Because I Said So! Holiday Survival Guide

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The holidays are not all candy canes and mistletoe; they can be rough on us moms. So here's my guide to (mostly) keeping your sanity during the holidays.

 

Plan. This is equivalent to telling your kids to eat their veggies, or take their vitamins. It's boring advice, but it's the only way to survive the holidays. I always start shopping early. I don't mean Black Friday early, I mean October early. Shopping early leads to more thoughtful gifts, less stress and spending less money.


Hide. While I'm an extroverted, social person, I have serious hermit-tendencies. So the frenetic pace of the holidays and constant needs of my family can take its toll. I just want to pee alone! So before I snap, and sometimes after I snap, I sneak in some alone time. Nothing fancy like a day at the spa, just lingering a little longer than necessary in the shower, or taking a detour through the coffee drive through during one of my countless trips to the store, or ordering my kids to play outside for an hour - I don't care how cold it is!

 

Say "No." I love a good party, and I'm often accused of over-scheduling our family's social calendar. But when I can resist accepting every invitation, the result is some unstructured family time for cookie making, games, holiday movies and more.

 

Forget. "Mommy brain" has its benefits. Most years, I usually forget where I put one or two storage bins of holiday decorations. I think it's my subconscious telling me to take it easy. Skipping a box or two means less time putting up and taking down decorations and when (if) we ever find those decorations next year, they'll seem like new.

 

But the best advice is to ignore the messy house, the dirty dishes and your annoying Uncle Fred and just take a snapshot in your mind of your kids enjoying the holidays this year. They will never be this age again. Savor it.


Why? Because I said so!

 

~ Angela Hibbard, Managing Director & Editor-in-Chief

 

 

A View from the Green Room

25399127_10213972748580137_5229056583165932253_nIt's Saturday morning and I'm sitting in a Green Room at Yakima's Capital Theater among 32 chattering teenagers who are known throughout the Tri-Cities as "Bram Brata," a talented steel drum band from the Tri-Cities.  They're nervous but excited as they wait to practice with the Yakima Symphony before their performance tonight.  With the noise, I could be going a little crazy . . . but instead, I'm soaking it all in, feeling so very grateful to be here.  This tightknit group who considers themselves not just band members, but dear friends is a result of years of band practices, gigs, and events.  The devotion along with the result will make any parent swell with pride and happiness.

These kids who have grown-up from the ages of about 12 within the organization called TCSBA (Tri-Cities Steel Band Association) and have made life-long bonds through playing the most magical sounds on steel drums that make it impossible to do anything but smile when you hear it.  In addition to the older steel drum band, there is a younger middle school aged band.  There are two marimba bands as well, one younger and one older.

The kids love being a part of these bands, led by amazing music directors, Ben Leggett and Walt Hampton, who have devoted their lives to fostering a love of music:

"The best thing about performing is watching people's reactions to the music and seeing on their faces how they hear the music," Sophia says as her mother is beaming.  Jasmine says, "when I'm performing with the band, I get this incredible rush of adrenaline that just makes me feel so happy, I can't be nervous."

Learning how to perform under pressure is a great skill to learn.  But more than that, the opportunity to know how a high-functioning team can function is a skill that will last a lifetime.

"It's so much fun to be onstage with all my friends in band and it's just amazing.  Being in a group as close as this, it kinda forces you to get super close with everyone.  You do things you wouldn't normally do and you make friends with people you wouldn't normally talk to.  It's super awesome to have the opportunity to be a part of something so awesome," says Jasmine.  "We have each other's backs and we joke around a lot. We have inside jokes and it is really fun playing in a band. We also have to practice hard," says Sophia.

So, if you're looking for something special to have your child get involved in, check out TCSBA!  Our organization offers steel drum and marimba classes for children of all ages.

And come check out the kids in action!  For the last 23 years we've hosted a spectacular Christmas concert where all four bands will perform.  You can enjoy the wonderful music along with a silent auction and bake sale.  Our concert is Saturday, December 15th at Bethel Church, 600 Shockley Road, Richland.  Doors open at 5:30pm, show starts at 6:30pm. Tickets are $7.50 and can be purchased at www.TCSBA.org.  You can follow us on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/TCSBA/ -

 

Shannon Davis, mother of Jakob and Meghan, and TCSBA family member since 2014.

Take a look at the December January issue!

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