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Vacation Boredom 101

Every year we spend the weeks between Thanksgiving and Christmas gearing up for a fabulous holiday and time with the family. And then when all of the packages have been unwrapped and family members all return to their own homes, we are left with those days until January 2nd when the kids will return to school. The playgrounds are covered in snow, or worse, they are muddy, the cold wind whips through the backyard, and moms all over the country lose a little bit of their sanity!

This year I’m going to be prepared. I’ve got three tricks up my sleeve for those post-Christmas doldrums.
1. A Trip to the Zoo: I know, that sounds crazy, right? But here’s the trick. Last year we went to enjoy our local zoo’s beautiful holiday lights display before the holidays. This year we’re a year older and a year smarter. Most seasonal lights displays run through the New Year, so save the night out for those slow days in between Christmas and New Year’s! The best part? I haven’t told the kids yet so I’m sure to win Mom-of-the-Year in those last moments of ’08.

2. A Playdate or Two…or three, or four: Back in my daughter’s toddler days, playdates meant hosting not only children, but other moms as well. There was a level of cleaning that had to take place that normally only occurs before the arrival of the mother-in-law, and sometimes I even made…..coffee. I know. But now that my daughter is nearly five, friends can come and fill her days with joy all by themselves, freeing me to match up poorly chosen gifts with gift receipts or pack away the thirty ceramic Santas that litter my house each Christmas.

3. A Movie Unlike Any Other: The days right before and right after Christmas are the perfect time to grab some fun new kids’ DVD’s from online vendors. This year I chose three that I know my kids will like and will be a change from the normal DVR’d Noggin and Nick shows that we normally watch. Here is what my house will be viewing this Winter Break:

Goldilocks and the 3 Bears: What would happen if Goldilocks became a reality TV star and then invaded the space of those poor Bears? This movie looks adorable because it takes a well known story and adds a contemporary twist. In the end, G-locks and her bear friends learn the importance of family. With fantastic graphics and the voice talents of Jamie Lynn Spears, Brooke Shields, and Tom Arnold, my daughter will especially like this one.
The Nutty Professor: This new animated version follows Harold the boy genius and his backfiring experiments. The kids will like that Drake Bell from Drake and Josh lends his voice to Harold, but what I’m most excited is that Jerry Lewis is back in the scientist business as Harold’s grandfather. Jerry Lewis once again creates the potion that unleashes the super-cool version…..this time of his grandson. What child can resist the nutty charms of Jerry Lewis?
Arctic Exposure with Nigel Marven: My children only watch commercial free television made specifically for children, but I’ve often felt that my science-loving daughter would love much of what my husband and I watch “after hours” on Animal Planet. By purchasing this DVD which contains that entire mini-series from the Animal Planet network, my daughter can watch and learn about Arctic fox cubs, great grey owls, and polar bear cubs while I’ve got the remote in hand for those tense moments that arise during any nature program.
Enjoy your holidays, but be prepared! Those post-holiday days are coming. Put the batteries in the remote now and start calling for those playdates

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