Over the years, we’ve posted quite a bit about Christmas here at ParentLife Online. As you celebrate Thanksgiving and look forward to the Advent season, I wanted to provide an easy way to look through all of the Christmas and Advent-related posts here.
Thinking about a Pet? – “After talking with a rep from the ASCPA about a ParentLife article, we found that many families adopt pets at Christmastime. Our monthly Real Life Solutions writer, Dr. Linda Mintle, has some good advice for families considering getting a pet.”
Holiday Safety Tips – “In homes with small children, take special care to avoid decorations that are sharp or breakable. Keep trimmings with small removable parts out of the reach of children to prevent them from swallowing or inhaling small pieces. Avoid trimmings that resemble candy or food that may tempt a young child to eat them.”
The Advent Season – Three Advent books to share with your children.
That Perfect Christmas Card – “Select a photo with special sentimental value. Don’t worry about the finding the photo where everyone looks ‘perfect.’ ”
The Perfect Gift – Short review of a Christmas movie featuring a ParentLife writer!
The Most Wonderful Time of the Year – “Our time with family was precious, traffic or no traffic! These are the occasions that make lasting memories for parents and children alike.”
Holiday or Headache? – “What have you been doing because it is expected or a habit but could probably be dropped from your schedule? What truly makes Christmas meaningful for you?”
Christmas Ramblings – “I was dreading putting out the Christmas decorations with a toddler underfoot, I was sure finding time to Christmas shop was going to be next to impossible, and I was concerned that all of the holiday festivities would throw Jack’s schedule completely for a loop!”
Helping Kids Connect with Jesus – Advice from prolific children’s book author Dandi Daley Mackall.
Exposing Children to Drinking Relatives – A Q&A with Dr. Linda Mintle.
To Santa or Not to Santa? – “Hamlet almost had it right. ‘To be or not to be’ is a great question, but for many Christians, ‘To Santa or not to Santa’ is truly the question to ask in December.”
Choosing the Right Toys Per Age Group – “The toys your children want are not necessarily the ones that are of great quality or of any value for that matter, but they are the ones advertised constantly.”
Blended Life: Making Holiday Plans – “Perhaps the hardest time to juggle a blended family is during the holidays. How should time be split? How do you even begin to decide?”
Real Life Solutions: Christmas with Family – “You and your husband need to make a plan that makes sense for you and that you can manage. Then talk with your families and see if you can agree on an arrangement.”
Christian Christmas Music – “I realize that perhaps saying ‘Christian Christmas’ is an oxymoron, but in our society … it’s sort of necessary.”
Fun Traditions and UnTraditions – “Families were encouraged to celebrate meaningfully and playfully in ways that create lasting memories, not lasting fatigue.”
Gifts That Give Back – “But I don’t know that our Christmases would have suffered without half of those things we wished for on long lists.”
Celebrating Jesus’ Birthday – “Use a child-friendly manger scene to teach the Christmas story to younger children. They can make their own manger scene out of blocks, fashioning figures from toilet paper rolls.”
Helping Children Celebrate Christ This Christmas -“With the celebrations of Hanukkah, Kwanza, and Santa Claus, it is easy for many messages to be infiltrated into the true message of Christmas.”
Need a Gift Idea? – Reviews and comparisons of some of the craft/toy subscription kits like KiwiCrate, Citrus Lane, and Green Kids Crafts.
Strategies for Reducing Stress During the Holidays – “If she is terrorized by the sight of a big stranger in a red suit, respect her emotional distress and show your support by not forcing her to sit on Santa’s lap.”
Christmas Break Training 101: Making Yours a Success – Whether you’re sleep training, potty training, going to a big kid bed, or more, Christmas break might be a great time to do boot camp.
The Doggie in the Window – “Christmas is an exciting time to bless our children, and you may be thinking about finally giving in to their request. Here are some things to consider before adopting a new pet.”
Preparing for Advent – A little about the popular resource Truth in the Tinsel and another fun Advent family activity.
He Sets the Lonely in Families – “Bless others by taking them into your family and loving them. It will set a wonderful example for your children and who knows … you might be entertaining angels (Hebrews 13:2).”
Real Life Solutions: Preventing Kid Mayhem During the Holidays – “Remind yourself that during the holidays, kids are out of their routine, sleep in strange beds, get little sleep, eat too much sugar, and get a lot of attention from family members”
Wrapped Up with a … Oh Wait, I Forgot the Bow – “The thing is, if you love cutting out letters while listening to carols and sipping peppermint tea, I think it can be holy. Perhaps wrapping gifts is one of your favorite things. Perhaps it is a gift God gave you to bless others. It’s just not mine!”
Special Needs Families Can Celebrate the Season Too! – “Special needs parents often feel isolated. I encourage you this season to reach out. Reach out to just one other family, or friend. It might take some work, but it will be worth it!”
Operation Christmas Child: Packing Shoeboxes for Children, with Children – “Explain gently that these will probably be the only gifts this child will receive this Christmas. Answer questions in a straightforward and truthful manner, but don’t over-explain.”
Joy in the Midst of the Messy – “Our joy is not found on the presents – although that is a pretty great part of the season – or the traditional Christmas events. Our joy is found in knowing that Christ is with us now. In these moments, in the middle of our circumstances.”
Building Holiday Traditions within Your Family – “While struggling to celebrate this most commercial of American holidays without letting the secular emphasis take over, we found a mixture of fun traditions balanced with sacred traditions that did the trick for us.”
I will update this list as we add to it this year and in the future!