Reclaiming the Holidays: Thanksgiving and Christmas/Hanukkah

The holiday season is a great time to create and sustain activities that center on family and an expansive spirit.  Unlike many traditions that are tied to a specific day, the winter holiday spirit can permeate an entire season. For those worn down by the commercialization of the holidays, it’s an opportunity to explore rituals that are rooted in beauty, spirituality, and charity.  If you’re forming a new family, or just want a meaningful change, it’s a perfect time to incorporate easy customs from a variety of backgrounds while also creating new ones.  Workshop is 1 ½ hours, and includes printed materials.


The 15-Minute Moment: Enjoying Daily Rituals

Parenting today is not like it was in your grandmother’s time.  Our lives are hectic.  One out of three parents is a stepparent.  People work…a lot.  Many kids are in extended daycare after school, not home baking cookies and making ornaments, and a lot of good, conscientious parents simply don’t have as much time to dedicate to their kids as they’d like.  This workshop offers tips on easily incorporating meaningful rituals into busy lives.  Workshop is 1 ½ hours, and includes printed materials and seasonal guides.


Raising Benevolent Kids: Traditions that Give Back

Children today are inundated with messages about being consumers—to want for themselves rather than to give of themselves – so it’s never too early (or too late!) to teach kids about the importance and joys of giving to others.  Kids who participate in charitable deeds become more aware of social issues and deepen their connection to their community.  Involving children in giving when they are young is the best way to ensure that they’ll practice it later on. This workshop offers novel suggestions for fun, meaningful ways to get your family involved with helping others year round on many levels.  (Workshops held during the holidays also include seasonal tips.)  Workshop is 1 hour, and includes printed materials and guides.


Parent-Child Workshops

Designed for parents and children ages 5-10, this is a perfect workshop for a museum, school, or club to sponsor as a Saturday afternoon event.  Each of the workshops include quirky traditions (seasonal, thematic, or home-based), stories of rituals and traditions, and workshop activities for parent and child to have fun creating. The focus is on easy traditions that involve being together and having fun as a family.  Each workshop lasts one hour.  Topics to choose from:

Let’s talk Turkey (Thanksgiving traditions)
Creating and Savoring Family Traditions
Home for the Holidays

Workshop for Elementary Schools

This is a workshop for elementary school children.  Called Making Memories, it begins by talking about what traditions are – what distinguishes a tradition from a rut, for example — and through group participation encourages kids to talk about their favorite ones.   We will talk about seasonal vs. daily traditions and introduce some new (sometimes quirky, always fun) traditions from around the world.   The workshop helps kids to recognize important traditions in their lives and create new ones.  Workshop includes printed materials, and worksheets for the kids.  Kids will create a journal of favorite traditions.  Workshop lasts one hour.

Bonus: that evening, the school can host a workshop for parents: Finding Time for Traditions.  We’ll talk about specific traditions, including those that focus on the season, embrace and celebrate nature, as well as at-home traditions that help families stay connected.   Workshop includes printed materials and suggested reading.


For more information and fees, contact Jennifer Trainer Thompson at

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