Hello there….it’s almost WINTER!

Season’s Greetings to you whatever you may celebrate, even if it is merely the changing of the light.

It is certainly waning, and the tendency is to go inward and hibernate a bit. Sometimes this can be mellow and cozy, and sometimes it means we get on each other’s nerves more as close proximity makes tension runs high.

Here are a few uncommon holiday tips to help soothe you and yours:

1. Books, books, books! If you celebrate Christmas, you’ll love this anticipation-chilling tip from my friend, Leah Deragon. Instead of piling temping gifts under the tree, fill it up with holiday and winter favorites. Each night you can cuddle up and read together.

books under tree

2. Be extra silly! This season is a perfect one in which to loosen up some strictness at home. Whether it’s relaxed bedtimes with all the holiday hub-bub, or an extra sugarplum sweet. I’ve written about the powerful tool that play can be for parents. One of my new favorite tension-busters for school aged children is potty-talk Mad Libs. Nothing brings on the laughter more than a superhero that comes farting to the rescue in his spiky, blue underwear car.

3. Make extra hand-washing a game. One of the things that kills the joy of the season quicker than anything is getting sick. Avoid the dreaded holiday germs by making hand-washing a competitive sport. There are lots of other ways to build up your family’s immune system (and soothe illnesses), but they say hand-washing is a first defense. We sometimes pretend to be surgeons when we’re lathering up!

I hope you have a wonderful, sweet holiday season with your small, growing humans. Use their lens of wonder to your advantage every moment you can.