20 Winter Holiday Kids’ Books that Go Beyond the Traditional Christmas-Focused Libraries

non-traditional holiday books to expand your Santa and Jesus centered libraries

The winter holiday season can be such a special time for many families, but can be tricky or even isolating for others. It depends what your religious affiliation (or lack thereof) is, what your own childhood was like, and so many more factors that come into play this time of year. I was raised in a Christian faith (Catholic) but my husband and I have chosen not to raise our kids in a religious household, preferring instead a spiritual path of kindness, love, nature, and being a good human without the religiously institutionalized rules. In truth, we’re agnostics who want to raise good humans to learn about every religion and way of thinking and make their own decisions about what their heart tells them is true and to be more accepting of all people than we often see (or saw growing up) in some religious communities. Don’t get me wrong — I think there is so much that is wonderful about the community you find at church, the lovely rituals and traditions, and the overall idea behind Christianity. But much of the rules and teachings aren’t something that align with our personal social values or what feels right in our hearts as what is right for our family (but that doesn’t mean it isn’t right for yours and we respect that too!). So Christmas can be tricky for us, because we don’t celebrate it as Christians. Instead, we use it as a time to talk about giving and service to others, slowing down and spending time with family, and as a teaching tool to learn about what it means to others. But I still like to incorporate Christmas traditions that my husband and I both had growing up (Santa, a Christmas tree, an advent calendar with service projects and family fun activities, etc) into our own family celebration.

Because we don’t default to the Nativity/Jesus’s birthday story, I like to find books that we can read as a family to explain both that concept as well as other religious celebrations like Hanukkah, Kwanza, Diwali, as well as things like the winter solstice. I thought I would share some books that we love (or that are in my cart right now to add to our library this year) that share a variety of stories, a diverse look at the winter holidays, and that give you more than just Jesus and Santa (although they are included too). Some of our more “traditional” favorites are pictured above as well, but I think many of those are well-known and in many of your holiday libraries already. I hope some of the recs below introduce you to a new story that your family will love:

What are your favorite holiday books, traditional, religious, or more inclusive of all celebrations? We love adding to our library. Do you have any of these books? Do you do alternative Christmas or winter holiday celebrations? I’d love to hear about all of your experiences!

 

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Black Friday Sales Round-Up 2018


Balancing Gratitude + Black Friday Shopping

So I always find it a hard balance this time of year between celebrating gratitude and being thankful for all that we have and getting caught up in the consumerism that is the Black Friday/Cyber Monday shopping hype. I’ve really tried to be more mindful of both my own shopping and also what I recommend to you. I don’t want to put out a bunch of content telling you that you need to spend money on a bunch of stuff. But at the same time I get that many of us wait until this time of year to splurge on something for ourselves or to do our holiday shopping. So, I’m going to share a few sales from my favorite brands or some of the things I’ve had my eye on. But really, don’t let the Black Friday craze make you feel like you NEED to buy or spend money that you don’t have. Do you really need it or will you (or the person you are shopping for) really enjoy it? If the answer is yes, then great! But if you are buying something just because it is on sale, then skip it. Ok, hopping off my soap box now 🙂

Black Friday Deals:

Beautycounter: Get 15% off your purchase! Now through 11/26. Guys, this never happens.

If you are a follower you know I love this brand so much I became a consultant with them (started for the discount but has turned into a great business!). So for anyone who orders under my site (beautycounter.com/chandrafredrick) during the Black Friday sale I’ll enter you into a giveaway I’m doing for a Intense Moisture Body Duo.

Madewell: Get 25% off your whole purchase 11/20-11/25 with code DEALWITHIT

J.Crew: Get 40% off your purchase (yes, FORTY!) with code TOGETHER now through 11/22.

  • Some faves from the Crew: Sweater blazer, moccasin slippers (I’ve had this pair for like 5 years and LOVE them) pink vegan leather crossbody bag, a flask as pretty as it is practical, these cute vintage gingham pjs (I think I’d live in them all winter and since I work from home, I can!) and I’m buying this reusable tote for Charlie’s teacher to add some goodies to (like the Beautycounter hand lotion and a mug). It is $8, plus $10 to monogram, and then 40% off! 

ThirdLove: For every bra purchased, ThirdLove will donate one to a victim of the California wildfires

Disneyland Tickets from Getaway Today: Up to $95 off Disneyland tickets (per ticket!) from Getaway Today depending on dates of travel.

