Last time I wrote here to you all I was already lamenting the holiday meltdowns that occur.  Have things gotten better for you?  Has your household calmed down?  Naw, ours either.
In fact, with all of the craziness of parties, countdowns, cookies and candies, and gifts wrapped under the tree, it’s been even more ramped up for our son.  So I thought it might be nice to take a second to talk about things we can do to keep the holidays family-centered.  And for us, here, that generally requires some sort of activity.  When we set aside time as a family to see and do something we either love or try something new, we find that we all bond more tightly. 
We do some things at home to capture this magic.  My son and I have decorated gingerbread men (we’re not winning any competitions, but we love it), we have a countdown till Christmas calendar at our house with different activities or treats each day, we make tree trimming and house decorating a family party, and we read our Christmas and holiday books (like Llama Llama Holiday Drama).
But the real magic tends to happen when we get away from the home.  At home, while we work hard to create a beautiful, relaxing space, there are still so many errands and chores staring you down with ugly, beady, demanding eyes.
We love to go out and look at Christmas lights.  We have driven through Southern Village in the past and had a fabulous, easy, and free time seeing all the twinkling lights.  This year we managed to get tickets to the ever-popular NC Museum of Life + Sciences’ Santa Train.  My son still talks about that.  Also at the NCMLS right now is a Winter Wonderland Express exhibit (see picture), where (for a small, additional fee) you can watch electrical trains wind their way through beautiful, snowy exhibits.
Both the American Tobacco Campus and Carolina Inn are great places to see decorated for the holidays and, again, just wandering doesn’t cost you a dime.  Feeling more adventurous?  You can ice skate downtown (including special stroller skate sessions!) or go find your own tree and cut it down at the Jordan Lake Christmas Tree Farm.
There is something for everyone in the Triangle this season, and we try to stay on top of them over at Mom in Chapel Hill.  But how do you all remember to connect as a family during this busy season?