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See our guest post at the New America Foundation: Equality and Justice for All Families.

 

holidays

Unplug the Christmas Machine

on November 29th, 2012 at 3:17:32 AM

This book grew out of workshops the authors conducted for people who were feeling disappointed and stressed about the holidays.  It offers a thorough look at assumptions many people have about the holiday season, a brief history of commercialism associated with the holidays, exercises to help you identify your own family’s true wishes, and inspiration for making changes.

Service to Others

on November 29th, 2012 at 3:08:05 AM

Looking for service opportunities in your area? Try this national clearinghouse - type your zip code into the search box, and see what organizations near you need help--on an ongoing basis or just once. Opportunities for people of all ages, including children.

Getting Organized

on November 29th, 2012 at 3:01:12 AM

Janet Dittmer offers her insights in Getting Organized for Christmas:

"I realized that the best times seemed to be when I employed certain basic principles, rather than when I tried this or that method of organization. Finally I pinpointed five principles that consistently made the most difference."

* * *

"We again could take a lesson from our children. When they see pretty lights, they soak in the beauty of those lights and think of nothing else. When they help bake cookies, they savor every taste and smell.

Holiday Gifts: You Won't Find this in a Store!

on November 29th, 2012 at 2:57:32 AM

Seeking ideas for holiday gifts? See ideas from our staff and volunteers, and share your ideas with us!

http://www.familyandhome.org/content/gift-giving-you-wont-find-store

First Christmas wrapping paper

on November 29th, 2012 at 2:24:56 AM

Those of you celebrating Christmas with an emphasis on the celebration of Christ’s birth might be interested in the latest endeavor of one of the founders of our organization, Cheri Loveless. Cheri’s family business, “First Christmas” produces wrapping paper with Nativity themes and carries out other related activities via their blog. 

First Christmas - gift wrap

Holiday books

on November 29th, 2012 at 2:14:46 AM

"A child holds up a beloved illustration to be appreciated by the others, another reads aloud a choice line from a humorous story.  At this point those who are not yet readers beg me to read certain stories, arguing about who gets to be first..."

Read Heidi Brennan's Growing a Holiday Tradition -- books, books, books!  

Get Outdoors!

on November 28th, 2012 at 8:50:43 PM

During the holidays, it can be especially hard to get fresh air and exercise. Catherine Myers writes about struggle, resistance and finally, peace--in We're Going to the Swamp--NOW!

An excerpt:

Our biggest challenges came when we were visiting Grandma and Grandpa for a few days. The children never wanted to leave the house, and during winter their grandparents didn’t go out much. During one winter visit, when Scott was ten and Michelle eight, we knew it would be better for everyone if we got them outside...

Read more...

The Book of New Family Traditions by Meg Cox

on November 28th, 2012 at 6:01:57 PM

The Book of New Family Traditions: How to Create Great Rituals for Holidays and Everyday by Meg Cox.

Senior Editor Donna DeSoto reviewed an earlier edition of this book; here is an excerpt from her review:

"Cox says there are ten good things rituals do for children. They impart a sense of identity, provide comfort and security, help to navigate change, teach values, pass on ethnic or religious heritage, teach practical skills, solve problems, keep alive a sense of departed family members, help heal from loss or trauma, and generate wonderful memories.