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Fun with the Family with Julie Lavender - Make memories for Christmas

Fun with the Family with Julie Lavender - Make memories for Christmas

Fun with the Family with Julie Lavender - Make memories for Christmas

Julie Lavender

      Before the turkey leftovers were completely devoured, December splashed on the page with twinkling lights, Santa inflatables, cedar wreaths, and holiday rhythms. Whether you've completed your holiday shopping or not even started - Christmas will arrive in less than three weeks. Take time during December to make treasured memories or start new traditions. Go caroling with friends, make hot chocolate or S'mores, watch seasonal movies, bake yummy goodies to share, decorate gingerbread houses, go for a walk in the woods on a cold day, put together a Christmas puzzle, or wear new pajamas and eat homemade biscuits and chocolate syrup. Make time, too, to bless others during the month of December. Drop loose coins in the Salvation Army's kettle; give outgrown jackets to someone in need; purchase new toys for a needy family; visit a nursing home and deliver fruits and crackers; volunteer at the Boys and Girls Club; make a donation to Safe Haven.
      In the midst of shopping and wrapping and blessing others, try some of these holidays to celebrate the month of December.
      Play Basketball Day - Gather the family for an outdoor game of basketball on a crisp, cool day. After completing a regulation-style game, try your hand at other made-up games. Toss overhead a small basketball in a clean, empty trash can while turned around backwards; shoot a basketball between the branches of a tree; roll a basketball along the driveway like a bowling ball to knock down empty soda bottles; or have a dribbling stamina contest to find a winner.
      National Cookie Cutter Week - Make use of holiday-shaped cookie cutters throughout the entire month of December. Turn cold sandwiches, toast, grilled cheese sandwiches, pancakes, cheese slices, rice krispy treats, brownies or whatever else you can think of into Christmas celebrations with a holiday cutter. Save the edges to feed the birds or cut them into smaller pieces to make hors devours.
      National Cookie Day - Read "If You Give a Mouse a Cooke" and then make these yummy sugar cookies. Combine one cup softened shortening, one and one-half cups sugar, two eggs, two and three-fourths cup flour, two teaspoons cream of tartar, one teaspoon baking soda, and one teaspoon vanilla flavoring. Form into walnut-sized balls of dough; roll in Christmas-colored sugars or seasonal sprinkles. Bake on a slightly-greased cookie sheet at 375 degrees for 8 to 10 minutes. Enjoy with a glass of milk
      National Dice Day - Use old Christmas cards or magazine pictures to find and cut out seasonal icons, like, Santa, reindeer, Christmas trees, snowmen, gingerbread men, and so on. On a poster board, draw a path similar to a Candyland game. Glue the cut-out pictures scattered along the path for decoration and outline each square with seasonal markers for more color. Choose buttons for game pieces. Roll a pair of dice to determine the number of squares to move. Play the game as a family to see who can get to the end of the path first.
      Christmas Light Anniverary - In 1882, the first Christmas tree was lit by electricity. Less than eight years later, companies began producing and selling Christmas lights in mass. Enjoy this invention with a family drive. Choose a night to leisurely drive throughout Statesboro, admiring Christmas lights and decorations aglow on many front lawns. Don't forget to take a canned good for donation and drive out to the Thompson's on Old River Road to see the spectacular display of lights there. Count how many lights you have on your own tree at home and see if you can come close to naming that many blessings you've experienced throughout the year 2010.
      As the year comes to a close, give thanks for the myriad of blessings in your life, most especially, beloved family and cherished friends. Take in the aroma of Christmas cedars, sample peppermint candy canes and gingerbread cookies, appreciate the sound of bells and carols, admire sparkling lights and decorations, but most of all, feel the warmth of the season that started with the small cry of a newborn babe.
      Until next year.....

Statesboro native Julie Bland Lavender celebrates with husband David and children Jeremy, Jenifer, Jeb Daniel, and Jessica.

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