Welcome to the Slow Your Season Challenge!
Here you will find the why behind the challenge (here’s the blog that started this ‘slow’ journey for me!), examples of Slow Family time activities, and the “rules” for those times. If you’re looking for some great Christmas resources, make sure you check out our Resources page! We’ll be hosting this challenge in the In This Family Facebook group, so make sure you join us over there!
Why slow season?
The turkey has been eaten and Santa has come down 34th Street in the Macy’s Day parade, which means Christmas season has officially begun (I have rules about these things). Now, we need to talk.
I can already sense heart rates and stress levels increasing. My plan-ahead friends have been sending group texts for weeks, asking everyone about the best things to do with kids for Christmas. Calendars are filling, lists are getting longer, pressure is rising, and the hope of a quieter, more peaceful, more meaningful Christmas is fading into the background.
The way I see it, we have two choices.
We can go along with the 471 million Christmas bucket lists that are on the google search (seriously. check it out for yourself!) and stress about fitting in all of the fun/ significant/traditional/memory-making things onto every day of our December calendar while running our family ragged and creating stressful, exhausting situations.
(Aren’t you glad there’s an or?)
Or. We can choose to make this season different. Slower. More full of awe and wonder.
Ready for the challenge?
Each week I’ll join you on Facebook live and challenge you to do two things. One of those things will be adding slow family time (see below for examples), and then there will be an additional challenge item to help you slow down your season and make your time more significant.
So week 1! It’s not even December yet, which means we get to have a head start on the Christmas season. Your challenge this week is to choose one activity to do with your family that will build awe and wonder, and to schedule one block of slow family time.
It’s officially December…and I have definitely seen my calendar fill up this week. We added a birthday party, a Christmas play, a dance performance and dress rehearsal, amongst other things! Anyone else experiencing the same?? This week, your challenge is to say no to something on your calendar, or to a tradition that you do just because, and isn’t actually life-giving to you and your family. Our youngest was supposed to march in the community parade, but we chose to say no to that. I’m also encouraging you to add another block of slow family time! If you didn’t get to it last week, try again!
We are in the thick of it! Our family’s schedule this week includes a dance dress rehearsal, recital, birthday, birthday party, small group party, and dinner group. But we’re still finding time to schedule those blocks of slow time where we can relax together. This week, the extra challenge is to purchase one gift for someone that encourages them to slow down. My kids are both receiving gifts for outside play time for Christmas (shhh, don’t tell them!). What about you? Binoculars for nature-watching? Board games? Cooking sets? What could help your family slow down and have fun together?
Examples of Activities to Add Awe and Wonder
- Read the Christmas story from Luke 2 or the Storybook Bible by candlelight
- Do a family Advent devotional together
- Light the advent wreath as a family
- Watch the movie “The Star” together and then read the real Christmas story together
Examples of Slow Family Time Activities
- Read Christmas books together by the light of your tree
- Take a walk to look at Christmas lights in your neighborhood
- Bake and/or decorate cookies together
- Play a board game and listen to Christmas carols
- Put a blanket on the ground and watch a Christmas movie together
- Decorate your tree as a family
- Bake a birthday cake for Jesus
- Make Christmas cards for your neighbors
- Make a Christmas paper chain or homemade garland
- Decorate a gingerbread house
- Make snowman pancakes and have breakfast together
- Look through photo albums of past Christmases and share memories
- Make a picnic dinner and eat in your front yard to enjoy your christmas decorations
- Make a hot chocolate bar — each family member chooses a topping!
- Light a Christmas candle, turn off all the lights in the house, and sing Christmas carols together
Rules for Slow Family Time
- No phones or hand-held technology — not even to take pictures! Not everything needs to be documented and shared. Live fully in the moment.
- Make eye contact with all family members.
- No use of the phrase “hurry up” or other variations – don’t rush your time!
- No multi-tasking!
- Schedule these activities — take control of your calendar!