How To Make Christmas Fun For Kids This Year

Two focuses of my blog are Health/Wellness and Home/Living Discussions. With Covid-19, this has been an unusual year where everything has been impacted even our holidays. The following contributed post is entitled, How To Make Christmas Fun For Kids This Year.

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Christmas will always be a fun time for children, but sometimes the magic can be forgotten a little as adults try to make sure everything is ‘just so’ before the big day. Although this is necessary, it can be hard to get everything done and make sure the kids are entertained not just on Christmas Day but in the days (and maybe weeks) leading up to it.

This year especially is potentially tricky; you may not be able to see friends and family, and children may start to become frustrated because the things they would typically do each Christmas aren’t available.

Children are only little for a short time, and it’s important to make sure every Christmas is the best it can be, including this one. This doesn’t have to be expensive, and it doesn’t have to cause you stress or put you under pressure. There are many activities and fun traditions that kids can join in with that will give you time together or apart (depending on what you need to be doing) and ensure they have a Christmas holiday they’ll always remember. Read on for some great ideas to keep the magic alive for the kids this Christmastime.

Image from Pixabay

Make Ornaments

You can never have too many Christmas ornaments, and if you want to give the kids something to do that will keep them – and you if you want to join in – occupied for a while, and give you something lovely to hang on your tree year after year, making ornaments is a great choice.

You can even mix this idea up with a scavenger hunt so that the children have to search around the house for the items they need to make the decorations with. They can use natural items such as pinecones and twigs or any leftover materials such as cardboard, ribbons, wrapping paper, Christmas cards, and more. This should be a cheap but fun activity for everyone.

Enjoy A Party

Restrictions might mean that parties can’t take place in the way they usually would, but that doesn’t mean there are no parties to be had, and the Christmas season can be a jolly one when you think a little more laterally.

Using video calling technology such as Zoom means your children can ‘meet’ with their school friends to have a great online party. You can organize this yourself and plan out games and other activities for everyone to enjoy, or you can hire someone to do it for you. You can even pick a theme such as a Zoom magic show that will keep everyone happy for a while and give them a lovely boost of Christmas spirit as they can see their friends and interact with them even if they can’t meet up in real life. This idea can even be used for adult parties too, and your office party will really be livened up with a magician on Zoom.

Try Baking

You don’t have to be an amazingly skilled baker to have fun in the kitchen. You don’t have to have any skills at all, as this particular way to make the kids happy is all about enjoying yourself and laughing together, rather than creating a masterpiece of baking prowess.

Make sure you set aside plenty of time for this task, as baking can often take longer than you think it will, plus you’ll need to plan so you can get the ingredients you need to create each baked item.

Ask each family member to choose one thing they would like to bake, and then you can plan ahead. On the day itself, don’t be too strict about things, though; it’s good to let loose and experiment a little, and if the cakes and sweet treats don’t look exactly like the recipe says they should, it really doesn’t matter as long as they taste good (and even if they don’t, if you all had fun it was worth every second)!

Christmas Movie Day

One thing that will never change when it comes to Christmas is all the great movies you can find around the theme. Whether it’s Elf, The Polar Express, Home Alone, Miracle On 34th Street, Santa Clause the Movie, or any of the thousands of other examples, taking a whole day off work to be with your kids and enjoy the magic and fun that a good Christmas movie can offer is something they will never forget.

Make it even better by adding snacks like popcorn or getting pizza delivered. Create a blanket fort to watch the movies in. Draw titles from a hat so you never know what’s coming next, or all take a turn watching. Wear your pajamas all day.

The point is, your kids will appreciate the time spent with you when you’re not distracted by work or trying to do other things. This is what makes Christmas special, this year and every year.

Making The Most Of A Locked Down Christmas

Two focuses of my blog are Current Events and Health/Wellness. In addition to impacting everything else in our society, Covid-19 has impacted our holiday celebrations. After impacting Thanksgiving, it will impact Christmas as well for those who celebrate it. There are still ways to enjoy you holiday though. The following contributed post is entitled, Making The Most Of A Locked Down Christmas.

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Many people around the world are likely to be caught in the middle of some kind of lockdown during Christmas – or at the very least, having some kind of restriction on what they can do during this period. Indeed, these are very challenging times. Even if things are looking to improve slightly, there is no doubt that Christmas is going to be very different this year. With that in mind, let’s take a look on how you might be able to make the most of Christmas this year, even if things are in lockdown where you are, or something very much like it.

