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Tyrolean Inn - Merry Christmas! | New Leaf Community Markets - Everything for the Holidays!
  Santa Cruz Parent Santa Cruz County
Reflections
December 20, 2011

A Day Trip to San Jose for Ice Skating and Museums

Toy Trains!
Viva Reccomends: Four Great Holiday Books for the Kids
Kool Kale
A Soup for Nutrition, Energy and a Sunny Disposition
This Week
Church and Synagogue Services
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(Holidays) Christmas_Boy_NormanRockwell.jpgOnly a few days until Christmas! Hanukkah begins the night of December 20th.  Children, parents and teachers are eager for the break from school.  College students are coming home. We hope you are ready to enjoy holiday fun!

If you are a transplant from a wintry, snowy climate you undoubtedly are creating traditions unique to our climate with your family. Caroling around the village Christmas tree, sliding on cardboard down steep "Fanny Hill", trying out your new ice skates on Christmas morning all yield to mild climate celebrations.  If you are new to the area, our local churches offer special candlelight services with traditional Christmas carols.

Enjoy this time with family and friends creating memories for a lifetime. We shall be reading Santa Mouse, chuckling over Marmaduke's misadventures and looking for that tiny present wrapped in white paper with a gold ribbon left on a bow of the Christmas tree by Santa Mouse.

(Holidays) Hanukkah_LightandChildandMenorah.jpgThere's roller skating, Neptune's Kingdom, board games, libraries, favorite dvd's, stringing popcorn and cranberries for the birds, ice skating in San Jose, a visit to the toy trains at MAH and visits to museums, and if it's sunny there are beaches and parks awaiting us, especially Ano Nuevo where the elephant seals reside in abundance in the winter. 

If you have last minute shopping to do, many of the winter camps offer one or half day drop-ins.  They are professionals at getting the wiggles out and returning happy campers to you!  You can steer restless teens toward volunteering --click here.

There are so many sweet treats available this time of year that we offer you a very, delicious every day recipe that gives both energy and solid nutrition in between parties.

Have a wonderful time with family and friends.  See you at MAH!  Parmalee                              

  A Day Trip to San Jose for Ice Skating and Museums

(Special Event Images / Graphics) IceSkating_circleofPalms.jpgAt Downtown Ice, Circle of Palms, we can try ice skating!  Skates are available for rent.  All ages welcome! There are no lockers on site, so bring a backpack you can comfortably wear while skating to keep your valuables with you, or leave them in you car prior to entering the rink.

Tips for a Successful Skate

  • Make sure everyone in your party is ready to skate. There are no in-and-out privileges (bathroom breaks included). Count on extra time for waiting in line during peak days and hours.  While waiting to pay and get skates, check out the nifty monitors that tell you about Downtown for the Holidays attractions.
  • Pick out your skates and turn in one shoe for a pair of skates and a numbered tag. This numbered tag is important so keep it in a safe place. It's the ticket to getting your other shoe back later. Bring a few pairs of socks. Skate sizes range from a toddler 8 to Men's 13.  More skaters means less available sizes. Half sizes are not offered so if you decide to go a size up make sure you have extra thick socks.
  • Put on your skates right. Make sure they're nice and tight. Tuck the laces into your skates so they don't get in the way.  If you have a helmet --a bike or ski helmet will do-- strap that on before you hit the ice.  Be safe, hold on to rails if you need guidance. Most importantly have fun!
  • Had enough fun? Bring back your skates with the laces tucked in and have your numbered tag ready to claim your other shoe.
  • Did you have such a good time you can't wait to put on those skates again? There are lots of specials at the rink before and after the peak holiday season where you can skate for less. There are group rates and skate parties available too.  There's a lot do to before or after visiting Downtown Ice, most of which is just walking distance from the rink. See you soon!

More fun after skating!

Open daily - Islamic Science Rediscovered. Amazing ancient Islamic inventions are brought to life by more than 40 stations with interactive and sensory exhibits and videos to recreate the ingenuity. The exhibition covers the main fields of Islamic scientific endeavor including: architecture, arts, astronomy, engineering, exploration, flight, mathematics, medicine, optics and water control. The Tech Museum, 201 S. Market St, 294-8324

Open daily - Mammoth Discovery! An exhibition that sparks the scientist within each of us to learn about the creatures that roamed San Jose during the Ice Age. Children's Discovery Museum, 180 Woz Way, 298-5437

Winter Wonderland. From the giant gondola towering 10 stories to the classic carousel, families are traditionally attracted to the festive arcade of rides and attractions. Park Avenue and Paseo de San Antonio, 286-1313

Christmas in the Park. Celebrating 32 years of a San Jose tradition with more than 60 musical and animated displays, thousands of glittering lights and the gigantic Community Giving Tree. Visit with Santa and enjoy nightly entertainment.  Plaza de Cesar Chavez.

