Tuesday, November 30, 2010

monthly goals at mama smiles

Nov28_FirstAdvent

December is upon us – my favorite time of the year. I love Thanksgiving and winter holidays (that also includes my own December birthday :)). I am very grateful that I didn’t have to travel as many of my work colleagues this week. They headed out to the big customer event in Barcelona. I would love to visit Barcelona but not in the first week of December. As most of my readers know, we are a very secular family, but in December we celebrate both Hanukkah and Christmas. To me these holidays are not about religion but about our heritage and new traditions that we are establishing as a family. It’s time to get together with friends and to give to others. I think Nov25_TurkeyI  accomplished one goal  of November just in time to enjoy my holidays even more. I reduced my online time by reducing the frequency of my blogging and reducing the number of blogs I read and comment on. I am enjoying my unstructured time with Anna and I enjoy seeing more spontaneous creativity on her part. Our Thanksgiving was very quiet this year, but I still insisted on making turkey – my first one in the last 10 years. I do hope that next year my parents will visit us again, and I can give turkey making back to my mom. I missed them this year!

Nov27_Decorations

My goals for December:

  1. 1. Enjoy the season – slow down and stay in the present.
  2. 2. Donate unused clothes and toys to the shelter drive.
  3. 3. Participate in “Giving Tree” at work
  4. 4. Contribute to the charities of our choices – NPR and Unicef.
  5. 5. Bake something every week – I will worry about exercise in January :)
  6. 6. Learn some Christmas songs with Anna – any good suggestions for songs that young children can actually sing? (yes, we listen to religious carols too).

Enjoy your holiday season and share your plans at Mama Smiles.

12 comments:

MaryAnne said...

What excellent December goals! Would you believe, I cooked my turkey upside down this year?! I clearly have a lot to learn! It still tasted good, but looked funny!

As for songs, "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer" is a child-friendly secular song, and "Silent Night", "Joy to the World", and "Away in a Manger" are nice religious ones - there are two melodies for "Away in a Manger", and one is more child-friendly than the other. Also "We Three Kings". My kids love "The Twelve Days of Christmas", and I don't mind singing it with them using the Jan Brett illustrated version of the song. And of course "Jingle Bells" - but just the chorus, the melody for the verse is much more difficult.

Christy said...

Your goals are great!

I hope your parents can visit for Thanksgiving next year too. I'm sure it's hard to be so far away from them.

My kids love to sing Rudolph, Here Comes Santa Claus, Santa Claus is Coming to Town (I can't remember, does Anna believe in Santa?), Frosty, Silent Night, Jingle Bell Rock, and Feliz Navidad.

littlewondersdays said...

Your turkey looks delicious...even after eating turkey for the past week! Your plans for December sound wonderful and very family oriented. I'm hoping nightly Christmas light walks will help me keep the weight off from all the baking we'll be doing! I have a feeling January will have to be an active month regardless.

Debbie said...

Love your plans for December. We have a radio station that started playing Christmas music the day after Halloween, I just turn that on and we sing whatever is on it. I love it as it is all the original singers like Bing Crosby, and all the old traditional Christmas songs. I will be honest I have never put on Children's Christmas music.

An Almost Unschooling Mom said...

MaryAnne shouldn't feel bad about the turkey, I did that one year by accident, and found out it made for a juicier bird - now we do it sometimes on purpose :)

I like your goals - though I can't imagine Hanukkah, or Christmas without the faith behind them!

But, I am looking forward to hearing about your baking - if you don't blog about it - drop me an email, I'd love hear about it. It never feels like Christmas to me, until there's a batch of peanut brittle on the counter. A word of advice from someone who does bake every week - worry about the exercise now - and then you can enjoy the baking more.

And, for songs, Away in a Manger is a good one for a four year old, because hand motions are easy to come up with, and the words are simple. For secular songs, my kids like Jolly Old Saint Nicholas, from their beginner piano book.

Kim said...

Glad you had a good Thanksgiving. I was glad someone else cooked our turkey! I'm glad you're enjoying more time with Anna too. We're going to do a little unit on Hanukkah for the first time this year. I'm looking forward to it. As for Christmas songs, my child won't sing with me, so I'm no help... Wah...

Ticia said...

Easiest Christmas songs to my mind: Jingle Bells, We wish you a merry Christmas, maybe Silent Night (most people know the words), oh and We Three Kings.

Those tend to not have as much variety in the lyrics or the melody, making them easier to sing.

Honestly, I just love all Christmas music, so I just put on a Christmas station from Pandora pretty much all month long and enjoy the music that comes on.

Mom and Kiddo said...

I also love Dec. But I do not like Thanksgiving very much. We have 7 family birthdays in these 3 celebratory months so things get a little crazy. I also like that NPR is one of your charities. I love NPR!

Tracey M. said...

I love this time of year too. Your turkey looked wonderful! What a neat idea to celebrate both Hanukkah and Christmas.
I want to follow you in cutting back on my computer/blogging time. Our time with our children is so precious, I need to hold onto this truth and live it.

Our Homeschool Fun said...

You have some similar goals as myself for this month, especially slowing down to enjoy all that is around me. May end up being easier than I'd envisioned with the kids being sick and us at home:-).

I hope your month is a healthy, happy and memorable one for the whole family!

Jackie H. said...

Have you downloaded the Merry Christmas songbook off Hubbard's cupboard. It's free and it has a lot of the lyrics to traditional tunes as well as preschool Christmas songs. They are Christmas words set to more familiar tunes, like the Farmer in the Dell. Since Anna is a reader, she would probably enjoy reading this as a book and singing along!
I think this link will take you there:

www.hubbardscupboard.org/Christmas_Songs.pdf

Eva said...

Great goals :) I also need to donate unused clothes and toys. I know what you mean about reducing internet time, I have also done the same. Your turkey looks great, I have yet to try my hand at making one :)