Creating Quality Time

The most wonderful time of the year is also, usually, the busiest! This time of year, you’ll see more relatives and friends than normal, but you’ll likely also be in a bigger hurry. With seemingly endless commitments, it can sometimes be a challenge to maintain quality time with your loved ones. These local ladies share a few secrets about how they make time to be present, and why it’s such a gift.


Erin Sizemore from North ChattanoogaErin Sizemore

North Chattanooga

As an educator and mother of adolescents, holiday breaks are eagerly awaited in our household! A few years ago, I made a conscious choice to adjust my mindset of holiday perfection and stopped worrying about the ideal menu, presents, décor, holiday cards, etc. Now I delegate responsibilities. My shift in thinking has led to a more relaxed and pleasant atmosphere for everyone, and it’s easier to make time for family and friends. Whether walking through the enchanted garden at Rock City, watching holiday movies, decorating the tree, or baking cookies, the holiday season has evolved into a time of traditions that are relaxing rather than rushed!

Daisy Maurya Ballard from Southside ChattanoogaDaisy Maurya Ballard


To make the most of our time, I make sure that we celebrate our favorite family traditions, focusing on what really matters. I try to consciously schedule activities so that we do not over commit, I plan ahead, and I delegate! Some of our favorite traditions include decorating the tree (we make it a party), cooking and baking for/with friends, and holding potluck holiday gatherings. The most important decisions are no devices during any family time and to delegate holiday duties, even to our son Daevyn. It helps him get into the holiday spirit and teaches him skills along the way.

Shannon Silberman from Lookout Mountain ChattanoogaShannon Silberman

Lookout Mountain

Instead of buying an abundance of toys and gifts, we try to take our three boys on a surprise family vacation a couple of days after Christmas.  My husband Jack and I have so much fun planning the trip and trying to come up with a few creative and useful gifts for them to open as their “hints.” This seems to be a “win/win” because it’s less shopping for me and makes unforgettable memories for the whole family! This gives us some established quality time to look forward to as soon as the busy holiday season slows down a bit.