(First, a few words about the day before the holiday break. If you have no problems on the last day before the break, scroll on down to the Survival Guide. I shan’t be offended.)

An Important Note About the Last Day Before the Holiday Break

It is a truth universally acknowledged that children in possession of Things will leave a lunchbox or a hat or a coat at school on the last day before the Christmas break begins.

The Problem

Your easygoing, compliant child(ren) will accidentally leave winter outerwear and/or their backpack. After their sugar-filled holiday parties, who knows? They might even run to the bus without a shoe.

This will happen due to the anxiety brought about by their frenzied non-schedule the last few days or the stressed teachers or the general anticipation of the coming holiday and all that it brings: a wish for earthly peace, remembrance of Christ’s birth, new Lego sets.

The hot-tempered, strong-willed child(ren) will do all the above it simply to drive you crazy.

What about those lunch boxes? You know, the carefully color-coded BPA-free ones you picked out at the beginning of the year. Kids will leave them at school filled with apple cores and pieces of the fruit your child didn’t eat. And mold. The fuzzy kind.

The Solutions

This year, you can trump (sorry) the inevitable mishaps.

Behold, I bring you The Last-Day-Before-Christmas-Break-Lunch:

Option A: Pack a sack lunch
. Kids can throw away the bag and food you packed because they’ve had so much candy already. Whatever. The point is: it doesn’t have to be brought back home.

Option B: Pay for the hot lunch at school they’ve been begging for.

Tips to get through December, holiday help, sack lunches

As for those clothes

We know what happens to clothing left at school: the lost-and-never-ever-found bin.

Don’t, don’t, DON’T send those precious winter coats and hats. Dress them in layers with small necklines so they’ll have to wait until they get home for help to take anything off. (And if you do this, don’t answer the phone that day: it’s the school calling.)

Surviving December, layered clothes for cold weather

Christmas Vacation: A Survival Guide

Activities for kids on Christmas break

Remember: don’t send the hats to school.

Soon, all my boys will be home & all up in my day, just in time for the Captain fly away on a trip. Your kids will be up in your day, too.


Plan a little cooking: Helpful Holiday Foods for Hungry Families (and Christmas Gatherings) {Taste Arkansas} This includes my famous sausage ball recipe.

Set out snacks and stuff. By “snacks,” I mean those sausage balls and some cheese and crackers and vegetables like carrots and celery and snap peas. Let ’em all graze a bit over the Christmas break as a sort of help-yourself-to-food-when-you’re-hungry-and-don’t-complain-to-me kind of sanity.

If the weather cooperates:

Make Snow Ice Cream {Taste Arkansas} Recipe by The Park Wife

If the weather is mild and sunny…get out there and live in it.


We love this Hot Drink Bar for Kids {Taste Arkansas} we created last year. Set it up for the family. The whole family.

Also, keep drinking plenty of water, and encourage the kiddos to do so, too. Water helps our bodies and minds, for reals: physically and emotionally. When you feel overwhelmed, irritated…drink up the H2O.

Be Merry

6 Snow-Themed Activities for Indoor Snow Day Fun {Parenting Squad}

14 Stuck-in-the-House Ideas from a 5-Year Old {Parenting Squad} My kid is pretty smart.

Build a Snow Day Survival Kit to Celebrate the First Snow  {Our Daily Craft}

64 Sick Day, Rainy Day, Any Day Activities to Do With Your Toddler {Our Daily Craft}

65 Movies from the 90’s for a Family Movie Night {Adventures with Mel} I always learn a great deal when I see what makes my children laugh, smile, or cry while watching a film.

Get Quiet

Daily Quiet Time. We’re gonna need it. Every day. For them, but mostly for me. (And yes, for YOU.)

 …And maybe work just a little

How to Make a Paper Bag Portfolio for School Papers and Artwork {Rhea Lana} My very own how-to.

43 Chores Young Children Can Do…for the inevitable “I’m Bored” moments.

Merry Christmas from Captain MomCaptain Mom Saturday Selections