Have dinner guests sign the under side of the dining room table. Let the kids’ friends sign too - or have their own version of a guestbook - the inside of a cabinet or the basement door, etc.


5, 12-14



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Shampoo their hair. Nice luxurious shampoo. It’s a treat. In “5 Love Languages” speak, its an act of service and physical touch.


5, 7, 9, 12



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“I don’t give a rat’s $@!#% how much respect u garner out in the world if you don’t show respect and love and serve those you love at home.” ____loosely quoted from Glennon Doyle’s ‘Untamed.’


14, 19



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If there’s a ever a bird in the house, close the interior doors, open the doors to the outside and shoo it out with a broom.


18



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You gotta play with them. Down on the floor, at the park, in the water, in the snow. Connect through play, it will be the foundation of your relationship.


1-4



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Go for walks together as a family before or after dinner. Sometimes we go for distance, sometimes we call them "safaris" and look for as many living creatures as we can find.


4



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A mommy-friend of mine gave me some good advice: "Count the wins." So what if you didn't clean the house, you showered! So what if she's wearing 9 different colors - she dressed herself! Great advice. So remember, especially on the difficult days - and there will be many: Count the wins.


1



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Be a good guest. Never arrive to a dinner or a party empty handed. Bring a gift: flowers, food, drink, etc.


18



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Remember the tool of “Yes. But first...” Kids ask for things they want ALL DAY. To avoid saying”no” all day, (and avoid tantrums) don’t say no. Little One doesn’t touch her dinner except for the applesauce. Then she asks “Mommy can I have more applesauce?” Tell her “Yes!” “After you finish your meat and vegetables.”


2



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Golf lessons this year. Your grandpa loved golf. He tried to teach me when he first got sick, and those are some of my best memories of him. Great way to get fresh air and exercise too.


11



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There will be some losses or changes that completely shake you to the core. But remember that some bad experiences are like pooping your pants - Totally horrible but also kind of a relief.


19



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Always keep a can of WD-40 in the house.


21



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Paying extra for organic isn’t always worth it but I ALWAYS buy organic apples. They taste better and don’t have the pesticides, etc.


18



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Train for a mini-triathlon together as a family this year.


12



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Your great-great grandmother was a seamstress at Marshall Fields. Her husband was a firefighter in Chicago. The immigrated from County Wexford in Ireland.


10



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Use Shutterfly or something like it to make Christmas books and birthday books each year.


Infant-21



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Start a tradition of setting goals for Ne Year. Keep a notebook in with the Christmas ornaments and each year we all add in whatever we want to focus on: such as our resolutions, goals, hope or plans, etc. That will be something fun to do at the end of the year when we’re taking down the tree and putting away all the holiday stuff.


8



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What I most want to teach you this year is that you can always trust me. I will always love you, take care of you and never harm you. You may not always like me, but you can always trust me.


1



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“If you don’t know what hurts me, how can you say you love me?” From a story told by Rabbi Levi Yitzhak ....Do you know what causes him pain or anxiety? What he’s afraid of? In an age-appropriate way....Talk about our fears and the things that hurt us. He will see it’s normal to have fear and pain, and he will learn he can come to me with anything that troubles him.


8



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Ask him to memorize and recite William Ernest Henley poem “Invictus” as a Christmas present for me.


15



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Keep stories about younger years to tell them later: You used to call yellow “lellow” etc. Ten years from now you think you’ll remember this stuff but you won’t.


2



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A lesson from author Tom Zumba. I hope you’ll never need it: “There is nothing nothing easy about this thing called grief. Nothing. But I ask you to please please please say yes more often than you say no. Say yes to you. To possibility. To hope. To love. To life. To healing. Please choose the light more often than you choose the darkness. Not that there aren't gifts in the darkness. There are. But it's often so much easier to find them the gifts in the light. Do all you can to stay in the light. Please remember that the person you love so so so dearly lived. Don't forget that. He lived. She lived. Here with you. And your relationship continues. Always. Don't be so overwhelmed and paralyzed and pissed off that he died that she died that you spend most of your time focusing on their death. Focus on your life. Together. Say yes as often as you can. Choose light as often as you can. Remember that he lived as often as you can. Don't lose her in the details of her death. This thing called grief is hard hard hard work. But you are stronger than you think. His book is called Permission to Mourn


21



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Surprise! You’re not perfect. No one is. Do your best, but don’t expect perfection from yourself or any other human, young or old. Have compassion...We’re all in this together and we need each other to be kind and encouraging.


17, 21



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I don’t remember much about my grandmother (Marie) but I recall her hands. Her ring fingers had a funny curve to them, bowed in a little at the top. My ring fingers do the same thing. I think of her every time I notice it.


19



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“Pirate Rules” is a temporary suspension of the usual rules. It means pretty much anything goes for this moment so we can all stay sane. ——-Loosen the rules on snacks, bedtime, screen time, etc. in special circumstances.


1-5



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Jump in and help where help is needed. Don’t wait to be asked. Whether it’s clearing dishes at home or friend’s house or tasks at work. It could be something big like solves problem or little, putting paper in the copy machine at work.


15, 18. 21



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Listen to The Moth (storytelling) together.


15



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Ask the question “What are you doing when you feel most like yourself?”


16



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Test


1-2



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