New Year – New Resolutions

The start of a brand new year is an excellent time to make some New Year’s resolutions. These don’t have to be difficult or unpleasant. Not sure where to start? Good Housekeeping has some excellent ideas about what you might choose to focus on this year. Start a Gratitude Journal Keeping track of things, people and events that you’re grateful for throughout the year can help to improve your mental and physical wellness. “It literally breathes new life into us. It recharges and it rejuvenates.” Dr. Robert Emmons, a professor of psychology at the University of California, Davis and founder … Continue reading

Tips For Gathering And Supporting Family

The month of December includes several holidays, including Hanukkah, Christmas, Kwanzaa, and Solstice. Many people enjoy gathering together to celebrate with members of their families during these holiday celebrations. For best results, follow these tips for gathering and supporting family members. Plan Gatherings Around The Most Vulnerable Family Members CNBC News reported advice from Dr. Katrine Wallace, an epidemiologist at the University of Illinois Chicago. Her number one piece of advice is to plan gatherings around the most vulnerable family members. Vulnerable communities include people who are immunocompromised, children, and elderly people. Dr. Wallace listed the following examples of how … Continue reading

Ways To Gather With Family During December

There is something special about gathering with family during the holidays. Sharing time together can help build bonds between family members. Here are some simple things you can do to encourage family members to gather together during December. Attend a Religious Event Together Many families have a specific religion that they follow. Parents can bring their children to the building where the religious experience will take place. Doing so gives the children guidance that the parents want them to learn. When the children become adults, they might look forward to attending a religious event with their parents again. This is … Continue reading

Spend Time With Family This Thanksgiving

When was the last time you had dinner with your extended family? Thanksgiving is an excellent time to do that. It gives everyone who attends Thanksgiving dinner time to interact with each other, make memories, and enjoy a meal together. Here are some simple things you can do while visiting your family.  Plan Ahead For Travel If you are able, it would be a good idea to plan ahead if you need to fly across the country to visit relatives for Thanksgiving dinner. There could be delays because of the sheer number of people who are traveling at the same … Continue reading

The Hottest Halloween Items of 2022

October is the best time of the year for people who absolutely love Halloween! This year, companies like McDonald’s and Squishmallows are taking part of the fun. Get them before they run out of stock or disappear after a limited amount of time. Bloomberg reported that McDonald’s has announced the return of the trick-or-treating trio. These are three, colorful, Happy Meal Pails that can double as a carrying case for kids who want to go trick-or-treating.  These colorful Halloween buckets first debuted in 1986, and could cause some nostalgia for parents who had one when they were kids. The Happy … Continue reading

Parents Magazine Names the Best Toys of 2021

Parents Magazine released this year’s list of Best Toys, recognizing the 50 top new playthings for every child in 2021. Selected by the editors following a months-long research process complete with testing by kids, the list of winners is available on and in the December issue of PARENTS. Here is a list of the top three toys in each of the categories: PLAYSETS Lakeshore Learning Treasures Await! Adventure ShipHasbro Play-Doh Kitchen Creations Rising Cake Oven PlaysetPlay, iLearn Dinosaur Train Adventure Set WOW FACTOR Radio Flyer Tumble Town Foam Climbing BlocksJust Play Ryan’s World Chef Ryan’s Fridge SurpriseLEGO Minecraft: The … Continue reading

CDC Recommends Staying Home for Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving is a holiday where people travel long distances so they can spend time with their families. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) makes it clear that staying home is the best way to protect yourself and others from catching and spreading the virus that causes COVID-19. The CDC has information about Thanksgiving related activities that are “lower risk”, “moderate risk” and “higher risk”. Understanding the risk of certain activities can help you make safer choices. Lower Risk Activities Having a small dinner with only people who live in your neighborhood Preparing traditional family recipes for family and … Continue reading

Sensory-Friendly Santa – At a Mall Near You

One of the fun parts of the holiday season is a trip to visit Santa Claus at the local mall. It can be hard for many little ones to wait in line – but most manage to do it. Children who have autism, or who have difficulties coping with the bright lights, loud sounds, and big crowds that surround Santa can visit a Sensory-Friendly Santa. A Sensory-Friendly Santa might also be called a Sensitive Santa or a Caring Santa. Santa looks the same, but is able to behave differently than typical in order to accommodate for kids who have special … Continue reading

Doing the Christmas Wrap

Yesterday was wrapping day. We don’t give huge gifts, and we’re not getting anything that wriggles. Nonetheless, it was a bit of a project. If you’re into recycling and reusing like I am, Christmas wrapping is a mental stretch. I have a couple of rolls of old wrapping paper in my basement, and I do use them occasionally. However, the fact that they’ve lived with me since we arrived in our house over seven years ago tells me that I don’t tend to use a lot of wrapping paper. What do we do instead? Chocolate boxes, cookie containers, and old … Continue reading

Looking Toward the Light: Centering Spaces and Rituals in Your Home

It is snowing today, and it is quiet. It’s still early in the morning, and everyone else in the house is asleep. This is the time when I can write, and it’s a time when I can be by myself, cultivating my introverted self. This is the busy season, and it is also a season that is dark. This time of the year brings families together, and it is also a sad time for those who have lost friends and family – during this year, during any year. My aunt died suddenly and tragically at Christmas time, and my father’s … Continue reading