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Catherine Holecko



Defeat Seasonal Stress by Setting Realistic Expectations

Catherine Holecko is the Guide to Family Fitness at About.com and suggests Harry Connick Jr. for all your holiday karaoke needs and workout playlists.

I absolutely love the winter holidays and everything that goes along with them, but as my kids grow and life gets busier and more complicated, I’ve noticed my stress level rising each November. Since we have no family nearby, we travel for Thanksgiving every year, and Christmas every other year—which, I swear, has to be the top holiday stressor ever. So this year, I’m formalizing a plan to make the season merrier. It starts with thinking clearly about what matters to me and my husband and kids.

1. We need a tree. I need a live (well, cut) Christmas tree even if we are not going to be home for Christmas. Yes, it’s a pain to wrestle into the stand, to clean up after, to keep watered, and to dispose of. But nothing can take the place of the sight and scent of a real tree. My daughter has already asked me if we’ll have a tree this year even though we won’t be home on Christmas Day, so I know it’s something she cares a lot about too. Plus, choosing and decorating the tree is an important family activity, something we all insist on doing together, while singing carols like some kind of television commercial or cheesy sitcom.


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How One Family Fitness Writer Learned to Walk the Walk

Catherine Holecko is the Guide to Family Fitness at About.com. Since becoming a mom 9 years ago, she’s mastered the crow pose and discovered the new worlds of kiddie karate and synchronized figure skating.

A few years ago, a friend suggested that I apply to write for About.com. I popped over to check out the list of available topics. The one that jumped out at me: family fitness.

This was unexpected. I came late to fitness. Like, 30-years old late. All the way through school, I was the short, skinny, weak kid who failed miserably at any sport she tried. During college, I gave circuit training and aerobics a whirl (yeah, it was the early 90s, how did you guess?). Post-college, I lived in Manhattan, where I stayed fit by walking everywhere and not having enough money to eat out.


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