Over the past few weeks, I know that I have repeatedly, wrote about shutting off your devices and spending good old fashioned quality time with your spouse and loved ones. This week I want to step past just talking about things to do with your spouse and hit on things to do as a family.
As we get further into the holiday season, take time to focus on what truly matters most. Many of us just finished up Thanksgiving, and still have days worth of left overs. Many of us went out for Black Friday sales on Thursday and through the weekend, and many more of us will be spending time going through all of the Cyber Monday/Cyber Week deals. These aren’t the things that matter. What truly matters is looking at what you can do as a family to touch those around you. Maybe, as a family, you can start a tradition of doing Operation Christmas Child(a little late for this one now,) Angel Tree, Toys for Tots, or working with one of the many other charities out there. As a family we have made it a point to do something every year. For less than you would spend on junk that you don’t need, you can use that on someone else. We tend to fill our lives with stuff, and we retreat to our STUFF to make us Happy, but then we just need the newest thing, or the thing that is better than someone else’s. And we get stuck in a cycle of want. Let’s put it in perspective, the phone that many of you are reading this on, will cost you over $600 ($10-30/month at a time.) If you feel that you can use that same phone for a year longer, what could you do for someone else, for another family, for someone in another county. As a family take a moment to do something for someone else. We are now a global community, from your house in the US, you can with a simple click, buy chickens for a family in another country.
This week’s title I took from the book my daughter is reading right now Diary of A Wimpy Kid : Old School. It has taken her a little while to understand what it is really about. From what I have seen of it so far is one of the things that I have been touching on over the past few weeks. Stepping away from technology, actually communicating with words from your mouth, and enjoying what is around you. Enjoying the outdoors, enjoying company, enjoying each other.
For our marriages and for our families, shutting down the electronics, and spending time playing, using your imagination, talking, and being present changes everything. The past couple weeks, my wife and I have had the chance to just chill at the house after the munchkin has gone to bed. It has been awesome to unplug, not watch a show or anything, but spend time together with the Christmas tree on. We have been able to take this little bit of time to catch up with each other, and put into practice what I’ve been writing these past few weeks.
Also as we get further into the holiday season, I encourage you to make sure that you are taking time out as a couple and as a family, to refocus and rebalance your needs and wants. Focus on the things that you can do together as a couple and/or as a family, that don’t involve the TV, computer, or game system. Pull out an old board game, do something that requires imagination, and give them your full attention. The worries of tomorrow can wait until tomorrow. Don’t make you family, your spouse, your loved ones, compete for your attention. Go Old School, shut down and have family time.