Several years ago, a friend of mine started a neat tradition with her daughter: On the day of the first real snow of the season, they make a gingerbread house together.

It's a great idea because it incorporates something kids already love - the start of winter. I know my kids are eagerly anticipating the day when frosty, beautiful snowflakes hit the ground (and stick!).

If making a gingerbread house seems too ambitious, tailor the idea to suit you and your children.
It could be something as simple as making homemade hot chocolate and reading a winter-themed book, baking cookies or taking a picture of your child bundled up outdoors.

Too often we forget that children savor the simple pleasures of life. As parents, we can foster and learn from that.

--Melissa Kossler Dutton