How to Celebrate the Holidays Without the Stress

I’m talking about celebrating over the holidays MINUS the stress and remembering the reason for the season this week on a St. Louis morning show and this is my first (and favorite) tip:

Get together as a family and talk about the many reasons for the season. I asked my 7 year old daughter and she said, “The birth of Jesus.” Presents and dinner at Grandma’s house came in a close second though mind you.

Now that you have your reason or reasons for thee season, write them and hang them in your home for all to see.

Here is a sweet little download I created with art from that you can copy/print/cut-out/fill-out and POST.


Post a gentle reminder for yourself and your family as you move into the busy-ness of the season and you’ll be sure to focus on the things that matter this holiday season. And when you do that, stress just naturally takes a back seat to the more important things in life. Like rolling in the snow, singing, laughing, sipping cocoa…

In this video, learn how to save time, save money and stay connected to your center… even (especially) over the holidays.

How do you keep from getting stressed out during the holidays? What is the reason for the season in your home? [Read more…]

How Does Christmas LIVE in Your Family

What does Christmas mean for your kids and your family? In 2009, it is so easy to be overwhelmed with all the stuff AND all the activities that are SUPPOSED to happen during the holiday season. How do you create meaning from all of it? We share some of our rituals. What are yours?

How to Keep It Together During Family Holidays

Our Expert Mommy, psychotherapist Shellie Fidell is also a regular on Great Day St. Louis. We loved her recent segment that shares her practical tips on how to manage the added stress of extended family… starting, yup… this week!Coping_with_Holidays

Do you have a story to share about a stress-free or stress-full holiday gathering? Share in the comments below. I know Sharon has a great one about a Green Bean Casserole…. 😉

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How to Celebrate Thanksgiving [Read more…]

How to Make Santa Smile

How to Keep Believing!

Have you read The Polar Express? I love that very last line, “The bell still rings for me as it does for all who truly believe.”

The countdown to Christmas begins. Notes to Santa have been sent northward and my little ones wait excitedly, confident that Santa has his Garmin programmed for the right address. I still recall the first year that my daughter awoke to her first Santa gift. She had asked for her very own Christmas tree with lights and ornaments! She was visibly shaking as daddy carried her down the stairs and she spied the fully adorned tree. “He really came. He got me what I wanted!” She kept whispering.

As we get older, it seems that our minds get in the way… kids start to ask, “How is Santa in every mall at the same time?” or “How is Santa going to get in if we don’t have a chimney?” My standard response is… “Magic!” But this will only work for so long. In my house, I’m already scrambling because the requests to Santa have taken a bit of a too-magical turn. My boy wants a “come alive suit that will let me fly to Disney World” OR “a magic wand that can poof anything.” Ummmm…. those elves have their work cut out for them!

If we could only bottle up their faith! How can I protect their belief in magic, especially in a society that seems out to prove that it doesn’t exist? How do I encourage my children to dream, to imagine great things when the grown-up world urges us to stick to safe and sensible choices?

I still believe. I’ve written “letters to Santa” practically every day this year in the form of prayers and journal entries. Perhaps a little overkill, I know. BUT hey! I’ve gotten everything I’ve asked for… and there is no arguing the fact that I must be squarely on the VERY naughty list this year.

I believe that our ability to CREATE is magic — it’s the ability to see beyond a present reality to what COULD BE. Not so long ago, I fell in love… with a dream, a possible future. And it was that dream that allowed me to change my life. I’m so grateful for the strength of my imagination, because it was the thing that carried me through a very tumultuous period and got me to this side. It was my resistance to simply accepting reality that allowed me to see past fear and to “make my days replay my dreams.” (as my favorite singer, Christine Kane says). Isn’t that magic?

That my kids can immerse themselves in a world where almost everything “comes alive” and gives them magical powers is, in fact, the magic wand!

So… do the sleigh bells ring for you?

How to Spread Holiday Kindness

Emma publishes a great blog called Live Kindly. Sign up for her Daily Kindness reminder. I love it… short and sweet and… just enough to focus my day on something KIND.