by Kathy Kuhl

For a happier, saner, holiday:

  1. Instead of Christmas cards, send Easter cards and letters.
  2. Enjoy an Advent calendar. I don’t care if it’s a cheap chocolate one from the grocery store, one of the expensive Lego advent sets, or one you make. I’m fond of the traditional cardboard ones from Germany, which I used to buy in England, and the gorgeous one I bought at the National Gallery of Art.  But it needn’t be fancy or new.
  3. Sign up for my friend Professor Carol’s advent blog. It’s fun to learn the history of different Christmas traditions from her. She’s an enthusiastic and knowledgeable teacher.
  4.  Teach your child how to set the table, from Parenting Special Needs Magazine, with templates for formal and everyday place settings.
  5. Help your distractible, sensitive child cope: Get Carol Barnier’s e-book, Holiday Social Skills for Your Wired Child. Then treat yourself by signing up for her SizzleBop newsletter.
  6. One taste of my sister-in-law Margaret’s apricot fruitcake recipe and you’ll understand why we don’t make fruitcake jokes in my family. Yum!
  7. Heather Laurie’s Special Needs Homeschooling website has several good posts on helping kids with sensory issues through the holidays. Just click here and search for “sensory.”
  8. Download this free coloring book of intricate, beautiful abstract designs, with the alluring name, 24 Hours of Peace and Quiet. When parents observe my math classes at our homeschool group, I keep a few of these handy for the siblings.
  9. Don’t stop reading aloud because it’s Christmas. Let something else wait. Enjoy.
  10. Give the gift of encouragement in 2015. Encouraging Your Child, my new book, will help you encourage your child more effectively. “This book might be short, but it’s long on common sense and, well, encouragement,” said parenting coach and author Sarah Hamaker.
    It’s coming in January. Sign up for my newsletter to learn how to get special bonuses to those who buy it on the first day.

Special gifts! I have two preview copies (proofs) of Encouraging Your Child to give away to two blog readers who agree to post a review on Amazon in January. It’s less than 60 pages, but packed with tips. As Carol Barnier wrote, “Encouraging Your Child does something I wish ALL books would do—provide truly useful and practical suggestions.” Comment below to enter the drawing.

Comment below or email me using the contact form to enter the drawing, or just share your favorite holiday resource. Thank you.