Small Shops + Businesses:

Mom Culture: Every year I buy teacher gifts here. They are always a hit. My favorite is the Teaching Tiny Humans travel mug. Throw in a local coffee shop gift card and it’s the perfect gift!

Shop Darling Clementine: Shop the sweetest collection of ethically-made goodies for mommas and littles. Spend $50 get 15% off – get15 / Spend $125 get 20% off – get20 / Spend $200 get 25% off – get25 / Spend $300 get 30% off – get30 11/21-11/26

June & January: Friday only – 40% off most basics, and 25% off on 11/24-25, plus the launch of their new MAMA line.

Nugget Comfort: My favorite nuggets are already discounted to pretty affordable prices (they are priceless, frankly!) but they are releasing new colors! We have Lagoon and love it.

Find Your Voice E-Course: My friend Chrissy launched a wonderful E-Course and she is discounting it by 50%, making it under $250 for a limited time.

Hello, Nourish: Bri is offering $100 off coaching packages AND donating 5% of all packages sold to a collaborative cause fund supporting those affected by the CA wildfires through 12/23. (and if you don’t follow @hellonourish on IG, you should!)

I’ll be adding more small biz sales as I discover them, so check back all weekend!

I hope everyone has a safe and gratitude-filled Thanksgiving. xo

Affordable Family Christmas Pajamas Round-Up

Rounding up the best Christmas + holiday PJs for the whole family

Holiday jammies are a tradition in our house, and were a tradition for me growing up as well. It is the only time of year we can get all of our kids (and our spouses!) to dress alike without eye rolls — because everyone loves Christmas pjs 🙂 And if you celebrate a different holiday, you can still get in on the cuteness by choosing a winter pattern or matching grey or blue stripes. The only thing I don’t love about holiday pajamas are that they  can be pretty pricey. My kids do wear them beyond the holiday, but since they grow out of things so fast, While my absolute favorite pajamas are from this brand, some families can’t spend that much on pajamas, or aren’t looking for long lasting quality so much as just wearing them a couple of times and are looking for a more budget-friendly option. In case you’re in the same boat I thought I would round up some of my favorite affordable matching holiday pajamas for the whole family.

  1. Black & White winter fair isle pajamas.
  2. Red & white candy stripe pajamas.
  3. Penguin pjs
  4. Christmas stripe pajamas.
  5. Snowflake pajamas.
  6. Family plaid pajamas.
  7. Elf stripe pajamas.
  8. Holiday print jammies.

Holiday Traditions: Matching Family Christmas pajamas with Hanna Andersson and Oh Lovely Day

And just because I can’t handle how much they’ve grown, here are the boys in their matching jammies from two years ago. You can find more of my boys in their matching pjs last here in this post and buy some yourself here. These are the best quality and fit pajamas I’ve found, although I do size up for my boys who are bigger than average.

Does your family do the matching jammies thing? Where are your favorites from? And what other family traditions do you love? You can find more of our family traditions in this post and also by following the #fredrickfamilyxmas feed on Instagram.

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Getting Ready For Cold & Flu Season

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc., Kleenex, Lipton, and Theraflu. All opinions are mine alone. #FluSeasonHacks #CollectiveBias

Preparing for cold and flu season | Oh Lovely DayFall is by far my favorite time of year. Cooler temperatures, colorful leaves, pumpkin-flavored everything, trick or treating, pumpkin patches, and corn mazes: there is so much to love. But fall also brings the dreaded germ season, and when you have little kids that is the most dreaded season of all. Last year was our first fall/winter living in a new state with true seasons, which will mean exposure to new germs (and lots of them), colder temperatures, and more frequent sickness. I learned a few things last winter, so I’m preparing for germ season ahead of time this year and I thought I would share a bit about how I stock my kitchen in case it helps you prepare for the same. Because when it comes to germs and preventing their spread, we’re all in this together right? So here are some go-to stock-ups:

First, I prepare for germ season by trying to protect us from sickness and building up our immune systems. People have different favorite ways to do this, but I’m a believer in a combination of both traditional and holistic methods. I get a flu shot. I diffuse essential oils. We take probiotics. We try to get enough rest. We wash our hands. All of these things help our immune systems to be strong and ready to fight off any germs that come our way (hopefully). I explain to my kids how important it is to cover coughs and wash hands and to not share food or drinks, and how eating healthy foods and getting enough rest helps us to stay well overall and fight off germs.

