Things were different this year. And not just at my house.
-One family took a seventeen hour train ride from Florida to Virginia totally Hands Free. When I looked at the photos they shared, I could practically hear the perceptive conversations they had about every exquisite detail they observed while watching the beauty of the world go by.
-One mother blew off her entire holiday to-do List and instead asked her daughter what she wanted to do all day. It may have been her child’s best Christmas gift.
-Another mother left Hands Free evidence on the back of the Christmas card she sent. Oh, how I would have loved to join that Hands Free dance party!
-One grandpa sent his granddaughters note cards, stamps, and labels with his address so they could correspond with him without any adult assistance. I could just imagine his face when he goes to the mailbox and finds notes written to him in precious child handwriting. Those notes will be saved and treasured far longer than any email or any text message.
-One Hands Free husband wrote a full-page love letter to his wife of thirteen years telling her every single thing that he loved about her and their life together.
-One mother completely shut down her computer because she did not want to miss one moment with her children while they were home from school on their holiday vacation.
-One mother made an array of Easy Bake Oven delicacies, played Hangman too many times to count, lovingly painted drinking glasses for Christmas Eve beverages, pulled a wagon along the holiday-lighted streets, gave piggy back rides in a heated pool, and received more embraces than her heart could bear.
There are more Hands Free stories that you have graciously shared and probably even more that you haven’t. Whether you share them or keep them to yourself, they happened because you made a choice. Instead of holding on to what distracts, you chose to go Hands Free. And it is pretty amazing to see what you have grasped.
And not to worry if you are just coming across this Hands Free concept for the first time, or perhaps you have been skeptical. It’s not too late to go Hands Free. It is never too late to let go of distraction and grasp what really matters in life.
Take my hand. A Hands Free New Year awaits; and we are just getting started.
Did you make any new Hands Free holiday traditions this year? Did you experience any that were so meaningful they just might become every day traditions? 2011 is just around the corner…I would call that perfect timing.
Indiana Lori says
We went hands free in a different way. With the entire family staying at my house, they enjoyed the girls and I enjoyed cooking and feeding all of us. Letting my hands off the girls allows time for them to develop relationships with there Aunts, Uncles, Godparents, and Grandparents. 2 precious days in my kitchen was very rejuvenating for me!
Merry Christmas, and we’ll need to have a chat about my Christmas gift!!!! OH MY GOSH Rachel. Oh dear Lord. Girl, you are gifted beyond belief. I’m out of words, I am so overwhelmed. “Cherish” doesn’t begin to describe this gift. THANK YOU, from the bottom of my heart…thank you for “The Fabric of You”.
Laura B. says
Rachel, this year we did an advent calendar, the big kind that hangs on the wall and has little pockets. Each day the children checked the pocket of the day and found a note with an activity that our family would do together. One day was making a Christmas craft, another baking treats, another day was Christmas Caroling with friends – oh how we enjoyed this tradition. We could not wait to see the excitement on our children’s faces each morning as they all ran to the calendar. It really kept my husband and me on the ball with being Hands-Free parents this Christmas season.
As gifts for my daughters, ages 8 and 6, I gave them each a set of colorful pens and a composition notebook. Inside each of their books I wrote – Our very special Mother-Daughter Journal and a love letter which included that we could “talk” about anything. This has already proven to be wonderful for me… My 8 year old wrote, “Mom, I’m sad because we don’t get to read together at night as much. Maybe we could go to bed earlier so we can read like we used to and cuddle.” EYE OPENER for me…. no more dishes and emails (and so on) at night until the kids are tucked in and have had some quality mommy time!!
Thank you again for this blog!! Wishing you all the best in the New Year.
Rachel Macy Stafford says
Laura, thank you so much for sharing these wonderful ideas! I love the idea of the Advent calendar with family activities. My girls would enjoy that so much. I also think the special Mother-Daughter Journal is fabulous. What a great communication tool, not to mention, a meaningful keepsake! I can’t thank you enough for sharing your ideas so my readers and I can benefit from them! Please touch base again soon!