Friday, December 4, 2015

Christmas Ideas

Last year we really wanted to do Christmas better, so I compiled a list of activities we might want to do, events in Santa Barbara and books to read. If you have other activities or books you love, please comment!

Santa Barbara Events:
Christmas Pickle Lighting at Westmont College, generally the first Wednesday in December
Santa Barbara Holiday Parade, generally the Friday one week after Thanksgiving
Snow Leopard Festival at the Santa Barbara Zoo, generally this first Sunday of December
Candy Cane Train at the South Coast Railroad Museum, generally the day after Thanksgiving through a few days after Christmas

Santa Barbara Wharf Parade of Lights, generally the first Sunday in December
Lights Tour: Trolley of Lights Tour, or Jump on the School Bus, generally December 10 to the day before Christmas eve (or tour yourself)
Check out the light show house on Ontare or Carslie, generally up by first weekend in December 
Lane Farms Christmas Tree Lot, generally the day after Thanksgiving to December 20th
* First United Methodist Living Nativity, generally December 21, 22, 23 5:30-7:30 
* Make Operation Christmas Child shoeboxes or buy a gift for toy donation *
Choosing toys to pass on to to other kids or for Santa to give to other kids
Make paper chain count down
Make ornaments, one possibility Cinnamon Ornaments
Make Christmas cards for family 
Make nuts or cookies for the neighbors, one possibility Peppermint Chex Mix
Gingerbread houses
* Christmas Eve Service 
Touring the Christmas lights (self tour or see Santa Barbara comments) 
Make hot cocoa and listen to Christmas music 
* Jesse tree ornaments and readings
* Books:
As a Christian, I am drawn to the more religious books and not the books with Santa. 
The Little Drummer Boy by Ezra Jack Keats  
This book illustrates the lyrics to the song The Little Drummer Boy.

One Night in Bethlehem by Jill Roman Lord 
This touch and feel book tells what one child would do if he were a shepherd, a wise man or another of the people at the birth of Jesus.
The Animals' Christmas Eve by Gail Wiersum  
The animals in this story tell of the birth in the stable from the animal point of view.

Bear Stays Up for Christmas by Karma Wilson 
Bear's friends want him to stay awake for Christmas and try everything to make the day special for him.
* More advent related!

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