Nothing is worse than coming down with a virus and not having the supplies you need to feel better on hand. Especially when it is you, the mom and caretaker, that is sick. Because you definitely don’t feel like heading out to the store for supplies once you’ve already gotten sick, especially if you have to take your kids with you, and you probably can’t rely on someone else getting the supplies you want for you. In an effort to avoid that miserable situation, I stock up at the start of fall so that my sick day arsenal is ready. Here are some of my favorites to have on hand:

  • Kleenex® Lotion Tissues: anyone with kids knows you go through Kleenex® in a flash during the fall and winter. I choose Kleenex® because they are dependable and soft, and the lotion variety works great with little noses that get rubbed raw. The Soothing Lotion infused with pure aloe and vitamin E soothes tender skin. I feel better as a mom knowing I can help and comfort my sick kiddos, husband, and myself whenever illness strike, and Kleenex® definitely contributes to that.
  • Theraflu Power Pods: Did you know that Theraflu makes fast-relieving pods that fit into most single serve coffee makers? There is both a daytime and nighttime version, but I usually stock up on the nighttime version at the very least. Because when you are sick you need all the help you can get when it comes to relief while you sleep. They temporarily reduce fever and symptoms associated with colds, like aches and pains, congestion, headache, and sore throat. You just push a button, sip, and feel the relief. It is powerful relief without a prescription.

You can save $2.00 on any ONE (1) Theraflu Power Pods through 12/8, via this digital offer.

  • The Lipton Wellness Tea: a variety of teas made with carefully selected botanicals and blended with essential oils, which help make wellbeing a part of your everyday routine. I always have the Daily Support on hand, but also recently stocked the kitchen with Soothe Your Tummy. It is an herbal infusion for those times your tummy feels less than its best.* Carefully selected botanicals like ginger and peppermint are blended with natural essential oils that make every cup delicious

FYI: I don’t use both the pods and the tea at the same time. For example, I only use the Tummy Tea when my stomach hurts. And I only use the Theraflu Pods when I have flu-like symptoms — I never use both on the same day.

Last year’s flu season was rough, so this year get a jump on the season and stock up on the essentials for you and your family. Maybe when you stop in for your flu shot, you take the time to get everything you need…just in case. A one-stop shop to Kroger can allow you to feel a little relief this upcoming season, knowing that you are ready for all the coughs, fevers, and sore throats. I know it will help ease my mind.

You can also find these savings on Kleenex for a limited time:

  • Kleenex is offering FREE Home Delivery (where home delivery is available) Offer valid 9/4 – 11/11/18
  • Check your in-store circular for the 11/4 coupon for .50¢ Off Kleenex Facial Tissue or Wipes.
  • Also look for the $1.50 coupon on 4-pack Kleenex Facial Tissues, for Kleenex Germ Removal Wet Wipes.
  • And, 11/4-11/24 you can get .50¢ off Kleenex 4-pack bundles and Kleenex Wet Wipes via this digital offer.

Preparing for cold and flu season | Oh Lovely Day

You can find all of these products at your local Kroger store.

*These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA. This product is not intended to diagnose, cure or prevent disease.

Kleenex – ©KCWW, Lipton – © 2018 Unilever Theraflu – ©2018 the GSK group of companies or its licensor. Read and follow label directions. Theraflu is for use in adults 12 years and older. Use products only as directed.

Tips For Transitioning a New Pet into Your Family

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and Purina. All opinions are mine alone. #FuelTheirPotential #CollectiveBias

How Adding Kittens To Our Home Has Been the Perfect Pairing For Our Family | Oh Lovely Day

Adding a new pet to your family can be a time of transition for both you and your furry friend. After adopting our kitties we learned by trial and error how to help them get comfortable in their new home and with their new family. So I thought maybe sharing some of the things we learned could help other families looking to a furry member to their family.

How Adding Kittens To Our Home Has Been the Perfect Pairing For Our Family | Oh Lovely Day

Take Your Time Getting To Know Each Other

Your pet has their own individual needs and personality. Get to know what they like and dislike before you invest a lot of money into foods, litters, beds, toys, etc. Pets can be very particular about what kind of water bowl they use (three different types have been rejected in our house so far, but they sure do love to drink out of the toilet!), where they want to sleep (hint: not in the pet bed I provided), and so many other things. So don’t rush into buying anything. Just follow their lead, set boundaries, and cuddle for a while.

