The holidays are fast approaching and I know I could use a dose of inspiration! So let's share our favorite holiday rituals (whatever holiday(s) you celebrate) and some of your family's best tips for projects, outings or games.
Do you make handmade gifts?
How do you save money and make every holiday feel luxurious?
Share photos of your past celebrations and talk about what parts mean the most to you.
Unschoolers are really great at thinking outside the box and I'll bet there are some great ideas out there about celebrating in meaningful ways. Personally, I'd love to see recipes too.:)
I have a couple of old posts to share, as we're so busy celebrating with friends right now there doesn't seem to be any time to write.:)
Last year as we were preparing for Halloween I wrote a late night stream-of-thought about kids growing up and the idea of celebrating this life every day: http://radicalunschooling.blogspot.com/2007/10/random-late-night-st...
Lisa at "Perpetual Joy" talks about coming to terms with Christmas after leaving the Christian faith and what makes this time of year special for them. A Christmas birthday is part of their family traditions (but not the birthday many people celebrate at Christmas.;)) http://perpetualjoy.blogspot.com/
This post is simple, as all the questions above will require more pondering on my part. And yet I wanted to offer something brilliant a dear friend did more me last year.
Last year, a friend of mine purchase a big gift bag in January, opened it, stood it on the floor and left it there. As she was out and about over the course of the year, she often ran across something she knew I'd like, wanted or needed. She'd buy it, wrap it and toss it in the bag. You can see where this is going.
During the holidays, she presented me with this bag stuffed with wrapped gems. The items ranged from beautiful wooden cooking spoons, to a journal, to a funky candle, books and more. I giggled over unwrapping several presents (within a present) over lunch at Chez Zee. The bonus came from the looks of the diners around us, since I spared no expense in oohing and aahing over every thoughtful and clearly "just for me" item. I know a few of them were already figuring out how to incorporate a bag o' gifts into their lives.
I'm doing the same thing this year for my family and friends. It's FUN and doesn't drain the budget, since it's all bought piecemeal. There will be "big" gifts, I'm sure. But, I'm betting, the ones that are remembered are the bag o' gifts.
This is great! I had forgotten, but my maternal grandmother did this for me up until I was a teenager I think! It was always fun to get a big bag full of stuff I had mentioned throughout the year that I liked or wanted and then extra things that were 'just for me' and quite thoughtful.
My problem would come with not being able to give the presents early, like right after I buy them! I have a hard time keeping things hidden! I usually end up giving my DH & DS their b-day & solstice gifts a little here & a little there up to three weeks before the actual day! It's more fun that way, right!
Submit your links soon (emailed to me or left at my profile here as a comment or message!) This is a blog carnival people, I need links to blogposts. Please send them in soon if you're thinking about it as the month is almost gone. The deadline is always the last day of the month. I am going out of town on the 1st so it would be great if I could work on it this week.
I know this is off topic, but Sierra and Ren got me. I mean I apparently have a big button around this and it got pushed. I'm too scared to write a blog . . . and post it . . . in public, because, oh get this, people might read it! I don't know "how" to write one, so I'd just as soon write one in private and then when I think I'm exceptional at it, I'll post it. GAH. If you have a response to this, send me privately so as not to clog up her Blog Carnival arteries.
I think this is a great topic for the blog carnival!:)
If you all see any posts from Sierra that don't seem like they're written by an 11y.o., they probably aren't! I can't remember to see who is logged in apparently. Huge block there.
Blogs.....it isn't about having "exceptional" writing as much as it is exploration. It's a cool way to get feedback which is often helpful for your analyzing skills. Writing is about sharing experiences and growth for me. I get so much by putting words out there and then re-thinking it, editing, etc... and looking back as my writing changes. Or doesn't. Because a blog is hugely about connecting with other people.
I think Laura has the quote at her blog somewhere "don't let the perfect become the enemy of the good". If you stop yourself from sharing and connecting when it's something you want to do, then the above quote applies!:)
Blogs are easy and fun and help you connect to other bloggers. Just do it!!
There's a blog right here connected to your profile. If you click on the "Add a Blog Post" link over there on the right, you'll be blogging :-)
If you want a blog that's independent of the Ning site, Blogspot (aka Blogger) is excellent. It's very easy to use even for neophytes. There are more options there, like several dozen different backgrounds and formats.
This doesn't have a lot to do with unschooling specifically, but it's a renewed family tradition. And it's a recipe! (wink!)
Rosie's Christmas Cookies
I dunno where my mom got this recipe originally but we made these cookies almost every Christmas when I was a kid. It's a very dry batter so we took turns stirring by hand because our 1950s Sunbeam home mixer couldn't handle it. Hard work! When our girls were little, I decided to make these cookies with them in order to pass on the tradition. Ronnie had to leave the house before we were half done; it was just too crazy messy for her! By the time we were finished, our entire (red) kitchen was thickly covered in white flour from our inept and childish efforts to stir the batter. The girls both had white hair which turned into library paste the minute we put them in the tub. What a hoot!
We didn't repeat the effort to make these cookies until a coupla years ago. What a difference a professional-strength mixer makes! No muss, no fuss, no exhausted arms, no vacuuming the kitchen using multiple vacuum bags, and no library paste in anyone's hair. Wow! Ronnie was ecstatic. Me, too.
Fair warning: This recipe produces the cookie equivalent of fruitcake. It's, shall we say, an acquired taste. I love 'em but not everyone does. Oh, and most importantly, this recipe requires MACE. Now you know what that stuff is for and have a reason to buy some next time you're at the store.
Rosie's Christmas Cookies
4 cups sifted flour
2 cups candied fruit (chopped fine) (We kinda prefer using mostly sweet-type candied fruit rather than citron type)
1 cup nuts (chopped fine – I use my mouli grater)
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp clove
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp allspice
1 tsp mace (Yep! There it is! Mace. Cool, huh?)
1-1/2 cups sugar, plus some for dredging (killer white - These are cookies, not health food!)
Cream sugar and eggs. Add everything else. Use your sturdy mixer with a dough hook or have a coupla strong high school boys handy to hand mix. Roll into logs and refrigerate for an hour. Slice thin and dredge in sugar. Bake on greased cookie sheet for 12 minutes at 350 F.
In theory, you're supposed to store them in a closed jar with sliced apple for a coupla days to soften 'em up. I've never done that. We eat 'em fresh from the oven.