We've collected and revised articles from Dr. Marie Hartwell-Walker that she's written over the years (and added 8 new essays) that speak to common issues and provide some practical ideas for negotiating the holiday season. At the very least, we can all learn better ways to cope. Taking better care of oneself through involvement in community activities and celebrations with friends can help the lonely feel a little less alone and those who are in challenging families feel less disappointed. At best we can actively nurture our family and add to its sense of warmth and home.
The heart of even the best of families deserves tending and care. With some thoughtfulness and attention, the heart of most families, like the Grinch’s, can grow a size or two this year.
This collection of 31 essays and articles written over the years will provide you with down-to-earth tips and strategies you can use today to help improve your family time this holiday season. Includes a new introduction and epilogue written exclusively for this edition, as well as 8 brand new essays; most of the essays for this edition have also been updated.
Chapter 1: Holiday Traditions: An Expression of the Family Heart
• A Primer of Winter Feasts and Festivals of Light
• Holiday Traditions: Why We Always Do the Same Thing
• Which Home for the Holiday?
• When Traditions Need to Change
Chapter 2: The Family Drama
• Family Myths That Upset Family Celebrations
• Holiday Feasts and Family Misbehavior: Anxiety Makes Them Do It
• Step, Blended, and Reconfigured:
• Making Holidays Bright for Kids with Multiple Family Loyalties
• When People have “Issues”
Chapter 3: Changing Families
• Transforming Holiday Angst into Gratitude
• Changing the Family by Changing Yourself
• Conspiring to Change Family Dynamics During Holidays
• Family Fights and Misdemeanors: Declining the Invitation to Fight
• In-laws and Outlaws
Chapter 4: Warming the Family Heart
• Focus on Meaning, Not Money
• Why, Oh Why Can’t I Simplify Christmas?
• Getting to the Heart of Holiday Gifting
• Family Fun In A Box: The Gift of Family Game Night
• Rx for Mental Health: Send Holiday Cards!
• Graduation from the Kids’ Table
• Gifts for Older Parents: Priceless Presents that Don’t Cost a Thing
• In Defense of Thank-You Notes
Chapter 5: Holidays Are for Kids
• Holiday Baking: A Recipe for Family Fun or Frustration?
• Holiday Travel with Young Kids
• Holiday Meltdowns: What’s a Parent To Do?
• Choosing Toys for Your Children
• Buying Gifts for Other People's Children
• Teaching The Gift of Giving
• Special Occasions and Kids with Special Needs
Chapter 6: It’s a New Year
• Role-Modeling the ‘How’ of Making Change
• New Year’s Resolutions to Build Your Resiliency
• Post-Winter Holidays: Depression or Hibernation?
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