DECEMBER 2020
Greetings!

CELEBRATING THE HOLIDAYS DURING THE PANDEMIC
This year has been difficult to say the least. With 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
FOOD DONATIONS NEEDED
Over the past two holiday seasons, Edinborough EFC staff and families has collected over 1500 pounds of unperishable food to donate to VEAP. Just like previous years, there will be collection boxes in several classrooms and food will be collected between December 1 and Thursday, December 17. The classroom with the most donations wins a special breakfast made by Ms. Anna! If we (as a center) exceed 1,000 pounds, all classrooms will enjoy a fantastic special breakfast! We can do it—Go EFC!!
UPCOMING EVENTS
Conferences will be held in early December. The link to sign up for conferences is posted in Baby/Daily Connect.
Wear your favorite holiday PJs on Friday, December 18.
We will make gingerbread houses on Tuesday, December 22.
PARENT REMINDERS
HOLIDAY CLOSURES
Especially for Children will be closed on Thursday & Friday, December 24 & 25 for Christmas. We are also closed on Friday, January 1 2021 for New Year’s Day. 
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

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
3300 Edinborough Way 
Edina MN 55435 
(952) 835-0505 

Center Director
Anna Wilson 
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