Open in case of emergency

person holding green and white floral gift box

It’s that time of year, and the Winter Holidays are upon us! Between holiday parties (our family party is scheduled for Saturday, December 3, and our preschool party is scheduled for Friday, December 23), school holiday concerts, office parties, shopping, wrapping, and preparation, things can get crazy! One thing I started doing with my kids years ago was “open in case of emergency boxes” in December. Each December, it seemed like there would be a week or weekend or even one day that was over the top crazy when the family just needed a little pick me up. One year, I decided to be proactive and created each person an “open in case of emergency box,” containing a new pair of pajamas, a DVD I thought they’d like, a drink, some popcorn, and candy. On any given night, someone may have had a rough day and need their box. Some years we all needed our boxes on the same day (yes, I make them for my husband and myself too)! Now that my kids are grown and times have changed a little, everyone gets pajamas, slippers, a Doordash gift card, and first dibs on streaming. Our boxes have been used during tech week for middle school plays, finals for college, on days when it was so cold nobody wanted to go out, and on days just because one of the kids was feeling overwhelmed or sad.  Sometimes we open the boxes all together, and sometimes the kids have decided to open their own box on a given day and camp in their room. I now send them with our grown children too, and they call me in their jammies, eating their snack to tell me about their “box” day. As you move into the holiday season, what is one family tradition that you can start now to help center your family and bring them together? Even a trip to the Dollar Tree can yield fuzzy socks, a drink, and a snack to save “in case of emergency.”