“The kids were all nestled all snug in their beds …”  Then, up, unwrapping, and for some  cranky crashing time:


Keeping the season jolly requires hard work and lots of self-soothing.


Tip one:  Remember what matters.  Hopefully, you and yours already know what matters is not glitz and glitter.  Once you have shelter, warmth, food, and are safe anything more is icing on the cake.  If you have not taught this to your family, you do not yet believe it yourself.  Very understandable given all the media push to get you to buy, buy, buy.

Tip two: If a child is  unhappy with some of his or her gifts,  make a give away pile and plan to take those toys to a local church or hospital.  Even if happy with all his or her gifts it is still a good idea to have each family member select something to give to the less fortunate.

Tip three:  Here are some  quiet, easy to do Emotional Fitness Exercises.  These let you take a break almost anywhere and any time.  If you feel tension mounting, take a minute or two to use one as a Take a Break Strategy

Calming Breath:  When tension calls. Often we take a quick breath or two and sometimes hold it in too long.  This is not good as holding your breath or breathing quickly tenses you. Learning to consciously take a calming breath off and on through out the day gives your body and brain a break.  Here’s how:

  1. Breathe in slowly.
  2. Hold until you feel some small bit of tension.
  3. Breathe out slowly.
  4. Smile gently.
  5. Say a quiet “Thank You.”
  6. Go about doing what you were doing or center.

Center.  After taking that Calming Breath,  breathe normally and notice how it just feels to breathe in and out. Watch your thoughts.  Don’t try to control your thoughts, just  notice them as they come and go.  Some finding saying a silent “Thank you” to each thought interesting.  Spend your precious free moments centering and when you must go on to something else take another calming breath.

 Stretch your body or your mind.  Both if you can.  You know how to stretch your body.  You stretch you mind, by thinking of all the wonders above, around and within , and practicing gratitude for all that is.  When I think of all the stars above, all the creatures in this world of ours, and how our bodies hold other worlds, I am almost brought to tears of gratefulness for being allowed to be part of it all.

Remember to let the love flow. Holidays are best spent on the things that matter. No matter what our children believe or what the buy, buy hawkers suggest, what matters first are those we love.

Erma Bombeck said this, “The family.  We were a strange little band of characters trudging through life sharing diseases and toothpaste, coveting one another’s desserts, hiding shampoo, borrowing money, locking each other out of our rooms, inflicting pain and kissing to heal it in the same instant, loving, laughing, defending, and trying to figure out the common thread that bound us all together.”

And of course, the common thread is love.


Great expectations can lead to great let downs.  Then there is the stress of having to be happy. And of course probably a lack of sleep.   So I hope my tips keep you on the path to what matters.  To be  on that path you do need me-time and quiet time.  If you have not already established a sacred me-time; plan one right now.


First, here is my thank you gift if you have just started following me.   It is a free guide to the Daily Twelve Emotional Fitness Exercises. These are easy to learn, easy to practice and helpful to anyone dealing with life’s stresses and every day problems.

My book  Parents Are People Too: An Emotional Fitness Program for parents details all the exercises needed to get and stay emotionally strong.  All my other  books can be found on my  Amazon’s Author Page.

You can also follow me on the When Good Kids Do Bad Things Facebook page. If you go there please take a moment to like it.

Finally, You might find my Emotional Fitness Training’s Pinterest site helpful. Both of my blog posts are pinned there, and I also share other people’s information that I think for help you stay strong both as a parent and an individual. Take a peek by clicking here.

As I tell myself a thousand times a day,  do not weaken, give lots of love to others and to yourself, be grateful, practice kindness, live now, give and seek forgiveness, and always hope  the blessing of the forces beyond our control are with you and those you love.


DISCLAIMER: FORGIVE MY GRAMMATICAL ERRORS FOR I HAVE DYSGRAPHIA.  If you need perfect posts, you will not find them here. I have dysgraphia which means that sometimes my sentence structure is not that easy to follow or I make other errors. Still, most people understand me. All of my books are professionally edited, but not all of my blog posts are.  If this troubles you, feel free to read elsewhere.  If you persevere, you are practicing kindness by lifting my spirits for that means you find what I say helpful and that is one of my missions. Kindness always repays those who spread it.

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