DECEMBER 2020
Greetings!
CELEBRATING THE HOLIDAYS DURING THE PANDEMIC
The holidays upon us—and the challenges and uncertainty of the coronavirus pandemic still ongoing—you may be wondering how to help your child cope with things being different this year. There are some great suggestions found in a Connecticut Pediatric Psychology blog for families with young children. 

0-3 years of age: Focus on the quality time and don’t worry about the details.
  • It is okay to keep things very simple in terms of celebration and explanations.
  • All children benefit from quiet down time to feel love and attention from parents. This is a perfect season to indulge kids with affection.
  • This age group will not be able to recall events from holidays past and therefore don’t have expectations for this holiday season.
4-6 years of age: Create new, quarantine-approved holiday traditions.
  • Establish traditions within your immediate family: make holiday decorations, make a home-made gift, cook a special meal
  • Instead of in-person visits from family, friends, or even Santa, consider fun ways to have video interaction, draw pictures to mail, or make cards
  • Find the positive and teach positive self-talk…since we aren’t traveling this year, we get extra time to play and relax! 
CENTER HAPPENINGS
HAPPY HOLIDAYS
The holiday season is upon us once again, and with everything that we have experienced this year, it is going to look a little different than years past. To continue with our tradition, we will learn about and celebrate several different holidays during the month of December and have written the holidays on our calendar. If you have a tradition that you would like to share with us, please call or email your child’s teacher to share that special tradition.
VIDEO HOLIDAY SINGING PROGRAM
It has been a long tradition to host a holiday singing program each year at our center. Since we cannot have a traditional program with all families attending…we have decided to still go through with the singing program here at the center. However, we will be recording it and emailing it out for you to view at home. 
Video-taping will take place on Thursday, December 11. We will communicate if we need to change the date. 
PARENT REMINDERS
HOLIDAY CLOSED DATES & VACATION CREDITS
We understand many families may take time off over this holiday season. Please mark an “X” on dates your child(ren) will not be attending in the attendance log in the front entrance. 

EFC will Be CLOSED on the following days:
                 Thursday, December 24, 2020
                 Friday, December 25, 2020
                 Friday, January 1, 2021

To appropriately staff for these weeks, we are asking parents to confirm days off by Monday, December 14, 2020. 

*Vacation credit reminder: When you have been enrolled at Especially for Children 6 months or more- you will receive a half weeks’ tuition credit if your child is absent five consecutive days. It does include the days that we are closed over the holidays.

Have a happy and safe holiday season!
From all of us at
 Especially for Children
IN THE COMMUNITY
UPCOMING LOCAL EVENTS
Continue to check your favorite places to take your kiddos during the holidays. Many places are offering virtual and alternative ways to keep events happening.

Stages Theatre: Twas the Night: Out of the Box Experience You receive a box of goodies mailed to you along with theater times to watch the show at home at your own pace. www.stagestheatre.org

Sever’s Holiday Lights: The light show is a drive-through experience programmed to music that plays though your vehicle. You can drive through as many times as you wish with your ticket. Visit seversholidaylights.com

Minnesota Arboretum: Grounds and buildings are open with an online reservation. A great place to explore outside on a warm winter day. www.arb.umn.edu

Bachman’s Santa and Albert the Elf: Bachman’s has a long-time tradition of offering a holiday play with Santa and Albert the Elf. This year it can be experienced via Bachman’s Facebook and Instagram pages live Saturday mornings at 10:00 am beginning November 21-December 19. Check out their website at www.bachmans.com as you can write a letter to Santa that might be read on his broadcast. (FYI—this is the same Santa that used to visit EFC in previous years and he’s excellent!)

MN Zoo Nature Illuminated: December 3 - January 17. www.mnzoo.org

Three Rivers Park District: Offers so many great outdoor family events all winter long. Search Three Rivers Park District and you will find things at Gale Woods Farms and other local parks.
ESPECIALLY FOR PARENTS
FINDING MEANING IN THE PITS
By Angie Williams

At times during the pandemic, this column has felt a bit tricky to write. I often draw on my own experiences as a mom of two young daughters, but in spite of the fact that we successfully baked cookies last weekend and even created homemade Thanksgiving name cards, many days it feels that we are just getting through it. Perhaps you are experiencing the same in your own life and/or work. Happily, there is good news on the vaccine front, and you can almost feel the hope and light at the end of the tunnel.

We still have a few challenging months ahead, so I’ve been thinking about what messages may resonate as we all seek to dig deep and press on until we reach the other side. I remembered the story of Viktor Frankl, a psychiatrist, neurologist, and concentration camp inmate during World War II. As he lived through one of the most horrific experiences in recent history and observed his fellow inmates attempt to cope (really, to survive), he developed a theory that those who persevered best were the ones who were able to establish meaning in their lives. In Frankl’s view, meaning can be found through:

  • Experiencing reality by interacting authentically with the environment and with others,
  • Giving something back to the world through creativity and self-expression, and
  • Changing our attitude when faced with a situation or circumstance that we cannot change.

For many of us, our experiences and interactions have become more limited in nature, and we may be dealing with hardship in various aspects of our lives. But I appreciate how Frankl identifies that no matter what we are facing, there are always opportunities to create something good for ourselves, our families, and the community around us. I hope this message of meaning brings some encouragement and inspiration to you as you balance all that life requires right now.

This morning a friend randomly dropped off a book on my porch called Stitches: A Handbook on Meaning, Hope and Repair (which, frankly, felt like a not-very-subtle nudge from the universe). The quote on the back says:

“Where is meaning in the meteoric passage of time…where is meaning in the pits?...I think these questions are worth asking.”
– Anne Lamott

As we move through the months ahead, I hope to reflect on meaning and how it can be uncovered or created (if only with cookies!) even in these strange and difficult—but fortunately, impermanent— times.
Angie Williams
EFC Marketing Director
Especially for Children
6223 Dell Road
Eden Prairie MN 55346 
(952) 934-1119 

Center Director:
Cathie Underwood 
Center Assistant Director:
Jamie Kittleson
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