• Healthy hints help holiday happiness

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  • Fort Leavenworth Frontier Heritage Communities
    The holidays are an exciting time of year, and to help ensure you have a happy holiday season, here are some mental health tips from the American Academy of Pediatrics:
    During the busy holiday season, try to keep household routines the same. Stick to your child’s usual sleep and mealtime schedules when you can to reduce stress and help you and your child enjoy the holidays.
    Keep your household rules in effect. Adults still have to pay the bills and children still need to brush their teeth before bedtime.
    Take care of yourself, both mentally and physically. Children and adolescents are affected by the emotional well-being of their parents and caregivers. Coping with stress successfully can help children learn how to handle stress better, too.
    Make a plan to focus on one thing at a time. Try a few ideas from “mindfulness” as a strategy to balance the hustle and bustle of things like shopping, cooking, and family get-togethers during the holidays: stop and pay attention to what is happening at the moment, focus your attention on one thing, notice how you are feeling at the time, withhold immediate judgment, and instead be curious about the experience.
    Give to others. Make a new holiday tradition to share your time with families who have less than you do. For example, if your child is old enough, encourage him or her to join you in volunteering to serve a holiday meal at your local food bank or shelter. Help your child write a letter to members of the armed forces stationed abroad who can’t be home with their own family during the holidays.
    Teach the skills that children will need for the holidays in the weeks and months ahead. For example, if you plan to have a formal, sit-down dinner, practice in advance by having a formal sit-down dinner every Sunday night.
    Don’t feel pressured to “over-spend.” Think about making one or two gifts instead of buying everything. Help your child make a gift for his or her other parent, grandparents, or other important adults and friends. Chances are, those gifts will be the most treasured ones and will teach your child many important lessons that purchasing presents cannot.
    Most important of all, enjoy the holidays for what they are — time to enjoy with your family. So, be a family, do things together like sledding or playing board games, and spend time visiting with relatives, neighbors and friends.
    Fall food drive
    FLFHC is hosting its annual fall food drive for non-perishable packaged food items and canned goods, as well as disposable baby diapers of all sizes to donate to the Leavenworth Assistance Center. The village with the most items delivered to the Community Management Office by 4:30 p.m. Dec. 14 will win a $50 Visa gift card to be used toward a village event. Expired items cannot be accepted. For more information, contact Meghan Fowler at (913) 682-6300.
    Page 2 of 3 - Holiday cookie decorating party
    Join FLFHC from 9-11 a.m. Dec. 20 at the community center at 220 Hancock Ave. for hot cocoa, marshmallows, cookie decorating and lots of fun. This is a family-friendly event, but space is limited. Check e-mail and the FLFHC Facebook page at www.facebook.com/Ft-Leavenworth-Frontier-Heritage-Communities for details.
    For more information, contact Meghan Fowler at (913) 682-6300.
    Office closures
    The FLFHC offices will be closed Dec. 24-25 in observance of the Christmas holiday and Jan. 1 for New Year’s Day.
    In case of a maintenance emergency or wish to submit a work order, call the 24-hour maintenance line at (913) 651-3838.
    Decorating contest
    FLFHC representatives are patrolling villages on Fort Leavenworth in search of three families to be awarded this year’s best holiday display.
    Chosen homes will win a $25 Visa gift card and will be photographed and given special recognition on the FLFHC Facebook page and in the January FLFHC newsletter. To make a nomination or enter, e-mail the home’s address and a photo to fhc@themichaelsorg.com by 5 p.m. Dec. 14. Winners will be chosen during the week of Dec. 17.
    Sand instead of salt
    If freezing rain is in the forecast for the day or ice builds up, Fort Leavenworth Frontier Heritage Communities asks residents to use sand or ice melt products. Using salt can damage the concrete and the flower beds around homes. Pet-safe ice melt products are available for purchase in retail stores as is regular ice melt.
    Coloring contest
    Children’s coloring contest sheets are available online at www.ftleavenworthfamilyhousing.com and at the FLFHC office at 220 Hancock Ave. All submissions must be received in the FLFHC office by 4:30 p.m. Dec. 21. Contest winners will receive a prize and have their artwork published in the FLFHC newsletter.
    Birthday drawing
    Have a child with a birthday in December? Come by the Fort Leavenworth Frontier Heritage Communities office at 220 Hancock Ave. to enter him or her into the monthly birthday drawing. All submissions must be received in the FLFHC office by 4:30 p.m. Dec. 21.
    Super Savers
    Residents can nominate themselves for the Super Saver of the Month award by submitting a nomination form, which can be found on the FLFHC website at www.ftleavenworthfamilyhousing.com. Bring the form and a copy of the most recent utilities statement to the FLFHC office at 220 Hancock Ave. by the 21st of each month.
    Families can nominate themselves each month for this award but can only win once per calendar year. All monthly winners receive a $25 Visa gift card.
    Page 3 of 3 - Utilities tip
    When using the oven, it’s tempting to frequently open the door to check on a dish’s progress. But because the hot air that is contained in the oven is an important part of the appliance’s cooking process, frequent peeking is self-defeating. Every time the oven door is opened, the temperature inside is reduced by as much as 25 degrees, forcing it to work even harder (and use more energy) to get back to the proper cooking temperature. If you need to check on a dish, use the oven window instead.
    Watch for more announcements on Facebook, followed by a One-Call Now e-mail message with event details, and don’t forget to follow FLFHC on Twitter. Visit the FLFHC website at www.ftleavenworthfamilyhousing.com for downloadable forms and other useful information.
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