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Students and Parents: Holiday Texting Contest!

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Parents vs. Students: Fun and Good Food!

Who Will Be The Grand Prize Winner?

Hold this contest any time of the year, but the holidays always make it a bit extra special.

The school vacation arrived last week. Now's a good time to get your contest going.

By my calculations, the holidays comprise at least 240 hours. That's about 1,440 minutes.

High school students, the thought of spending time at home with your family probably rates a 0 or 1 on your scale of priorities. In fact right this moment you're probably devising every reason you can think of for being out of the house. You've only got a week left to celebrate. College students, you've got more free time.

Parents, you see lots of benefits too. The kids are on vacation, there are no after school programs, the temporary soccer mom reprieve is tantalizing and no homework to nag about. You might actually spend a few relaxed hours with your child. Ha! What century are you living in?

Now here's the deal. Students, with about 10 days of holidays spent out and about, and averaging a minimum of five texts a day, you'll be communicating home about 50 times. That's nothing in this day and age. At least from your perspective.

Parents, about now you are dreading having to respond to 50 or so texts. But it's about the only way to communicate with your kids so you'll get with the program.

A Radical Contest... No Talking Allowed... Social Media Only!

For those of you brave enough to enter we're going to increase both texting and in-person face time by about 4 1/2 hours over the next week or so. And it's all going to be done in one shot. Just for a small part of a single day only. To win you'll be texting or using some form of social media, not talking. Advantage students. Maybe!

Here's How It Works!

Students, within the next day or so spend a few minutes with your parents selecting one afternoon or evening that you'll spend 4 1/2 hours together. Parents, be flexible with your kids. They have a lot more to do than you. At least they feel that way, so respect it.

Once you've selected the day, here's the fine print.

1. Make a mutual choice of a film you can rent or watch together.

Parents, be a open minded. Vampires and werewolves aren't so bad. Students, give your parents a break; try to find something they can stomach. Negotiate with these nice people. They gave you cookies and milk when you were little. Probably even Cheerios.

2. Everyone needs to secure a smartphone, laptop, iPad or any social marketing communication device. Even an old flip phone will work!

3. Food, food and more food. Let's find pre-packaged stuff like nachos and dips and some you have to microwave or bake like chocolate chip cookies, brownies or Jiffy Pop popcorn that has to be cooked on the stove. After all, this is going to be a unique family get together. How about graham crackers, marshmallow and milk chocolate... nothing beats s'mores.

The day and time have been selected. The food has been purchased. The contest is on!

Here's the deal, gang. For the next 4 1/2 hours the whole family is going to cook, prepare snacks and watch the movie.

The Hitch!

All communication between parent and child can only be made by use of a social networking device. You must communicate with each member of the family at least two times.

Mom, while watching the movie, if you want your daughter to move over a bit perhaps you'll send her a text. Student, if you want your parent to help make something for you to eat then text or IM or whatever works without talking. (No written notes.) Both parents and students you must work together in preparing the snacks during the 4 1/2 hours. Remember, not a word can be spoken.

When the movie is over you'll each have to give a short review... silently. Students be patient with the pace of your parents typing. Unless of course they are really with it and have a voice recognition program. You'll still have to wait until the message is delivered.

The Loser!

Anyone that talks or does not communicate via social media with each family member at least two times during the 4 1/2 hours.

The Winner!

The family member that participates, follows communication protocol, maintains a good disposition and never talks.

So what's the purpose of this contest?

The goal is simply to get the whole family together at one time during the holiday and have some fun.

Students, perhaps you'll realize that remote communication isn't always the most effective way of conversing with your parents. Sometimes they're nice to have around. You might even find a moment to share something that's been on your mind. Sometimes that's hard when you're hanging out with your friends at Starbucks.

Parents, your fingers may feel like they are going to drop off. But won't it be nice for it to happen when the kids are around so they can put them on ice and rush you to the hospital.

Students, perhaps you'll have gone shopping with your parents for the snacks. You might find you enjoyed it. It may bring back happy memories of earlier years. Certainly, you'll be guaranteed of getting the food you like!

All of you will have spent some time together during the holiday season. It will be extra moments that you wouldn't have shared otherwise. In fact it will probably prevent some parental nagging about getting together more often.

The Grand Prize Winner!

All of you. You've spent a fun afternoon and evening together that you'll probably remember for a long time. Congratulations.

Please feel free to discuss your thoughts in the comments section. I'll bet there will be lots of great stories. And if this contest gives any of you more and better ideas how to communicate with your family please share them with all of us.

Have a happy and healthy new year.