Pic Source – CCO Licence

Plan It Early

Now that you might have some idea about what you are allowed to do during Christmas, you might want to start planning for it in some way or another. As long as you do that, you are going to be much more likely to make the most of it, and you should be able to mitigate against any unwanted or unforeseen incidents as well that might crop up. You can’t plan for every eventuality, but if you start thinking now you should be able to find out what you can do. The more you plan, the more you will be able to make of this strange Christmas.

See Some Family

If you are able to and it is within the rules where you are, you should aim to try and see some family at the very least. However, make sure that you only do this if you feel okay about it – and try to keep everyone as safe as possible while you are doing it. That means not going too overboard and ensuring that you are always keeping up with the latest restrictions. But there should be nothing wrong with seeing some family at least, even if it is not always going to be simple to do this.

Take A Short Holiday

If you would normally take some kind of a holiday during the Christmas winter period, you might want to try and do this still this year. Of course, your options are bound to be limited compared to most years, but even so you should still find that it is perfectly possible to have some kind of holiday with at least a couple of family members or friends. For instance, you might want to go on a winter road trip with your 4×4 wheels and see some of your home country that way. Or you could find an indoor ski centre that is open and try to replicate a skiing holiday that way. However you do it, taking some kind of holiday is going to really make it easier to feel like you are having a normal Christmas.

Pic Source – CCO Licence

Get Gifts Early

There is a good chance that you are going to struggle to get all your Christmas presents in the same way as normal, and in all likelihood you are going to have to think about doing this earlier than usual. You will probably need to do much more of it online than you would normally have to too. It’s therefore wise to start thinking about this now – and over time you should find that you are going to have a lot more in the way of appropriate gifts by the time Christmas comes around. This is one year when it might be worthwhile thinking outside of the box a little, so that you can find some gifts for people easily and without causing yourself too much stress. If you can do that, you are going to be helping everyone to make the most of Christmas this year.

Pic Source – CCO Licence

Buy Christmas Cards Online

Different families and friend groups tend to have a variety of different ideas around the concept of Christmas cards. But if you are keen to make sure that you are still buying people cards, you should consider the easy option of going online to buy them. Although you could buy Christmas cards the traditional way and simply post them, using an online service is going to mean that you can have them delivered straight to the person as part of the process. You can often customise these cards more than you could normally too, so that makes them much nicer to receive on the whole.

Host An Outdoor Christmas

If there are some people you are not going to be able to see on Christmas day itself, you could try and organise an outdoor Christmas event on a different day earlier in December – or just after Christmas – and in that way, be able to have a socially distanced Christmas with those people. This could be as simple as having a decorated Christmas tree in your garden and sharing gifts around it with some hot drinks, or it could be more along the lines of a night-time fire. However you do it, you might find that this is a fair compromise, and a great way to see your friends safely without breaking rules, while still having a wonderful Christmas.

Pic Source – CCO Licence

Be Certain Of Your Priorities

If you are wondering just how seriously you should take the restrictions for this year’s Christmas, you might want to spend a little time thinking about where your priorities lie. Truly, nobody else can tell you what you should be doing or what is right and wrong. It’s up to you to decide. But you should make sure that you are clear on your priorities. For most people, this will probably mean that the obvious step is to have a slightly less active Christmas than usual, and therefore keep everyone safer on the whole. It’s all down to you, but make sure that you spend some time before Christmas itself comes around deciding what you want to do. The sooner you get clear on this, the less of a shock it will be when Christmsa time comes and you find it is not quite the same event as usual.

Delay Celebrations

One option, and one that quite a lot of people are thinking about, is to simply delay certain Christmas celebrations until next year. There is every chance that things could have massively improved by February or March, at which time you could decide to have a Christmas celebration then instead. This is a great way of having the best of both worlds. You can simply have a quiet Christmas at home this year, and then see friends and family in the new year once it is perfectly safe to do so. Although this might seem like a bit of a sacrifice, it’s actually a great way to get the best of both worlds, and it will mean that everybody can keep as safe as possible along the way too. It’s certainly something you might want to consider.

Keep It Quiet

Finally, why not make use of this year’s strangeness to simply have a quiet Christmas at home? If you are someone who generally gets a little overwhelmed by Christmas at the best of times, you might even be secretly looking forward to this one. There are certainly benefits to keeping it quiet, and you might find that you are able to save up some energy for next year instead. If this appeals to you, give it a go and see whether it improves your experience of Christmas this year.

As you can see, there are a lot of things to consider this year for Christmas. The most important thing is that you think logically, plan ahead, and don’t let the stress get to you.

