Tag Archives: Holidays

Make PBS KIDS Holiday Programming Your "Special Thing"

One of my earliest memories is sitting on my grandma’s lap watching holiday shows together. It was something we did for many years — long after the time when sitting on my grandma’s lap was cool — but it was our special thing. And as one of 20 grandkids, I cherished those special things whenever I could.

This week, we get the premieres of many PBS KIDS holiday shows. Peg and Cat, Daniel Tiger, and Thomas are off on holiday adventures that you can share with the children in your life. Each show is airing several times, so take a look at the WPT schedule and set aside a half hour or two to put your child on your lap and share a special moment with your favorite PBS KIDS friends.

Here are just a few of the episodes airing over the next week.

In “The Hanukkah Problem,” Albert Einstein teaches Peg and Cat how to make a 2D piece of paper into a 3D dreidel.  When Santa Claus is in trouble in “The Christmas Problem,” Peg and Cat have to figure out how to make and wrap presents for all the children of the world and deliver them using 100 sleighs.

On Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood, Daniel learns that if he takes one step at a time, he can overcome his fear and learn to do new things. He learns to sled and ice skate in “Daniel’s Winter Adventure” and performs The Nutcracker Ballet in “Neighborhood Nutcracker.”

A huge snowfall in Sodor means that Thomas, Connor, and the other engines will have to work together to clear the tracks and get the passengers home in time for Christmas in “Coming Home for Christmas.”

Have a wonderful holiday and don’t forget to take time for the special things.

Simplifying the Holiday Season for You and Your Kids

The holidays are a time of joy and excitement, and no small amount of stress for mom and dad.  For young children, the anticipation and change in routines can cause anxiousness, too. It can be hard to remember that while there is value in creating memories and traditions, it’s far too easy to go overboard and get overwhelmed.

Author Katrina Kenison shares some tips with PBS Parents to help simplify the holiday season. She says, “As the holidays approach, it helps to pause and ask:  What part of this season is most meaningful to me?  What message do I want my children to absorb from our celebration?  What brings us true joy?  What activities and expectations are we ready to let go?”

The holiday season can be an opportunity to make decisions about what is really valuable to your family, and what might be some things you can let go of. Here are some specific ideas from Kenison for paring down your holiday commitments, and getting back to that joy and excitement:

Downscale holiday plans and expectations.  Keep the focus on family, on meaningful traditions and simple activities that replenish rather than exhaust.

Whether you’re decorating the Christmas tree, baking cookies, or making gifts for grandma, remember that the process is more important for your child than the outcome.  Keep it simple, and you and your child will enjoy it more.

Ask your children what they most love about your family’s holiday.  You may be surprised by their answers.  For my sons, it was:  reading our Christmas books aloud, opening the doors on the advent calendar, our annual carol sing with the next-door neighbors, lighting the ting-a-ling on Christmas Eve. . .

Take away the pressure of going “all out” with every occasion, and you may find that your whole family enjoys time spent simply being together even more.

Go to PBS Parents for more tips on simplifying your holidays.

Sesame Street + The Sopranos = Christmas Joy

I am proud to say – like so many of us – that I grew up a devoted Sesame Street kid. I’m also one of the biggest Sopranos fans that I know.

So, there might not be a better Christmas gift than this video that arrived online from our friends at Sesame Workshop via the 2007 Elmo’s Christmas Countdown special. Seems like our old friends Ernie and Bert have decided to produce their very own Christmas special and they didn’t feel that they were the right pair to play themselves.

In a brilliant casting turn, they tapped Sopranos stars Tony Sirico and Steve Schirripa (Paulie Walnuts and Bobby Bacala, respectively) to play their roles. The outcome – hilarious. The scowl on Sirico’s face while he’s wearing classic Bert eyebrows is worth the price of admission alone. And his Bert laugh? Too much!