"How did it get so late so soon. . .December is here before it's June. My goodness how the time has flewn. How did it get so late so soon?" Dr. Seuss
Dr. Seuss was right! Here it is almost December. We need to get cracking on our December bucket list. The important thing is to add some things to your December list that you haven't done before. Makes for a very good life.
I like what Jim Rohn said, "We have two choices; we can make a living or we can design a life." Or as my sister Barbara always says, "Life is what you make it." So let's make December a fun and rewarding time.
Start with your list. . .
So many websites and blogs to help us create a list~
Here are a few ideas I found:
So many special cultural and holy events fall during this month. Of course we'll all be adding to our list based on the holy day we celebrate, whether it be Christmas, Hanukkah or Kwanzaa.
My list includes many items that are based on Christmas. But I'm thinking they could be adapted to any holiday celebration--especially winter holiday festivities.
Add to your Hanukkah bucket list and traditions~
Kwanzaa bucket list~
This relatively new observance for African-American families is rich with traditions, and activities to be done each night. Such a wonderful family celebration of heritage and history. It's difficult to think of what else could be added, but here's a couple of ideas:
Christmas bucket list~
"Some people want it to happen, some wish it would happen, others MAKE it happen." Michael Jordan
Enjoy creating your December bucket list. Add some new items and traditions. You can make it happen!
Happy December to all!
Interview a relative this holiday season while you still have the chance!
How many of us have lamented that we didn't ask our mother this or our grandfather that? Curious what life was like for your daddy on the farm during the Great Depression? Or what it was like for your uncle serving in Vietnam? This holiday season....whether it be Thanksgiving or Christmas...sit down with those relatives and talk to them. And this year you might focus on the BIG EVENTS of our lifetime. It's important to get their firsthand knowledge and thoughts.
And not only that, get your kids and grandkids involved. Encourage them to sit down and visit with parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles and ask them questions about the big events of their day, and what their "take" was/is on these happenings. It can make for very rich discussions and will help them add to their family story. That in turn will add to their own identity and self concept.
Start with the BIG EVENTS~
I sat down and came up with a list of what I considered the big events of our lifetime. I consider these events things that had an impact on our lives and our culture. And for sure our kids and grandkids will be studying these in school. How valuable to interview their relatives and get firsthand information.
More on the BIG EVENTS~
I'm thinking you might pick out a big event and be prepared to ask a relative about it. And that relative does not have to have participated in a civil rights protest march or been in the war, but they certainly witnessed such things and felt the effect of them. Ask them about it.
Or you can simply print out your list of what you consider the outstanding events of the last century or this century, and hand it to them. Let them speak about any of the happenings in that list.
And you won't just be learning firsthand accounts of these news events of the day~
You'll also be learning even more about your loved one. And let's not forget that for some of our elders with some memory loss, reminiscing can be hugely important.
Don't leave out some of the little-discussed major events~
Our kids might not know there was ever a time in our history (besides the Great Depression) where we experienced sugar rationing or gasoline shortages. They should know this.
Websites with interview questions to use~
My blog from last year about interviewing relatives during the holiday~
And one of my recent blogs about telling our ancestors' stories:
"If you don't know history, you don't know anything. You're like a leaf that doesn't know it's part of the tree." Michael Crichton
"Old men and women of the village are books of history and wisdom." African proverb
Another fun craft with the kids and grandkids~
I'm always looking for a craft to do with my grandkids, especially for holidays. I found this one online, and I'll provide the link at the end of this blog. I thought it was cute, and something that my six-year-old grandson could help me with. Then he would have a gift for his mother, teacher, and bus driver.
Once again it involved a trip to the craft store to get the silk leaves, small clay pots and raffia.
It also involved some wooden hearts--two sizes; and some wooden spoons. Remember those? They're like the wooden spoons that used to come with ice cream cups back in the day. And yes, they have them in the craft store.
Next? The painting!
That's where my grandson really had fun. And he added ideas of his own. The sample cup online wasn't painted, but he decided that painting the clay pot would make for a really colorful turkey. And I agreed. I like all his creative ideas.
Finished turkey cups~
I assembled them as it involved a hot glue gun and I didn't want him to burn his fingers. He was content with all the painting, and picking out the prettiest leaves for tail feathers.
The many uses of turkey cups~
We came up with a few things these cups could be used for:
It's always fun to do a craft with your grandchildren. And to be able to add their art work to the seasonal decor around their home or grandmother's home is especially nice. They beam with pride when telling others that they made it. And to be able to tell the teacher that they personally made the small gift brings them such satisfaction.
This blog is all about sharing ideas of things you do with your grandchildren. Please write and share any ideas you have that have worked in the past.
Happy Thanksgiving to ALL!
Website for turkey cups~
Have you ever done a progressive dinner at Thanksgiving? This may be the year to start!
Thanksgiving is wonderful--I think we can all agree on that. An old friend used to say she loved Thanksgiving more than Christmas as it was a great time to be with family centered around an awesome meal. No holiday shopping, no decorating the house, no fighting crowds and traffic in the malls and on the street. No, just that wonderful family time with good food and the counting of our blessings.
But sometimes it can be a bit much for one person to do. And while I know that most families have everyone bring something to the meal, a lot of the preparation falls on one person. How about shaking things up a bit and spreading out the hosting duties?
If you have family and friends in town that you always spend time with on this day, how about approaching them with this idea?
My niece here in town is fortunate enough to have all her grown children here. And she has a long-time friend that she always spends the holiday with. They got together and decided to have a progressive dinner. She reports that one daughter hosted the appetizer part of the feast, her other daughter had everyone over for salad in a jar, Tracy hosted the main event (the turkey of course!) and her friend Stacy had everyone over for dessert.
Yes, this eases the host's work for the day, but it's also just plain FUN! How wonderful to open your home to friends and family for part of this meal. Share the JOY! And what a wonderful experience for our children and grandchildren.
But wait! There's more!!
My niece has quite the extended family. Grandparents, sisters, brothers, cousins, aunts and uncles from across the US. They arrive to Texas from Minnesota and California and places in between. How to get those people from one house to the next? Well, a hay ride of course!! Now that's a memory few grandkids could forget.
Travel from one part of the dinner to the next? A hay ride of course!
Now I agree, this is possible because they all live in close proximity to each other. And it did address the need for getting all their out-of-town guests from one house to the next. But what grand fun and what a memory!
If you decide to do this, check your local municipality for laws, ordinances and required permits. You could share the trailer rental with all involved. Tracy reports that as far as the hay, if you return it still in the bale and clean, you get your money back.
When I decided to showcase this idea in my blog, I asked my niece for photos. She sent tons of photos, but alas, no pictures of the set-up for the feast itself. We are fortunate to live in Houston where November weather is mild and perfect for outdoor eating. I managed to find a picture in my files of another Thanksgiving meal at Tracy's house. So here ya go. . .
Final thoughts on adding a new tradition~
I certainly don't have the ways and means to do such a Thanksgiving extravaganza. These two ladies, my niece and her best friend, have great decorating and party ideas. People come to them for their fabulous ideas, and we all consider them great party-planners. You can see by the above set table that it is an occasion to behold.
But it might be fun to add some aspect of this family feast to your Thanksgiving traditions. Perhaps the progressive dinner idea. That could be really fun. Or a hayride in the country at the end of the day at a local farm would be a treat for the kids. I share ideas simply to spur us all on to try new things or add a new tradition. And that's what my blog is all about--ideas for things that grandparents can do with grandchildren throughout the seasons of the year. And the Thanksgiving season is one of the best.
Retired school teacher and now full time grandmother sharing ideas and looking for new ones about grandparenting!