Main Navigation


“The Gnome in Your Home – A Tradition of Kindness,” going green for the season and table talk for the holidays.

Editor’s note: The following is a round-up of holiday articles from years past.


With the holiday season approaching, it’s a good time to teach children how to establish a tradition of doing small acts of kindness. Susan Johnston, professor of special education at the U, created a book to do just that. “The Gnome in Your Home – A Tradition of Kindness” is an illustrated children’s book and plush toy inspired by Johnston’s own family’s experiences as well as her professional work.

gnomeopenbook“In my personal life, instead of feeling helpless when hearing about acts of violence in the world, I decided to start a tradition of doing kind acts for others,” said Johnston. “In addition to spreading kindness, my family found that our positive feelings increased and it reduced our stress. Further, I was completely surprised by how much my son enjoyed the process and doing acts of kindness.”

Read the full story here.


During the holiday season, many people enjoy watching as the leaves change color and a fresh blanket of snow covers the valley. In this celebration of colors, why don’t we work together to add some green to the mix? Check out these 10 ways to make the holiday season more sustainable.

Read the full story here.

Table talk

Professors David Derezotes and Paul H. White are feeling the tension and know you are feeling it, too. It’s a been a tumultuous election, the end of the semester, with all its pressures, is near and now here comes a holiday break when many of us are likely to be spending a lot more time than usual with family and friends who may not share our views.

“The holidays are when we get to see people we love, but it often puts us over the top in stress and we end up behaving in ways that might create more stress and even embarrass ourselves,” says Derezotes, a professor in the College of Social Work and director of Peace and Conflict Studies in the College of Humanities.

Read the full story here.