Let Them Ease Into Your Home

Depending on where you got your pet and how old they are, they might need some time getting used to their new environment. Since we rescued barn cats that had mostly been in their own space and hadn’t spent a lot of time around people, we confined them in smaller spaces and gradually opened up the territory that they were free to roam in. We also did little visits, adding to the length of time and frequency until they were used to us.

Our cats also needed to be litter trained, so confining them in a large bathroom with a litter box helped with that as well. By the time they were ready to come out of that bathroom and out of the basement, they were litter trained.

Do Your Research

If you are looking to adopt a dog that will be mostly indoors, a hound is probably not the best choice. If someone in your home is allergic to dogs or cats, there are certain types and breeds that work better than others. If you have small children, some types of animals work much better than others. Older animals or ones that haven’t been around people, or those that have been abused may not work best for the littlest kids in your home that don’t know what “gentle” is yet. Be sure to do lots of research about what type of animal, what breed, what age, what circumstances work best for your family. So many people end up surrendering pets because of unrealistic expectations and not doing proper research ahead of time.

Tips for Transitioning a New Pet into Your Family Tips for Transitioning a New Pet into Your Family Tips for Transitioning a New Pet into Your Family

Give them the right food and nutrition.

In addition to lots of love, giving your pet the right food is the most important thing you can do. You want them to live the healthiest and longest life possible, and choosing the right food for their specific needs is key to that. We chose Purina Pro Plan® Prime Plus™ for many reasons. For starters, it is backed by 85 years of Purina research. There are 70+ formulas available that deliver both outstanding nutrition and the taste your pets love (because it doesn’t matter how nutritious it is if your pet won’t actually eat it.). In a 9 year study of cats exclusively fed a complete diet with the proprietary blend vs. cats fed the complete and balanced diet alone, Purina Pro Plan® Prime Plus™ proprietary blend was proven to improve and extend the life of cats age 7 and older.

You can hover over the photo below to shop the products seen in the image.

 

Tips for Transitioning a New Pet into Your Family

I always stock up on our Purina® Pro Plan® + food at Petsmart. I never have to worry whether or not it will be in stock or if they’ll have what I need. They have great customer service and a fantastic return policy if it turns out your pet won’t eat the food you’ve bought for them. And you can bring your pets to the store to shop with you. Plus, you can take advantage of a great promo for a limited time:

Get a $10 PetSmart gift card when you spend $40 on Purina® Pro Plan® +. (You must make your purchases from 10/15/18 –11/24/18. Upload your receipt by 12/1/18. The Offer will be fulfilled within 8–10 weeks from the submission date.)

How Adding Kittens To Our Home Has Been the Perfect Pairing For Our Family | Oh Lovely Day

What advice do you have for people looking to add a new pet to their home? How have done it in your own family?

My Thoughts On Turning 40

Girl's trip to Ojai: Where to stay, eat, shop, and relax in Ojai, CA

I’ve been reflecting a lot about goals and accomplishments and what I want in my life now that I’m on the precipice of turning 40. FORTY. The big 4-0. Just typing it or saying it out loud seems so weird. 40 is how old my parents were when I was in high school and it seemed like, SO OLD to me then. But I don’t feel old. Sometimes I barely feel like I’m old enough to be taking care of myself, let alone three kids. But I am almost 40 (in one week exactly) and as weird as it sounds I feel pretty ok about it. I haven’t hated any of my milestone birthdays. I was ready for 30 — my 20’s were hard and I was ready to move on. My 30’s, as it turned out, were my “adulthood” decade. I got married, had kids, bought a house, changed careers (or rather, all but abandoned the career I had thought I wanted my entire life, until I realized I didn’t…), and my husband and I had made the very adult decision to make a cross country move. We had gone through hard things but also some absolutely wonderful things. We traveled a lot (mostly before kids). So pretty much any of the “goals” that I would have liked to have accomplished on paper, I had accomplished well before 40. And there are also things I feel that every woman should do in their lives (if they want to) on their own, and I have done many of those as well. But there are personal things, things I want to do for ME, that I realize I still want to do.

