Tuesday, December 1, 2009

December

Photo from Christmas 2008: one of my snowmen stands guard in my yard.
December is here!
It's the most wonderful time of the year!  A month of holidays, special celebrations, traditions, family, and friends.  There are parties to plan for, galas to attend, decorations to put up, cookies to bake, presents to buy, and so many wonderful memories in the making! 


Do: Celebrate St. Nicholas Day (Dec. 6).
Why?: On the eve of St. Nicholas Day, children leave their slippers or shoes outside their bedroom door, and hope to find candy, small gifts or coins inside the next morning (we usually stuff our son's slippers with chocolate coins and a small toy or stickers). It's such a sweet tradition and teaches us the origin of Christmas stockings!


Go: To a local tree farm.
Why?: Sure tree lots are cheaper and way more convenient, but what fun is that!?  Visiting a tree farm to get a fresh tree provides the most memorable holiday experience (think of Clark W. Griswold in Christmas Vacation and his good old-fashioned family Christmas).  There's nothing like the smell of fresh pine in your home, and getting it yourself ensures that you won't have a pile of needles or an unsafe dry tree to contend with throughout the season.  

Get: An advent calendar or wreath.
Why?: It's a fun way for the little ones to count down the days until Christmas and build upon their anticipation.  If you don't have one, get creative: string stockings or gift boxes filled with little notes, candies, or toys for the kids to open.


Photo: my advent calendar from Target

Help: Donate those extra coins (and a few extra dollars) to the Salvation Army's kettle.
Why?: As I wrote in my November post, this is a hard time of year for so many families - now more than ever given the recession.  Charitable organizations have been inundated with requests and many needy families are relying on the extra help just to provide basic necessities, let alone holiday supplies.  Besides, helping others is what the holiday season is all about!

Read: A Christmas classic with your family such as, A Christmas Carol, by Charles Dickens.
Why?: This holiday classic touches on the special meaning of the joy in helping others in need and keeping the spirit of Christmas all through the year.


Photo: my son reading The Polar Express.

Watch: Holiday specials and movies! 
Why?: If you're like me, specials like "A Charlie Brown Christmas" are as much a part of your Christmas traditions as grandma's beloved fruitcake.  Want to watch, but never know when you're favorite will be on?! No problem, visit HolidayPages4u for a great television guide listing of all of the holiday classics.  You'll always know what's on.

And speaking of what's on - Charlie Brown is on ABC (Dec. 8th) at 8:00PM eastern time (check your local listings!)  And Disney is showing a new computer-generated animated special called, Prep & Landing on ABC (after Charlie Brown) at 8:30PM eastern time!  It looks so cute!



Make: Cookies!
Why:  Everyone loves baked goods and they make MUCH better gifts than an unoriginal, uncreative gift card. Even if you're not a baker, cookies are so simple to make...if all else fails, you can always buy the pre-made refridgerated cookie dough and just slice and bake them.  Need ideas and inspiration? The Food Network is doing their annual 12 Days of Cookies; you can sign up to receive a new recipe every day for 12 days!


Photo: a sampling of my Christmas cookies 2008.

Green it: Instead of tossing your tree in the trash the day after Christmas, most communities now recycle them.  Check with your local recycler or refuse company to see if this service is offered in your area.
Why?: Your tree won't find its way into a landfill and will instead be repurposed into useful mulch...a better alternative for the environment!


Wishing you all a blessed and joyful December!
Happy Holidays!!

1 comment:

  1. All wonderful things to do! Thanks for the great list!

    ReplyDelete

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