?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.

Housing survey

Today is the last day for submitting the Department of the Army Resident Communities Initiative surveys. The survey lets the Army and FLFHC know residents’ opinions about on-post housing and identifies what is being done well and where improvement is needed.

This survey is being administered through a third party, CEL & Associates Inc. Survey results are confidential, so residents are encouraged to express their true opinions and thoughts.

If residents have not received the survey e-mail, they should check their e-mail spam folder for an e-mail from ArmyHousingSurvey@celassociates.com or contact the FLFHC Community Management Office at (913) 682-6300.

Office closures
The FLFHC offices will be closed Dec. 24-25 for Christmas and Jan. 1 for New Year’s Day.

In case of a maintenance emergency or to submit a work order, call the 24-hour maintenance line at (913) 651-3838.

Holiday cookie decorating party
Join FLFHC from 9:30-11 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. Residents should watch e-mail and the FLFHC Facebook page at www.facebook.com/Ft-Leavenworth-Frontier-Heritage-Communities for details. Children under 14 must be accompanied by an adult.

For more information, contact Meghan Fowler at (913) 682-6300.

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 and regular ice melt are available for purchase in retail store.

Decorating contest
FLFHC is looking for the three best holiday displays on Fort Leavenworth.

Chosen homes will win a $25 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 address and a photograph to fhc@themichaelsorg.com by 4:30 p.m. Dec. 20. Winners will be chosen during the week of Dec. 23.

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. 20. 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. 20.

Holiday decorations
A reasonable amount of inside/outside electrical holiday decorations can be displayed during the month of or 30 days before a holiday, whichever is longer. All decorations must be removed within two weeks after the holiday. Remove Christmas decorations by Jan. 9.

Holiday exterior lighting should only be used after dark, turned off by 11 p.m. and unplugged whenever residents are not home.

For more information, see the Resident Guidelines and Community Handbook.

Utilities tip
Change the furnace filter regularly. The recommended interval is once per month. Filters can be picked up at the Maintenance Department. Changing the filter before it gets dirty will reduce the work the furnace fan has to do and improve air circulation in the house.

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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