 
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Fresh Prep Gift Certificates make the perfect Holiday gift!
 Available in $15, $30, $75 or $100 denominations through our website or in any denomination by phone or in person at our store.
Click here to purchase Gift Certificates

Order online or call 479.1390 and pick up at 1601 41st St, Capitola!

 (Photos General) Food_Lasagne.jpg
  Toy Trains!

(Photos General) TrainBlondeCurlsBoy.jpgMAH and The Over the Hill Gang present An Interactive Toy Train Show, Thursday December 22, 2011 through Friday January 6 2012, Free Admission

Join us for a rotating cavalcade of operating toy trains from the 1920s to the 21st century. Watch a massive standard gauge steam engine from the 1920s start up-headlight flashing, drive wheels spinning, smoke flowing from the smoke stack and of course a mighty whistle. On another track, see a remote controlled modern production of an O gauge diesel with all the latest electronic features.

Hear the roar as the diesel starts up, the blast of the mighty horn, the squeal of the brakes at the train slows for a curve and the chatter between the engineer and the control tower. Toy trains have come a long way over the last century, but new or old, the emphasis is on fun!

Toy Trains features the Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe Railroad with its famous Chicago-California streamliner "The Super Chief" in miniature. Children and the young at heart have the opportunity to operate the trains, sound the whistles and much more! Visitors will view vintage advertisements extolling the advantages of luxurious Pullman train travel of the 1940s, 50s and 60s. Examples of many interactive accessories some and colorful catalogues produced over the years will also be displayed in the exhibition. Members of the Over the Hill Gang will be on hand to help young engineers' master controls and to answer questions. Don't miss this nostalgic exhibition.

The Museum closes early on December 24 and December 31 and is closed on December 25 and January 1, 429-1964, santacruzmah.org

  Viva Reccomends: Four Great Holiday Books for the Kids

As the winter holidays approach it is a perfect time to head to your local library and pick up some holiday books. And if you have kids, there will likely be a treasure-trove of books waiting to be enjoyed. Checking out books from the library will save you hundreds of dollars, and your kids will benefit from being exposed to a greater number of books than you could ever purchase yourself. And, librarians are great about setting up seasonal displays, so it shouldn't be too hard for you to find the rack or book case full of holiday children's books. Here are some great ones:


(Products/Books) Book_ThisIstheStable.jpgThis is the Stable is a simple retelling of the nativity story with absolutely gorgeous illustrations. I like the simple rhymes, but my daughter and I are most captivated by the lush paintings that illustrate the book. I also appreciate that Mary and Joseph and baby Jesus are depicted with a more olive complexion than you see in many nativity scenes. Not quite olive enough to be a realistic reflection of the historical figures, but it least its heading in the right direction. I also like that the three wise men are Middle Eastern, Asian, and African, as it shows that the illustrator isn't afraid to explore the possibility of a culturally diverse nativity story. This book tells a Christian story, but does so in a manner that is accessible to non-Christians.


(Products/Books) Book_TheShortestDay.jpg
The Shortest Day is a book that explains the origins of Winter Solstice celebrations and explains in scientific terms why the Winter Solstice is "the shortest day." Every page has color illustrations, which thankfully helps keep young children interested because the text is geared more to ages 10 and up. The book does a great job of briefly touching on Winter Solstice celebrations across history and continents (cave men, ancient Greece, Europe, Mayan civilization, modern culture...). The only cultural gaffe I found was that the Mayans were depicted with peachy skin, which is completely inaccurate and makes me wonder if the illustrator thought he had to lighten the skin in order to appeal to light-skinned readers.


(Products/Books) Book_KIsForKwanzaa.jpg
K is for Kwanzaa is a fully illustrated book that explains the Kwanzaa tradition. Kwanzaa is a non-religious celebration of African-American heritage. Even if you don't celebrate Kwanzaa in your family, this book is a nice way to expose your children to a cultural tradition that might be shared by their peers. The illustrations are perfectly interesting to a child, though certainly not great artwork.
Mrs.Greenberg's Messy Hanukkahis a story about a young girl who makes a mess of her neighbor's kitchen when she tries to make latkes (potato (Products/Books) Book_Mrs.jpg
fritters) for Hanukkah. It doesn't explain the origins of the Hanukkah tradition- it's just a cute story set during Hanukkah. The illustrations are cute, and the book would likely appeal to ages 8 and under.

Mrs.Greenberg's Messy Hanukkah is a story about a young girl who makes a mess of her neighbor's kitchen when she tries to make latkes (potato fritters) for Hanukkah. It doesn't explain the origins of the Hanukkah tradition- it's just a cute story set during Hanukkah. The illustrations are cute, and the book would likely appeal to ages 8 and under.

