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Tending the Family Heart Through the Holidays

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Tending the Family Heart Through the Holidays by Marie Hartwell-Walker Ed.D. is a book designed to help you successfully navigate the holidays with your family. And best yet — it’s available right now for immediate downloading for just $0.99!

Tending the Family Heart: Connecting Your Family in Disconnecting Times


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What others are saying…

This book helped me review the motivations and the differences of celebrating Christmas and refining troublesome relationships.

This book offers wise and insightful advice on how to handle holidays as a family.

Dr. Marie Hartwell-Walker brings her extensive and open-hearted life experience as a mother, wife, family member and friend to this helpful book.

We’ve collected and revised articles from Dr. Marie Hartwell-Walker written over the years (and added some new ones) that speak to common issues and provide some practical ideas for negotiating the holiday season. At the very least, we can all learn better ways to cope. Taking better care of oneself through involvement in community activities and celebrations with friends can help the lonely feel a little less alone and those who are in challenging families feel less disappointed. At best we can actively nurture our family and add to its sense of warmth and home.

The heart of even the best of families deserves tending and care. With some thoughtfulness and attention, the heart of most families, like the Grinch’s, can grow a size or two this year.

This collection of 31 essays and articles written over the years will provide you with down-to-earth tips and strategies you can use today to help improve your family time this holiday season. Includes a new introduction and epilogue written exclusively for this edition, as well 8 brand new essays; most of the remaining essays for this edition have also been updated.

Chapter 1: Holiday Traditions: An Expression of the Family Heart

  • A Primer of Winter Feasts and Festivals of Light
  • Holiday Traditions: Why We Always Do the Same Thing
  • Which Home for the Holiday?
  • When Traditions Need to Change

Chapter 2: The Family Drama

  • Family Myths That Upset Family Celebrations
  • Holiday Feasts and Family Misbehavior: Anxiety Makes Them Do It
  • Step, Blended, and Reconfigured:
  • Making Holidays Bright for Kids with Multiple Family Loyalties
  • When People have “Issues”

Chapter 3: Changing Families

  • Transforming Holiday Angst into Gratitude
  • Changing the Family by Changing Yourself
  • Conspiring to Change Family Dynamics During Holidays
  • Family Fights and Misdemeanors: Declining the Invitation to Fight
  • In-laws and Outlaws

Chapter 4: Warming the Family Heart

  • Focus on Meaning, Not Money
  • Why, Oh Why Can’t I Simplify Christmas?
  • Getting to the Heart of Holiday Gifting
  • Family Fun In A Box: The Gift of Family Game Night
  • Rx for Mental Health: Send Holiday Cards!
  • Graduation from the Kids’ Table
  • Gifts for Older Parents: Priceless Presents that Don’t Cost a Thing
  • In Defense of Thank-You Notes

Chapter 5: Holidays Are for Kids

  • Holiday Baking: A Recipe for Family Fun or Frustration?
  • Holiday Travel with Young Kids
  • Holiday Meltdowns: What’s a Parent To Do?
  • Choosing Toys for Your Children
  • Buying Gifts for Other People’s Children
  • Teaching The Gift of Giving
  • Special Occasions and Kids with Special Needs

Chapter 6: It’s a New Year

  • Role-Modeling the “How” of Making Change
  • New Year’s Resolutions to Build Your Resiliency
  • Post-Winter Holidays: Depression or Hibernation?

Buy it today!

Marie Hartwell-Walker, Ed.D.

About Marie Hartwell-Walker, Ed.D.

Dr. Marie Hartwell-Walker is licensed in Massachusetts as both a psychologist and marriage and family therapist and has been in practice for over 35 years. She began her career as a junior high school English teacher. At that time, there were no special education programs and no accommodations for children who found school challenging and so became challenging themselves. She found herself increasingly interested in those students and their families and went back to school at the University of Massachusetts for a masters degree and then a doctorate in psychological education. Still not satisfied that she knew what she needed to know to help families, she went on to the Alfred Adler Institute in Chicago for another masters deg
ree, this time in counseling.

Learn more about Dr. Hartwell-Walker here


Will a print edition of this book be available?

No, Psych Central only publishes e-books.

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Why can’t I download a PDF of this book?

PDFs don’t allow us to maintain the intellectual digital copyrights needed to ensure the author
is compensated for their work. Authors do like to get paid!

How do I contect the author?

Please address your inquiries to the author care of talkback at We will
ensure your inquiry is properly forwarded.


Marie Hartwell-Walker, Ed.D.

APA Reference
Hartwell-Walker, M. (2020). Tending the Family Heart Through the Holidays. Psych Central. Retrieved on July 8, 2020, from
Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 1 Jul 2020 (Originally: 6 Nov 2019)
Last reviewed: By a member of our scientific advisory board on 1 Jul 2020
Published on Psych All rights reserved.