We, Karen and Sylvie, love Christmas. We love the traditions, the luxury and the coziness.
We don’t love the unrealistic expectations that surround the Christmas celebration, and this inspired us to write this book.

In our everyday lives, we are coaches and help people with work-related questions. But what troubles you at work, also often troubles you in your private life.

We wrote this book for people who enjoy being around their family. That don’t have to deal with major fights or other issues, but who would love it if certain family matters could be handled differently. Simply because this makes relationships better and more fun.


Are you looking for a nice gift?  A suitable Thanksgiving or Christmas present? For yourself or someone else?

Order the paperback via karen@of-wood.com or the contact form below. Price: € 14.95 plus shipping

The eBook is available via Amazon. Price Ebook: € 7.95



A glimpse of the book:

This book is not written linearly. We highlight – each from our own field – a different aspect of family gatherings and relationships. That is why we are not talking about chapters but about perspectives. Depending on your interest, you can read the perspectives in random order. These are the perspectives we talk about:

  1. How ‘traditional’ are traditions? 
    2. A family as a team.
    3. A family as a system.
    4. Different communication styles.
    5. What do you really want?
    6. Changing the way you think.
    7. Improving your relationships.
    8. Dealing with conflicts.
    9. Choosing and planning.
    10. How much can you handle?
    11. Encore 1 Our favorite coaching tips.
    12. Encore 2 Our favorite recipes.

Yes I would like to order this book: Karen@of-wood.com



How to escape the turkey – book review

A family is a system itself. It has its own scale of values and management “procedure”. Communication is an important key and the reviewed book reveals this aspect with plenitude.

“How to escape the turkey” is a book written around the Christmas holiday habits, but the principles the book is built on are worth giving it at least 1 read. And the lessons in it will help you see things differently, from various standpoints.

Written by 2 magnificent women (a systemic coach and a NLP guide) it also reveals the power within the female brain.

On the other hand, the book empowers everyone to pay a closer attention to their family, analyze its structure and find the pain points of it. Once found, these can be worked on – if there is enough willingness – and hardships can become history.

I enjoyed reading this book from a very personal perspective: the first debate you will find there is about the old and the new. What if we merges the 2 trends? Can they actually be brought together, on the same page of our thinking process?

As I’ve been analysing both of these perspectives myself for a pretty long time now, this book has definitely spoken my language. And, having 2 kids myself, now it’s easier to understand where friendship should stop, in order to establish a healthy relationship.

Another interesting aspect: learning about the difference between relationship-oriented people and the task-oriented ones gave me an insight about why I can’t connect with a certain type of  people. Not to mention the importance of the 4 communication styles! Oh, but did I mention the 15 assertive fundamental rights? They’re all in this book. I know I should print the latter and stick it somewhere, so that I can easily see this list every day!

Additionally, you may enjoy the practical exercises, smoothly inserted within the pages of this thought-provoking piece of writing.

If you still need valid points, maybe you should consider reading this book for the “Conflicts management” section. It’s an eye opener!

The authors wrote it in an “easy to read” manner of approach, which makes it even more valuable. Therefore, by all means, I will describe it as a personal development book that will earn its place on your shelf, without a second thought.

Here are some interesting quotes from the book:
‘If you change, your family will change.’
‘Behavior is not who you are, but how you express yourself.’
‘​You don’t have a relationship, you create one.’ – Karen van Hout

Make sure you connect with Karen van Hout and learn the first about the English version launch (it was initially published in Dutch, in September 2016). – Andrada Anitei

Published by:
OF WOOD Sarl-s –  www.of-wood.lu
Passie Kompas – www.passiekompas.nl

© Karen van Hout and Sylvie Mellenbergh, September 2016
Original Dutch title: Eerste Hulp bij Kerststress

Translated: June 2018 by Sylvia Anell
Edited by: Andrada Anitei