Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays from Parenting Squad Writers!

From our families to yours, we are wishing you a joyful holiday season — complete with laughter, love, and hopefully at least a few silent nights with exhausted and excited children tucked soundly in bed.

This year, a few of us are sharing our favorite holiday traditions, as well as a few things we would like to do — or not do — as the year draws to an end. We hope you'll share a few of your own traditions and holiday wishes with us as well!


Nancy Flanders

Contributing Editor for Parenting Squad who writes on children with special needs, and children's health and wellness.

My favorite part of the Christmas season, aside from spending time with family, has always been the food — specifically cookies. My grandmother would make Strufoli (aka, Honey Clusters) and I would always stand or sit in front of the bowl and finish them off, literally licking the honey off my fingers. They haven't been served since she passed away 3 years ago, so I'm thinking this year is the year I pick up the tradition.


Sharon Rowley

Squad writer with expertise in the creativity, organization, and management of large families.

Every year for the holidays, we load up the sleigh (er, my car) and make the 11-hour trek out to Michigan to my husband's hometown, and on Christmas Eve we get together with his family...aunts, uncles, cousins, and now all of the cousins' kids too! I just love spending time with all of these people whom we love so much but rarely get to see! And the best part is watching my kids interact with all of their cousins and second-cousins. Our big family tradition is to bake tons and tons of holiday cookies — to eat and to share with others... so of course we take plenty with us on our trip.

This holiday ,I am most looking forward to trying to slow down a bit and really enjoy this happy time of year with my kids. I the years will fly by in an instant and these days will be just a memory. So I want to immerse myself in the season as much as I can!


Kelli Robinson

Writer for the Squad and magazine columnist who writes on everything from returning to work post-baby to children's health and family finances.

Hubby and I have been married for 11 years. We have two kids ages nine and six. And we're still figuring out holiday traditions.

I'm used to large, loud, chaotic Christmas Day dinners. Hubby's holiday gatherings consisted of quiet afternoon meals followed by puzzles and board games with his parents and brother.

One of us is Christian, one of us isn't. We often go to Christmas Eve service, but this year we aren't. I think we're going ice skating instead — North Carolina style. Sometimes my family visits from Pittsburgh, other years we head to my in-laws house in Raleigh. But always in the afternoon on Christmas Day.

Some may see a no-rhyme-or-reason approach. But there are constants: we celebrate Christmas Eve and Christmas morning in our home; hubby, the kids and I are always together; and we're making memories. 'Tis the season!


Rhonda Franz

Managing Editor of Parenting Squad, mama of three, educator, and writer of too many To-Do lists.

I most look forward to our informal tradition of hanging out with extended family while celebrating the birth of our Savior. There's always lots of snack-eating, laughing, game-playing, kid-chasing, and last-minute plans for everything from lunch at a great restaurant to spending hours at a book shop (since grandparents are more than happy to provide free and quality childcare). I guarantee we will polish off a bunch of my homemade sausage balls, make a complete mess in the kitchen together, take several long walks, and stay up too late chatting (in person, face-to-face). This Christmas, I would love to read at least a couple of novels and have a date night with my husband — neither of which I will write on a To-Do list.