In Praise of Snow Days

In Praise of Snow Days - Parenting Like Hannah

Photo by Chris Costello

For many of you, Christmas is a relaxing holiday at home with your family. For others, it is a whirlwind of shopping, baking, decorating and social commitments. What is supposed to be a holiday, turns into an event which would exhaust a marathon runner.

A few years ago, we had a beautiful snowy afternoon after the holidays. For those of you who live in more northern areas, you will probably be amazed that about a half inch of snow means at least one snow day in Atlanta. I have always suspected that during the winter, the school system is looking for almost any excuse for what we used to call a “mental health” day.

Scattered throughout the laws God gave Moses are numerous instructions for days and even years of rest. God knew people (and land) needed to have some time when they weren’t working and were made to rest. Farmers have rotated crops for years in order to let the land rest. It allows the land to remain fertile. I believe rested people are more productive as well. Regrettably, over the years we have basically lost the concept of any kind of Sabbath period. Even our days of worship are filled with meetings, showers, chores and errands after services.

I personally think it is time for all of us to take a snow day. Or if you are reading this in warm weather, feel free to take a “sun” day or a “rainy” day. The point is to periodically give yourself and your family a chance to really rest. Not the kind of rest most of us have on vacations. If you are like our family, vacations often mean trying to cram as many activities and memories into as short a period of time as possible. We usually need a vacation after we return from our vacation. The rest our souls actually crave is quiet and even reflective.

So pick a day this week. Declare a chore and work holiday. No one is allowed to do any but the most necessary of chores. (Making your bed is not necessary, no matter what your mother told you!) Spend the day reading and playing the games your children want to play. Have a picnic in the living room or outside if it’s pretty. Build a snowman even if it is only six inches tall. (We have pictures!) Spend time in the scriptures and in prayer. You may just be surprised how productive you are after your day of rest.

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Fix these words of mine in your hearts and minds; tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Teach them to your children, talking about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. (Deuteronomy 11:18-19 NIV)