Corporate Christmas Party Planning Success

A key focus of my blog is Organization/Management Discussions. No matter the industry and no matter how arduous the workplace, the annual corporate Christmas party is a big deal as it’s a time for everyone feel good and fellowship in the organization. As the world eases back to some semblance of normal, it’ll be something workers will look forward to. The following contributed post is entitled, Corporate Christmas Party Planning Success.

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https://www.pexels.com/photo/people-toasting-wine-glasses-3171837

If there is one thing that all employees look forward to it is the corporate Christmas party. This is an event that will make sure you end the year on a positive note, giving everyone a morale boost for the coming year.

With everything that has gone on this year especially, it shows us just how important our employees are. As we get to the close of the year, it is the perfect time to host a party (even if it needs to be virtual in your part of the world) and to review your employee benefits for 2021. Head to https://cjfig.com/employee-benefits/ for more advice on this.

With that in mind, read on to discover some top tips on planning your corporate Christmas party, including choosing from all of the Christmas party venues has to offer.

One of the best places to start is by getting feedback on how last year’s party went. It is a good idea to put together a small questionnaire with a number of simple questions for your employees to answer. Examples include: What would you prefer was not included this year? What would you like to see again? What did you think of the venue hire? What was your favourite part of last year’s Christmas party? This will give you a good idea regarding what they like and what they don’t, which will help you to form the basis of this year’s party planning.

The next thing you need to do is set the right date and time. There are two factors that will come into consideration. Firstly, you need to consider your employees’ schedules. When is the ‘official’ last day of work? The party should be on that day. No one wants to come back to work the day after the Christmas party. The second factor is availability. There are many Christmas party venues, however, there are also a lot of companies looking for venues too!

There is a lot that needs to be considered when looking at Christmas party venues. You need somewhere that is convenient. No one wants to spend a fortune on taxis because the venue is far away from a tube station! You also need somewhere that is unique and will get everyone excited about the party. Your employees don’t want to feel like you have simply chosen the cheapest venue that is on offer. After all, your Christmas party is meant to be an opportunity to thank your employees for all of their hard work.

Aside from looking for the best Christmas party venues, you also need to organise entertainment. There are many different options to choose from, including musicians, DJs, magicians, comedians, and much more. The best thing to do is talk to your employees and find out what sort of thing they would like. Of course, your budget is another important element to take into account. Take the time to devise a proper budget, and then decide how much you are going to attribute to each element of the party. It’s vital to spend on the important elements first, i.e. food, drink, and music. These are the things that matter the most. The décor and any other extras can come after this.

Hopefully, you now have all of the advice you need to get started with planning your Christmas party. From choosing the right date and time to assessing Christmas party venues with care, there is a lot to take in, but it will all be worth it in the end when you throw an incredible party.

An astronomer looks for the Christmas Star 2016

hypatia-of-alexandria_121216From the Dec. 9-11, the Friends of the David M. Brown Arlington Planetarium hosted their final weekend of 2016 titled, “Science and the Christmas Star.” Each day of the weekend there were showings of the show titled: An Astronomer Looks for the Christmas Star.  The program was created in house by the Friends, and focuses on the phenomenon of the Christmas Star which according to biblical texts led the three Wise Men to the baby Jesus Christ in the manger.

Friday Dec. 9 was member appreciation night where all members were admitted for free.  There were standard showings of the program on Dec. 10 and 11.  Following each showing, Friends’ board of director, astronomer Jennifer Bartlett, Ph.D. portrayed Hypatia of Alexandria.  Her portrayal featured of a monologue where she argued for an alternative explanation for the Christmas Star.  Following Michael Molnar’s, The Star of Bethlehem, she argued that the “star” was a powerful horoscope including the lunar occultation of Jupiter in Ares at dawn on April 17, 6 BC.

“The mystery of the Christmas Star has been a mainstay of Planetariums for years during the Christmas Season,” said Friend of the Arlington Planetarium, co-creator and co-narrator of the program, Dr. Alice Monet.  The program itself discussed the potential explanations for the Christmas Star; a planetary conjunction, a comet, a supernova, or what is more believed in nonscientific circles, a Miracle.

The Friends will host special events at the David M. Brown Arlington Planetarium one weekend every month until the end of the school year. Each weekend will be geared towards increasing STEM education/awareness for all ages and will feature a specific theme.  For more information, visit the Friends’ website.  The theme of January’s weekend will be: Citizen Science & Astronomy.