My thoughts on turning 40

I started thinking about making a list of things — not that I wanted to accomplish BY 40, but more that I wanted to focus on now that I’m 40. Things for me. I think 40 is gonna be my “reconnect with myself” decade. Some of the things I’d like to do or accomplish are:

  • Launch an e-course. (I’m working on this and hoping it will happen in 2019)
  • Travel somewhere alone or with girlfriends yearly.
  • Monthly girlfriend time.
  • Monthly date night with my husband.
  • Make time to work out in order to feel good and get strong and be happy with myself, not to attain a number on a scale or clothing tag.
  • Attend a yoga or meditation retreat.
  • Get my financial shit together.
  • Launch an online shop.
  • Go back to therapy.
  • Write a book: memoir, children’s book, whatever.
  • Take a home improvement class and tackle some projects.
  • Cross Seattle, New England, Sante Fe or Sedona, and a foreign country off our travel bucket list.
  • Speak at a conference for creative women.
  • Speak at a conference or be a guest on a podcast for mothers talking about mental health.
  • Find the perfect bra.
  • Find the perfect jeans.
  • Learn to set boundaries and say no without guilt.
  • Try reiki.
  • Learn more about crystals and energy work.
  • Maybe run for office???

My thoughts on turning 40 My thoughts on turning 40When you’re a woman, and maybe especially when you’re a mother, that first decade where you are doing all of the adult things — career, marriage, parenthood, etc — is also the decade where you start to lose yourself a bit. You stop prioritizing yourself. You listen to societal expectations of who you are supposed to be and what you are supposed to do (and look like, act like, etc.) It’s no wonder so many of us are searching, a bit depressed, lonely, confused, frustrated, or unsatisfied with the status quo. Because we are losing our SELVES. We feel guilty that maybe being a mother isn’t fulfilling enough or that the career we always worked so hard for isn’t making us happy. We feel stuck in that role we put on ourselves and aren’t sure how to break out of, but we know that if we don’t break out we might lose our true selves forever. Am I alone in having spent a considerable part of my 30’s in that space? I don’t think so. I think, if we’re all being honest, more of us have been stuck there than haven’t. We just don’t feel like we can talk about it. So I’ve written a list of things that I think every woman should do by the time they are 40 (again, if they WANT to) in case in can inspire you to write your own goals list.

  • Own a pair of jeans that make them feel good about themselves
  • Have bought themselves a splurge purchase: bag, jewelry, shoes, piece of furniture, whatever.
  • Create a capsule of go-to tried-and-true wardrobe basics that you LOVE, that you feel good in, and that you can always rely on.
  • Have both seen a movie and eaten dinner out alone (not necessarily in the same day)
  • Traveled somewhere alone (as in, without their kids)
  • Find a regular method of self-care that works for you: exercise, meditation, knitting, baths — whatever!
  • Know what works for you during sex and don’t be afraid to ask for it.
  • Find a best friend. A female friend. Someone who has and will always have your back.
  • Wear a hat.
  • Get a good haircut.
  • Get a massage.
  • Go to a women’s spa, where you soak in a tub and get scrubbed and walk around free and naked alongside fifty other women of every age, shape, size, and nobody gives a fuck.
  • Have a go-to wine or cocktail (if you drink).
  • Know how to cook one thing really well (doesn’t mean you have to cook it, but just the knowing how is enough)
  • Learn to stop apologizing
  • Learn to speak up for yourself
  • Learn to say no without guilt.
  • Have your own money, and if you aren’t the breadwinner or the bill payer of your household know where the money goes and have access to it (at the very least in case of an emergency)
  • Don’t stop dreaming. Set goals for yourself. It is never too late.

My thoughts on turning 40

Even though I don’t recognize my physical self as much as I used to — I often see a fluffier and older girl looking back at me than I see in my head — I am recognizing my inner self more and more with each passing year. I don’t feel the need to qualify my feelings or opinions. I am not afraid to speak my truth, share my stories, or say “this is me.” I am not ashamed of who I am, even though I am far from perfect and have a lot of growing and learning left to do. I am much more accepting of my shortcomings. I give myself more grace than ever. And I also expect more out of others, because I’m not gonna raise three boys and be a partner to a husband and set an example that I do all the things and I don’t speak up or that things are MY job because I’m the woman/wife/mother. Nope. We are a family and a household and things are OUR jobs. We work together and I deserve as much leisure time or sleep or time in the bathroom in private as anyone else. Life is too short to martyr yourself and wait for someone to see and recognize your sacrifice and hard work. Do the work if that is what you want. But don’t be afraid to speak up and say “that’s not my job” or “I’m not the only one capable of doing that.”

I guess as I approach 40 I have less fucks to give about things that don’t matter. I don’t know if it is because I know that they don’t matter or because I’m old and therefore too tired to care. Either way, I like it.

How old are you? How old do you feel? Do you have a bucket list of sorts or personal goals that you’d like to accomplish before a certain age or milestone birthday? I’d love to hear your thoughts on it!