A Private Party Invitation

During this busy season, it’s easy to find ourselves caught up in so many good things for others that our own families are, sadly enough, often the ones pushed to the bottom of the to-do list.

This year, with 5 of us going in 5 different directions, I sat down one day and looked at our calendar.  It seemed like there wasn’t any time to be with my crew (all in one place at one time) and enjoy the holiday season.

So, I set off to change that.  Surely there must be some time in here somewhere! I said to myself.

Yes!  Found some!  Thinking about how to package this time, I did something I’ve never done before.  I made a party invitation via evite.com only for my family.

In it, I wrote when, where, what to bring (a smile), and what to wear (pajamas).  It was going to be on a Saturday morning, so in the details I described everything our party would include: pancake and bacon breakfast, lighting our advent candles, assembling the LEGO advent calendar figures, watching a Christmas movie, choosing our Samaritan’s Purse gifts to finish out the bake sale, a sing-a-long with the piano and a board game.

Surprisingly, we all really got into it!  Declaring it a “formal” occasion made this event a big deal to all of us.  Everyone rsvp’d to the invite and at 11am our party began.

This really worked well, because all of us had details to finish (work, homework, etc.) and we were stressed out about how to juggle everything.  With a designated timed frame, we woke up whenever we wanted and knew that time was ours to do with how we needed to until 11am.  Then, until 3pm, nothing would interfere with our Family Christmas Party.  No work, phone, emails, iPads, texts or errands.  Just spending time together.

I had no idea how great this would be.  It’s like we all felt permission to simply keep the world waiting while we finally enjoyed the Spirit of the season as a family.

Christmas music played, we laughed, we chilled out together – all in our pajamas (our daughter and dog wore their matching set!) until almost 4pm.  A little slice of heaven for this mom who misses her kids – even though we live under the same roof.

I’m not sure this family time would’ve happened had not we made an intentional effort.  The things of this world chip away at our minds, time and energy until, as my 16 yr old said recently of his schoolwork, I feel like a work machine cranking endlessly.

It’s good to stop.  Rest.  Play.  Reflect.  Enjoy each other.  Enjoy Christmas.

Evites are free and they are fun!  If you haven’t truly stopped to enjoy your family this Christmas season, check out their website @ http://www.evite.com, or make your own (which I would have loved to have done, but knew it wasn’t going to happen – but more power to ya!) – leave a voicemail for family members with phones, write it in window markers or lipstick on the bathroom mirror, slip notes in a folded dinner napkins, put a post-it on their pillows…anything will work!

We made real memories that day that will stay with us forever.  We actually ran out of time to complete all of the festivities, but that’s a great reason to have the sing-a-long and board game for our next family party.  Anything to keep the family time rolling.

Have fun with your family this Christmas! Time and undivided attention is the best gift you could give your family – and yourself.

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