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PJ Day 

This issue of Kids VT is filled with winter-survival tips. Here's mine: Schedule a pajama day.

My family spent an entire day in our flannels during the week between Christmas and New Year's Day. The only time we left the house was to walk the dog.

We don't normally lounge around. My partner, Ann-Elise, works at a nursing home and is in her final year of nursing school. My job is full time and then some. Outside of work, we're constantly on the go, driving from playdates to basketball games to the sledding hill to Regal Gymnastics.

But we woke up one morning that week, and it was snowing, hard. We took that as permission to hunker down at home. Graham and Ivy played with their Christmas presents. I read books. Ann-Elise brought out her sewing machine and worked on a project.

We weren't intentionally avoiding getting dressed, but around 11 a.m., when we realized none of us had changed into our clothes, we decided none of us would.

Instead, we spent the afternoon playing board games — Carcassonne and Hoot Owl Hoot!, two new favorites. We made popcorn and watched a movie none of us had seen before. We ate all three meals together.

Staying in our PJs made the day special. It was also a commitment to spending uninterrupted time together. You can't exactly do errands or pop into the office in your bathrobe, right? We decided to have another pajama day again, soon. I recommend it.

Of course, you can't stay inside forever. When you're ready to venture forth, our winter day-cation roundup (page 22) offers lots of options. Or try out the Itty Bitty Skate Program at Leddy Park — Alison Novak gives it a good review in "Fit Families" on page 11.

As always, there are hundreds of events in the Kids VT calendar (page 33) — including the upcoming Kids VT Camp & School Fair on Saturday, February 2, at the Hilton Burlington. Admission is free. C'mon down and join us from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.!

This issue begins Kids VT's four-month focus on summer camps. Check out our Camp Guide (page 26), which begins with Erik Esckilsen's story comparing and contrasting day and sleepaway sessions.

And be sure to read Tasha Lehman's "Use Your Words" essay this month (page 51); her husband recently deployed overseas with the Vermont Air National Guard. It'll make you appreciate the men and women who serve in the military, the loved ones they leave behind and the time you get to spend with your own family.

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