You ARE enough - Gift time together in place of toys

So, here we are with only a few days left till Christmas, and if you're anything like me, you've already (at least once, if not more) beat yourself up over whether or not you've done enough to make Christmas the very best for your family this year. Well, I'm here to tell you to shove that annoying thought right out of your head and don't ever think about it again!!!! I'm sorry, but we do it to ourselves WAY too much...the criticizing, the feeling guilty...and for what reason?! We are all doing the best we can for our families, so we really owe it to ourselves to let go of the guilt and criticism, ESPECIALLY when Christmas (or the holidays for that matter) isn't even about the gifts!!! That being said, if you still feel like you're coming up short and that you don't have enough "stuff" to show your love and make them feel special, consider a gift that is true to the meaning of Christmas and gift an experience you can share together with your child or provide your child with, as those are the memories we keep with us for a lifetime. Trust me, you ARE enough! So as you consider all you can do together, keep in mind that it doesn't always have to involve spending a ton of money, but if you need suggestions, or even an idea to trigger inspiration of your own, here are 8 local experiences that fall on my own personal list this year:

  • Visit an indoor water park. We're fortunate to have a few great indoor water parks nearby like Great Wolf Lodge and Kalahari, some even offering a day pass not requiring you to lodge there overnight making for a perfect day trip!

  • Go Bowling. There are a few bowling alleys around, but I've heard great things price-wise on Bel-Pike Lanes in Belvidere, NJ and will be checking that out with my little ones very soon!

  • Visit an indoor play space. Another experience we're fortunate to have an ample amount of in our area. Some I've learned of over the past few years are Sky Zone, Lazer One, and Pump It Up, though there are PLENTY more around so shop around!

  • Go see a Movie. Maybe old school, I know, but some theaters offer $1 pass movies every so often, so if price were an issue then consider keeping an eye out for this type of deal. Otherwise, heading to the movie one day is a nice treat, especially if it's a movie everyone really wants to see.

  • Visit a nearby nature trail. We live in an area where there is beauty all around us, and, more often than not we take that for granted because we’re so busy. When the weather breaks, or we get a day of warmer weather, taking the kids out to Millbrook Village or even to Buttermilk Falls are great spots to visit nearby, both of which promote family time together and cost you nothing!

  • Build a Snowman/Go Sledding. Chances are, we're going to get snow this winter, so, when we do, take the time to drop whatever it is you're doing and go outside with the kids, build a snowman, go sledding, build a snow fort, or do whatever it is they want to do!

  • Visit the Zoo. I know what you’re thinking…why on earth would I visit a zoo this time of year when it’s so cold out!? Because this time of year a lot of places are lit up with beautiful Christmas lights, some costing you an entrance fee, some don’t. Lehigh Valley Zoo I hear is very nice, but I have not yet been there. The Turtle Back Zoo, which I have been to and is super cute, is absolutely free. And most places keep their lights up until the new year, so bundle up and check it out while the kids are home and you're looking for stuff to do!

  • Practice Yoga. Did you really think I wasn't going to mention Yoga?! Listen, even if not with me, practicing a healthy habit like yoga (or exercise in another form) at home with your children is a win-win from the perspective of everyone spending time together, but also doing something that's good for the body at the same time and teaching them the importance of that. And if you feel like you'd rather do some yoga with me, I do have an Art & Yoga workshop coming up after Christmas, as well as an After School Yoga Club starting in January 2019. Have some time before Christmas? Join me Wednesday through Sunday for a holiday inspired kids yoga pose challenge, which is free to all and will be on Instagram and Facebook. Otherwise, visit me on www.aprilfee.com/schedule and view my current schedule of upcoming workshops and classes.

So, from looking at my little list, you can see that there are PLENTY of things you can do with your children instead of just buying them gifts to stuff under the tree. Yes, clearly, they love toys and whatever it was that they asked for on their Christmas Wish List. BUT, chance are, they're not going to remember the little batman Lego set when they're grown. How many toys do you remember from your childhood? I'd bet not that many. So, BE with your children, try to DO things with them while you still can, while they still want to be with you! House work, office work, all of that stuff will still be there tomorrow and the next day. You're little children will eventually be grown and you won't have these opportunities forever. So, ditch the guilt! Forget about buying more toys! Just make a plan to BE with your kids! Whatever it is that you do, you can be sure they'll remember it for years to come.

Wishing you and your family a most joyful, healthy and perfectly beautiful holiday season and New Year!

Much love,

April

April Fee