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Fun with the family by Julie Lavender
December days are upon us
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    Just as the days are getting shorter with every hour that ticks by, so too are the precious minutes to spend with our family in the year 2007. Instead of frantically counting down the number of shopping days until Christmas, attempt to treasure the few days left in this calendar year. Spend each day wisely, taking advantage of every moment to create warm holiday memories with those you love. In addition to the traditional celebrations that this time of year brings about, add a few of the ones below to make new memories that will flow into a brand new year.
    Walt Disney’s Birthday – Pull out old Disney movies and have a movie marathon night. Play a movie trivia game, Jeopardy-style, to see who can remember the most tidbits of information about Disney’s creations.                     
    Nobel Peace Prize Day – Upon his death, inventor Alfred Nobel left the majority of his wealth to a fund that would give yearly prizes to advances in physics, chemistry, medicine, literature, and world peace. (This inventor who promoted world peace is also credited for inventing and patenting dynamite!) Choose a night this month to create a new invention. Pull out the Legos, Tinker Toys, building blocks, empty egg cartons, yarn and any other material you can think of to stir the creative juices. Then, encourage each person to make something new and describe its function. Who knows? Perhaps the next patent will belong to your family!
    Winter – Make up a batch of homemade snow to build your own snowman. After all, there probably won’t be a snow-sighting this year in south Georgia! For every two cups of Ivory Snow powdered laundry detergent, add one-half cup of water and blend with an electric mixer until dough-like and smooth. Then, roll the snow into balls and make a snowman. Decorate with buttons, sticks or trinkets to make your own snow-person.   
    Christmas – Take time each day this month to remember the birth of Jesus. Fashion a nativity scene, one piece per day; build a stable, add a feeding trough, place shepherds, animals, angels, Mary, Joseph, baby Jesus and wise men to create a visual reminder of the season.
walk. Snap pictures of the signs of the new season and use them for your computer’s background or screen saver as a reminder of the hiking celebration.
    Bingo Month – Make a family Bingo game. Print out pictures of immediate and extended family members, as well as friends, to place in the squares. Write each person’s name for each letter, B-I-N-G-O, on slips of paper to use to play the game. Mix up the papers in a basket, then draw out one slip at a time. Use dried beans for playing piece; the first person to fill in a line horizontal, vertical or diagonal, is the winner.   
    Count down the days until Christmas, but add up the minutes spent with loved ones. Make December the warmest, most cherished month of the year 2007. See you next year!

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