Photo Credit: Jewish Press

We’ve changed the clock recently, something I look forward to all winter. I love long afternoons, with the delicious sunlight bathing the rooms, and I truly hate when it feels like nighttime at 5 p.m.

It’s interesting how small things change our perspective. Shabbos is always 25 hours, but with a longer afternoon, we call it a long Shabbos. Yet, these hours give us the opportunity for precious enjoyable time and create a true break from the hectic week.

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Try some of these tips to get the most out of your Shabbos:

  1. Take a Shabbos nap before the meal. After we come back from shul, we let the kids know they have to be quite for an hour or so, and we lay down for some delicious Shabbos menucha. When we wake up, I am able to enjoy some coffee and cake, and then we sit down for the meal. This way, my nap is not too late in the afternoon – and doesn’t interfere with my nighttime sleep – and, of course, the ability to drink coffee after a nap is extremely valuable as well!

 

  1. Have a real Seudas Shlishis. In the summer, hot cholent is not always tempting, and many people skip it, replacing cholent with cold chicken, deli, and salads. Having a lighter fare for lunch, and a longer afternoon, gives you the appetite for a real sit down third meal, something we don’t usually have time for in the winter. This is a great time to experiment with different salads, dairy side dishes and fruit smoothies.

 

  1. One of the biggest blessings of Shabbos is the ability to disconnect from our screens and to reconnect with our family. What better way to do that than to visiting grandparents or the aunt who lives some distance away? You can walk there, rest and chat for a while, and then come home – all with plenty of time to spare before Havdalah!

 

  1. While you’re going on a long walk, take some time to visit the local, or the not-so-local, park. Again, with plenty of time and no pressing obligations, you and your children can enjoy playing without glancing at the clock every 10 minutes and avoid the long drawn out battles that happen when its time to leave.

 

  1. As longer afternoons usually coincide with hot, steamy weather, staying indoors with the air conditioner seems very tempting. How to make the most of your indoor time? Take a trip to the library and stock up on books, which is easy enough to find time on long Friday afternoons. Over Shabbos, let the kids put on a play of one of their favorite plots, the sillier the better! You can even invite the neighbors over for an impromptu theater performance, complete with homemade props and snacks.

 

Before you know it, the afternoon will have flown by, and you’ll be wondering where the day went.

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Pnina Baim is the author of the Young Adult novels, Choices, A Life Worth Living (featured on Dansdeals and Jew In The City) and a how-to book for the Orthodox homemaker, Sing While You Work. The books are available at amazon.com. Pnina is available for speaking engagements and personal consulting. Contact her at pninabaim@gmail.com.