Tis' the Season

Welcome
Can you feel the magic in the air? There is just something about the holiday season that makes the ordinary, extraordinary! From the twinkling lights and beautiful decorations to the freshly fallen snow to the excitement of seeing friends and family at upcoming holiday parties, this IS a special time of year!
Of course, that doesn’t mean every day is merry and bright. It’s normal to feel stressed out during the month of December, and this issue is chock-full of ideas to help you!
There are some ideas for quick, last minute gifts, some ideas on how to keep the kids occupied during their winter break from school, and some delicious cookie recipes!
You can even package up some of those cookies to give as a last-minute gift!

I’d also like to take this time to thank you for being a loyal customer and reader of our blog, and I wish you a very Happy Holiday Season!

Last Minute Gift Ideas
If you find yourself scrambling for some last-minute gift ideas, don’t panic. The following suggestions will help you find something that is just right:
Yummy Treats: Food makes a great holiday gift. Everyone eats, so everyone can use it! If you like to bake, make some cookies or candies and put them in a decorative box or tin. Another option is to buy the food already made. Some items, like a cake, will only need a bow.
Say Cheese: If you have a photo of the person you are giving the gift to (or a picture of their child, spouse, dog, etc.) you can create a personalized gift in seconds. All you need to do is print out the picture and stick it into a frame. If you don’t have a photo, a picture frame still makes a great gift.
Gift Baskets: Creating your own gift basket is easier than you think – and it will look like you spent much more time on it than you did!
If there is a movie fan on your list, throw together a gift certificate to a video rental store, a box of microwave popcorn and some candy.
If you know someone who is always on the go, encourage them to relax with a box of tea, a mug, some bath salts, and good book they will love.
A few small items packaged together nicely can turn into a great present!

Fight Winter Break Boredom
Do you remember when you were young and how much you looked forward to winter break? Two weeks off from school, with nothing to do?
Well, if you are now a parent, you may not be looking forward to it as much as you used to. You now know from experience how un-fun it is to be around bored kids for two weeks straight!
Here are some ideas to keep your kids occupied during their time off:
Handmade thank you cards: You can keep your child busy for an afternoon AND teach them some manners by encouraging them to create handmade thank you cards for the gifts they received over the holiday season.
Play outside: If it isn’t too cold, have a family adventure outdoors. You can go sledding, skiing, ice skating, or just enjoy a walk in the brisk air.
Have an indoor picnic: Pretend its summer for a day and throw an indoor picnic. Throw a blanket on the living room floor and serve sandwiches and other picnic foods. For an extra dose of fun, turn the heat up and have your kids put on their summer shorts and tank tops!
Throw a family slumber party: One night after dinner, have the whole family change into their pajama’s, throw some blankets on the floor, pop some popcorn, and watch movies till you fall asleep.
Field Trip: Take the kids to a museum during their break for a lesson in art, science, or history.
Clean house: If your children received an abundance of holiday gifts, this is the perfect time to clean out their rooms and donate the toys and clothes they’ve outgrown to charity.

Notable Dates
December Is:
Bingo Month
Write a Friend Month

December Weekly Celebrations:
Cookie Cutter Week: 1-7 Link
National Hand Washing Awareness Week: 4-10 Link (First Week)
Computer Science Education Week: 4-10 Link
Cookie Exchange Week: 5-9 (First M-F Week Before Christmas)
Human Rights Week: 10-17
Kwanzaa: 26-1/1

December Daily Celebrations:
December 1- Eat a Red Apple Day
December 1- World Aids Awareness Day
December 3- Advent begins
December 4- Santa’s’ List Day – we hope you are on the “Nice” list
December 5- Repeal Day – The 21st Amendment ends Prohibition. I’ll drink to that!
December 6- St. Nicholas Day
December 7- Letter Writing Day
December 7- National Cotton Candy Day – would you like some fairy floss?
December 7- Pearl Harbor Day
December 8- National Brownie Day
December 9- National Pastry Day
December 10- Human Rights Day
December 11- International Children’s Day
December 12- Poinsettia Day
December 13- Ice Cream Day
December 15- National Lemon Cupcake Day
December 16- National Chocolate Covered Anything Day
December 17- National Maple Syrup Day
December 18- Bake Cookies Day
December 20- Go Caroling Day
December 21- Crossword Puzzle Day
December 21- Humbug Day
December 21- Look on the Bright Side Day
December 21- Winter Solstice – the shortest day of the year.
December 24- Chanukah/Hanukah
December 24- National Chocolate Day
December 24- Christmas Eve
December 24- National Egg Nog Day
December 25- Christmas Day
December 30- Bacon Day
December 31- New Year’s Eve
December 31- National Champagne Day-Love this day!
December 31- Make Up Your Mind Day-Time to make decisions about 2017
December 31- Universal Hour of Peace

Closing Message
That wraps things up for this issue. Have a wonderful month. Enjoy being surrounded by friends and family during this Holiday Season.