. Next, cover the base of the Styrofoam with green gumdrops. The rest of the tree can be filled with green lollipops. Just insert the lollipops’ stick into the Styrofoam making sure to cover the entire tree. You shouldn’t be able to see any white between the sticks. If you worry about the white showing, you could paint the Styrofoam green prior to starting the project. Finally, top the tree with a foil-wrapped chocolate gold star.

Related Articles:

Keeping the Santa Spirit Alive

Share a Seasonal Smile

The Santa Threat

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Michele Cheplic

About Michele Cheplic

Michele Cheplic was born and raised in Hilo, Hawaii, but now lives in Wisconsin. Michele graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison with a degree in Journalism. She spent the next ten years as a television anchor and reporter at various stations throughout the country (from the CBS affiliate in Honolulu to the NBC affiliate in Green Bay). She has won numerous honors including an Emmy Award and multiple Edward R. Murrow awards honoring outstanding achievements in broadcast journalism. In addition, she has received awards from the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association for her reports on air travel and the Wisconsin Education Association Council for her stories on education. Michele has since left television to concentrate on being a mom and freelance writer.