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December a time for celebration
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    Do you know how many shopping days are left until Christmas? Is your calendar filling up with more to-do than you can get done? Right now, while there’s still room left to write, pencil in fun things to do with the family for the month of December. Spend time together enjoying the beauty and splendor of the season. Happy celebrating!
Gingerbread House Day
    Make homemade gingerbread houses, use a store-bought kit, or make simple houses with graham crackers and frosting. Make your houses a day or two in advance so the frosting will have plenty of time to harden. Then, as a family, work together to decorate the houses with candies, cookies, and goodies to create a simply delicious neighborhood. Showcase your treats for all to see. (Check out the display of gingerbread houses at the Ogeechee Area Hospice’s celebration and tree-lighting ceremony, Monday, December 4, at 7:30.)   
 International Mountain Day
    Take a pretend trip to the hills by using clay to build your own mountain. Use a clay that will harden and paint later, or use colored dough. Then start reading the timeless classic, Heidi, about a young girl who lives in the Swiss Alps.
Cookie Cutter Week
    Use cookie cutters to make your own wrapping paper. Set out holiday cookie cutters and shallow containers of washable paints. Stretch out long pieces of butcher or freezer paper. Let the kids dip the cookie cutters in the paint and make prints on the paper. Allow the paint to dry, then use the paper to wrap gifts for friends and family. For an extra-special touch, attach a cookie cutter to the ribbon of the package after wrapping. (Make someone else’s Christmas brighter by using some of your hand-made paper to wrap a gift for someone in need.)      
 Poinsettia Day
    Make an edible, seasonal flower for breakfast with cinnamon rolls and frosting. Open a package of store-bought cinnamon rolls. Place the rolls on a baking sheet with one roll in the middle and the remaining rolls around that roll. Pull the outside edge of each roll into a point, like a leaf. Bake according to package directions. While the rolls are cooling, tint the provided frosting with red or pink coloring – save and color just a dab of frosting with yellow. Frost the outside rolls with red or pink; drop dots of yellow on the middle roll. Enjoy!
 Card Playing Day
    Learn a new card game to play as a family or have a marathon night of familiar games. The winner of each game gets to choose the next game to play.
 Christmas Eve
    Attend a Christmas Eve service at a church of your choice, then take an extra-long drive home to take in the beauty of Christmas lights and decorations. While driving, talk about favorite Christmas memories and fun times shared as a family.
    Another year will come to an end in less than a month. Make every day of December memorable and special for those you love.

    Statesboro native Julie Bland Lavender is married to David Lavender and enjoys celebrating with children Jeremy, Jenifer, Jeb Daniel and Jessica.
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