Which children's holiday books do you recommend? I'd love to hear. Wishing you a frugally, bountiful, happy holiday season, Viva, Daily Citron

  Kool Kale

(Site Photos) SukiRedHead_138.jpg(Photos General) Food_lacinatokale.jpgI've been somewhat into kale for a while, but two new recipes got me crazy for this wonderful vege. Before, I thought it had to be cooked for a long time. And if you're cooking it in watery substances, it does. However, kale can be prepared with a variety of methods to very different effects.

Kale is excellent in almost every way. High in vitamin A and C, calcium, and lots of other good stuff. It is easily grown. In fact, it's a weed, so when I see it priced like it's some sort of boutique vege, it makes me mad. I challenge you not to be able to grow kale. I can do it in my redwood-shaded yard, so I bet you can, too.*

Personally, I think lacinato kale, which you seldom see for sale, is the best. But I'm happy with pretty much any kind, and these recipes are successful with whatever you've got on hand.  continued>>>>

  A Soup for Nutrition, Energy and a Sunny Disposition

(Photos General) Food_PintoBeanKaleSoup.jpgA very wise mother-in-law said to her new daughter-in-law, "When he gets cranky, feed him or put him to bed or both!"  This advice works well as a preventive measure for all ages and roles: children, moms, dads, grandparents --people! 

Here's a healthful BASIC BEANS recipe.. Vary the beans and you will begin to appreciate their different qualities.  Vary the meats (or none) and vegetables for variety.

Extra benefits: 1) beans are on both the frugal and nutritious approval lists! and 2) beans look pretty in mason jars on your shelves.

Shopping List

  • Ham shank -ask the friendly guys to crack it so you can use it all or only part of it. Shoppers has  the best prices for quality meat. (Try different meats in you bean soups, how about ground turkey?)
  • Beans: Cranberry, Hopii Anasazi, Pinto or Black from the bulk section, New Leaf
  • Onions, dinosaur kale (aka lacinato kale), chipotle pepper flakes, curry, bay leaves, chives (add any veggies you like)
  • Cheese: cheddar, jack or parmesan

Preparation
Soak and rinse the beans several times until they have softened/expanded and are ready to cook. Meanwhile cook the ham shank in water until the meat falls off the bone. Separate and pour the liquid into a separator. Let stand until the fat hardens and can be removed. Cook the beans (I like a pressure cooker for speed) until edible. If you overcook, it's okay --makes the soup thicker. remove fat and add the ham liquid and ham pieces to the beans. Slice the onion into tiny pieces, sautee in a little olive oil and add to the pot. Add the spices to taste: 1 - 3 teaspoons chipotle flakes (if you use ground, go easy until you've tasted it), 1 teaspoon curry, 3 bay leaves.

Serve hot.  To sprinkle over the top, offer choices of grated cheese, shredded kale and grated fresh onions or chopped chives.  Now if this doesn't produce "mmmmmm's" and sunny dispositions, I don't know what will!  If you do not regularly consume beans, go easy.  Begin with one helping a day.  Did you make too much? Save your milk cartons and freeze soup in them. When you're in a hurry, peel off the carton and warm up the frozen chunk of soup.

  This Week

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 Church and Synagogue Services

Temple Beth El, 3055 Porter Gulch Road, Aptos
Pre-Chanukah Extravaganza Shabbat - Friday, December 16, 7pm. Celebrate Chanukah with your Temple friends and family: 7:00 pm - Shabbat Service (featuring the Rock Shabbat Band and TBE Choir).
December 23, 7:30 pm Shabbat Service

Chabad-by-the Sea, Please call for times 454-0101 or visit: chabadbythesea.com

(Holidays) Christmas_peacedove.jpgCalvary Episcopal Church, 532 Center St., Santa Cruz
Christmas Reception and Tea Sunday, 12/18 4:00pm
Lessons and Carols Sunday, 12/18 5:30pm
Monday Coffee House Monday, 12/19 5:00pm
Christmas Pageant and Evening Prayer Saturday, 12/24 5:00pm
calvarysantacruz.org

St. Joseph's Catholic Community, 435 Monterey Av, Capitola
CHRISTMAS EVE, 5pm Family Mass, 8pm Mass
CHRISTMAS DAY, Mass at Midnight (Christmas Carols begin at 11:30pm) Mass 7am, 9am, 11am

Resurrection Catholic Community, Aptos
Saturday, December 24-Christmas Eve, 3:30pm Christmas Carols, 4pm Family Christmas Mass
9pm Christmas Carols, 9:30pm Christmas Eve Mass
Sunday, December 25-Christmas Day
8:15am & 10:15am Masses

High Street Community Church, 850 High St., Santa Cruz
Candlelight Christmas Eve service Sat, December 24, 8pm - 9pm Kids in pajamas welcome.

