The Best Christmas Books: What Is Your Favorite?

I was visiting the New York Times website recently, something that I try not to do too much. Anyway I found an article I actually thought was interesting and worth reading. It was titled, “What’s Your Favorite Holiday Christmas Book?”, and talked about many great Christmas that have stood the test of time. There were some that I knew on the list like “The Polar Express” and “Santa Mouse”. There were some that I had never heard of like “Merry Christmas Maisy” and “Gingerbread Baby”. Also the author of this article spoke about “Letters From Father Christmas”, which is by J.R.R. Tolkien and sounds very personal. I’m interested to read that book!

Christmas stories are one of my favorite parts of the tradition and holiday. From the religious stories about the birth of Christ to “The Night Before Christmas” and everything in between, I really do love them all. “Andrew’s Christmas” is a very good Christmas book for kids, and we were also fortunate enough to interview Brendan Barth the author on our site! Anyways, just wanted to spread the holiday spirit by talking about Christmas books.

What’s your favorite Christmas book?

How to Get Your Baby to Sleep While Traveling for the Holidays

A big concern for many parents with a toddler or baby around this time of the year is keeping their sleep pattern regular throughout the holidays. Traveling or having family over for the holidays can definitely disrupt your babies sleep schedule. Whether they miss their afternoon nap or just can’t seem to fall asleep at night, it can make for some serious problems. Strive for normalcy, as that is what they are used to, but if all else fails just go with your instincts. If a typical nap time is missed, substitute a different one later.

A post titled, “Holidays, Travel, and Baby’s Sleep” had some great pointers for just this issue. The last thing anybody wants is to spend all night up with a baby, and then deal with a travel day the next day with a cranky baby. One of their best bits of advice was to bring a dark towel or sheet with you when you travel. Babies used light and dark cues often in their sleeping patterns, and turning an otherwise bright room dark with a sheet or towel could mean a successful nap.

Don’t Over-Schedule Your Family This Holiday Season

The holidays are a really stressful time, especially when you factor young kids into the picture. You are probably expected to visit all sorts of family, or have them visit your house. The kids will likely get overly rambunctious out of the excitement of Christmas, and because of all the sugar they will consume through Christmas treats. Sounds like the makings for a parental meltdown at any moment. Don’t let holiday stress get the best of you though, stay cool my friend.

A post called, “8 Parenting Tips for Happier Holidays with Young Children” features some great advice. First off, having realistic expectations for your family is the right way to go. If you think the day is going to be perfect and your kids will behave like perfect little robots, you are doomed to be disappointed. Chances are something minor will go wrong and one of them might get upset. Be ready to deal with this and don’t get angry. If you lose your cool it will only negatively affect your children. My favorite bit of advice was to not over-schedule. You know what your family is capable of doing in one day, so know your limits.

How Christmas Has Been Turned Into the Generic “Winter Holiday”

So for the sake of consumerism Christmas has been turned in the generic “winter holiday”. Hooray…wait what are we celebrating for again? It seems like there is a lack of reasoning behind Christmas if it isn’t about the birth of Christ anymore. Are we celebrating winter? That’s a depressing thought. Are we celebrating our families? Nope, that’s Thanksgiving. It’s gotta be the Winter Solstice right? Buying presents because of the shortest day of the year sounds like a stretch.

I read a post on Young, Evangelical, and Catholic today called, “Why losing the War on Christmas is great for the Church (but bad for business)”. It opened my eyes to how generic and stripped down Christmas has become lately. In my eyes the only inspiring way to view Christmas is as the celebration of Christ’s birth, but hey that’s just me.

Parenting Tip: How to Save Money During the Holiday Season

The holiday season is here again, and for many families out there it can be a struggle. The commercialized monster that Christmas has become presents a big issue for parents who have difficulties making ends meet. Let’s not forget what Christmas is really about this year, and remember that a thoughtful gift is the best gift. It might not be the easiest to convey that message to your children, but it is a lost concept that I think should be ingrained into society more.

I recently read a post on JBM Thinks titled, “Money Saving Holiday Tips for Parents”. The article might be able to give you some good ideas about how to make it all come together this holiday season!

What methods do you use at home to save money around this time of year?

The Kids’ Table: A Holiday Tradition

With the holidays approaching quickly now I am sure you or a family member is getting prepared to have everybody over to celebrate either Thanksgiving, Christmas, or both. I read a post recently on Parenting Magazine’s site titled, “Do You Believe in the Kids’ Table?” and it made me think about the dynamic of a kids’ table. I remembered back to when I was a child and honestly the best part of holidays was sitting at the kids’ table.

I don’t believe that it is shunning children to put them at their own table. In fact, I think that kids like to feel special and have their own designated spot. Adults will want to talk about certain topics at holiday dinner table and children will want to do their own thing. I have fond memories of the kids’ table from when I grew up and I think it is a great tradition to have during holiday meals.

Does your family have a kids’ table?

Black Friday Shopping: How to Prepare for the Madness

With the Christmas season fast approaching many parents will be on the lookout to score good deals on gifts for their family and friends. This can be a hectic and crazy time to shop but many parents will still choose to go out on Black Friday. If you are an avid Black Friday shopper check out this posted titled, “Preparing for Black Friday”, from Shopaholic Mommy. The post gives a list of things to help you get ready for the big day.

Do you prefer shopping for Christmas gifts on Black Friday or just getting them all online?

How to Get Your Children in the Giving Spirit This Holiday Season

Something that all parents strive to instill in their children is drive to care about others. Teaching your child how to care for others is very important to their growth and development into an adult. It can be really tough to teach your child to think of others first because even adults do not behave in that manner all the time. Setting a good example for your children by being as selfless as possible is a good start.

A recent post on JBM Thinks talked about a plan to teach your children how to give during the holiday season. Janis, the blog’s author, also feels that teaching kids to care about others before themselves can be a truly difficult task. She also pointed out that it can be even harder to do this during the holiday season. Her idea to teach a great lesson in giving this holiday season was to participate in Operation Christmas Child. Operation Christmas child gives gifts to children in other countries. There are also many other programs similar to this one, and I agree that getting involved with a program like this is a good way to get your child in the giving spirit!

Have you ever participated in a program like Operation Christmas Child? What was it called and how can you become a part of it?