Mikaela's Wake Up Call

There’s No Place Like Home for the Holidays

Oh there’s no place like home for the holidays…

Unless you’ve packed two children into a car stuffed full of presents, dog kennels, and bags… and stopped every thirty minutes because one of them is hungry, has to go to the bathroom, or they’re behaving so badly… you swear you’ll have to pull the car over.  That’s when you wonder for a minute, let’s admit it, if the trip is worth it.  Pulling your hair out before you put a holiday bow in it doesn’t do much for the celebration and your destination.

It’s also possible too that you’re on the other side of this eventful holiday season, hosting the little ones as they scream in delight for Santa but also make a mess of your carefully selected centerpiece and perfectly poofed tree skirt.

There are so many bits of advice we could share with each other on this topic: Traveling for The Holidays with Kids.  But I’m going to limit my share of this to what we learned at a locally owned and operated children’s boutique, Petit Green.  Cherie Henson is the owner and CEO of the store inside Polaris Fashion Place.  And you and I have a lot in common with her: we’re preparing for the holidays with these sweet little cherub faces and just want to maintain our sanity and their holiday hopes and happiness. 

In the midst of wrapping presents and making last-minute cookies before we get on the road, sometimes we fail to think ahead about what will make a world of difference to the kids.  Yes, you’ll have their basic necessities packed in their Hello Kitty suitcase and snacks stashed in your car’s console.  I’m talking about going above and beyond the packing list you’ll rush through, and not just handing them your cell phone so they can be entertained by the latest and greatest app being suggested in your iTunes store.

Let’s start with the big items you’ll need to check out.  You strap your child into that car seat everyday, but when do you actually take the time to put it in the Recline position?  Check to see if your car seat has that feature and if it does—use it!  Being strapped in for hours is just as comfortable for your kids as it is for you, not very.  Using the recline option might cut down on temper tantrums in the car and help them sleep longer and better for those nighttime rides over the river and through the woods, when you’re hoping to add time to your drive while they catch a few winks.  I will put a side note in here, the Recline position is not suggested with some child safety seats because it can lessen the effectiveness of a car seat when in a crash.  You’ll want to check your owner’s manual for that seat before you put it in the Recline position.

While they’re in that car seat, make sure they’re entertained.  You have the tools they need right in your kitchen cabinets.  Grab some foil.  Henson showed us how it’s incredibly easy to make foil sculptures with them in the car.  It’s not messy and they’re able to learn how to manipulate what might be a completely new material.  And grab the Cheerios box!  Yes, great snack as we know—but also perfect for fine motor skill development and entertainment.  All you need is a shoestring and your toddler is on the way to making a bracelet and having a snack all at the same time.

The stroller you have I’m sure is a good one.  You checked out the specs before you bought it for your child or grandchild, it maneuvers pretty easily for you in and out of the car and in and out of busy shopping malls when you head out to make those holiday returns.  But if you have a baby Henson suggests you consider one more thing.  Elevate their legs.  She explained that obviously, a lot of infants can’t tell you if they have a leg that’s tingling or falling asleep, so check your stroller for an area where they can place their feet or roll up a blanket to raise their legs just a bit.  You’ll make the ride more relaxing while you’re out with family and friends, and you might just extend that shopping trip by a half hour or so.

I always forget this next one—and maybe you do too:  the high chair!  I love my Mom and Dad and the fact that they are willing to host now 5 little ones for the holidays, but they only have one highchair at the house and it’s a fight over which one can use it.  Make it easier on everybody, and pick up one of those attachable high chairs before you head out on the trip.  They are sturdy and made by a variety of brands.  Henson told us you can find one that folds, packs easily in the car and then you’re ready for Grandma’s House or the restaurant you’ll go to in the days after Christmas when no one wants to cook!

Again, these are just a few tips shared through Petit Green.  We would love to know your best tips for traveling with kids!  Feel free to email me at with your ideas or post them on my Facebook page.  Just search:  Mikaela Hunt.

Best of luck with that road trip or flight coming up in the next week and in those moments when things get stressful with the kids—just pull out that roll of foil instead of pulling out your hair.

Posted by  on 12/13 at 02:36 AM

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