Faith Community Church of Santa Cruz, 115 South Morrissey Avenue, Santa Cruz
Christmas Gatherings: Christmas Eve 6pm, Christmas Morning 9am

Trinity Presbyterian Church, 420 Melrose, Santa Cruz
Saturday, December 24, 6pm - Christmas Eve Service: Lesson and Carols, Sanctuary
Sunday, December 25: Christmas Day, 0:30am - Worship, including an "Impromptu Christmas Pageant," Sanctuary

Felton Presbyterian Church, 6090 Highway 9, Felton
Annual All Church Christmas Celebration, Sunday, December 11th at 5pm
Our celebration will feature our Sanctuary Choir, Worship Team, The Presbytones, a Christmas drama from our children, and other special music. Light soup and refreshments will be served after the program.

(Holidays) Christmas_peaceonearth.jpgFirst Congregational Church of Christ, 900 High St., Santa Cruz
Saturday, December 24,5:30 pm. We celebrate the joy of Christ's birth and the wonder of new life.
5:30pm + JAZZ & GOSPEL CHRISTMAS, Our early service serves up Christmas joy for families from all walks of life. Many of our Christmas favorites are played with energy and delight!
8pm, Our traditional Christmas Eve service features the great "lessons & carols" liturgy--with Christmas wonder, great choral music and the old story made new.
CHRISTMAS DAY (SUNDAY) 11:00 am JAZZ SUNDAY MORNING. Lively jazz, spirited gospel and a community of old & young, gay & straight, questioning and searching souls.

Lighthouse, 4525 Soquel Drive, Soquel
Dec 24, 7pm, A candlelight service

Santa Cruz Bible Church, 440 Frederick St., Santa Cruz
Christmas Eve Service, Saturday, Dec. 24, 2011; 4pm and 6pm
Christmas Day Celebration Service 10 am

St. Stephen's Lutheran Church, 2500 Soquel Ave., Santa Cruz
Christmas Eve Candlelight Services 5, 7:30, and 11pm
Christmas Day Service 10am

Holy Cross Church, 126 High St., Santa Cruz
Dec 24, 4pm & 6pm Christmas vigil, 11:30pm Carols and midnight bilingual
Dec 25 Christmas Day services, 10am in English Dec. 25 and 12:30-m in Spanish

Congregational Church of Soquel, 4951 Soquel Drive, Soquel
SATURDAY, December 24,7:30pm CHRISTMAS EVE CANDLELIGHT WORSHIP SERVICE
SUNDAY, December 25,CHRISTMAS SUNDAY, 9:30am Worship Service

United Methodist Church of Santa Cruz, 250 California St., Santa Cruz
Christmas Eve Candlelight Service, Saturday, Dec. 24, 8pm
Christmas Morning Worship, Sunday, Dec. 25,10:45am

Twin Lakes Church, 2701 Cabrillo College Drive, Aptos
Candlelight Services: Friday, December 23rd, 7pm; Saturday, December 24th, 4pm, 5:30pm, 7pm
Sunday, December 25th, 11am
Child care available for infants-Kindergarteners at all services except Saturday at 7pm and Sunday

(Holidays) Christmas_CandlelightService.jpgSt. Michael's Catholic Church, 13005 Pine St., Boulder Creek

Sat, December 24, 4pm - 5pm, Come and enjoy communion in Christ and with our community.
Dec 25, 10am A Christmas Day Mass.

Messiah Lutheran Church, 801 High Street, Santa Cruz
Dec 24, 6pm, Family candlelight worship, 10:40pm carols sung by the choir, 11pm candlelight worship. Christmas Communion.
Dec. 25, 10am, Christmas Communion

St. Philip the Apostle Episcopal Church, 5271 Scotts Valley Drive, Scotts Valley
Christmas Eve Services: Saturday, December 24, 7pm and 10pm (musical preludes begin 30 minutes before each service). Holy Communion at both services.
Christmas Day: Sunday, December 25, 10:00am Service with Carols and Holy Communion

Holy Eucharist Church, 527 Corralitos Road, Corralitos
Dec 24, 4pm, Christmas Eve family mass, 8:30pm Christmas carols, 9pm Christmas vigil Mass
Dec 25, 9am Christmas Day Mass

Episcopal Church of St. John the Baptist, 216 Oakland Av, Capitola
Christmas Eve Services: 4pm Children's Pageant; 10pm Candlelight service
Christmas Day 10am Service

Center for Conscious Living, 1818 Felt St., Santa Cruz. Call 539-3333
Friday, Dec 23, 7 pm Candle Lighting Service

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