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  Santa Cruz Parent Santa Cruz County

November 30, 2017
Giving Story


Transitioning Children from Receiving to Giving



Steve: What does your young child really need?

Helicopter Book Reviewer?
Fun Events!
Transition... continued...
Steve's Suggestions, continued...
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  Giving Story

(0 Nov 2017) SantaSquadGirl.jpgOur giving story has a universal appeal no matter your cultural/religious heritage. It began about 10 years ago and apparently has recently gone viral. Enjoy the story!

Every Christmas my grandmother gave each of us, all 21 cousins, a book and a pair of mittens she knitted herself. The hand made mittens assured us of warm hands when we left the house for hours of skating or tobogganing and sledding. Each book was carefully selected to entice us into a world of imagination and fine literature.

Gift books need not be brand new, in fact gently used with an original owner's name always intrigues me. Two libraries are having book sales this weekend: Scotts Valley and Central. Next week go to the Watsonville Library for the Teen Book Sale 12/11-14.(2 Widgets) Holliday_Christmas.jpg

The calendar is FULL with events, so many we cannot list them all in this newsletter. Be sure to keep checking it as more events are added every day!

Please recommend our newsletter to new friends so they won't miss a few tidbits of wisdom from our author contributors, and as always the many fun events! Check the online calendar.

Enjoy the event filled weekend with family!  Parmalee

 

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  Transitioning Children from Receiving to Giving

(0 Nov 2017) SantaKidbybricks.jpgIn our family, we have a special way of transitioning the kids from receiving from Santa, to becoming a giving Santa. This way, the Santa construct is not a lie that gets discovered, but an unfolding series of good deeds and Christmas spirit.

When they are 6 or 7, whenever you see that dawning suspicion that Santa may not be a material being, that means the child is ready. I take them out "for coffee." We get a booth, order our drinks, and I say:

"You sure have grown an awful lot this year. Not only are you taller, but I can see that your heart has grown, too. [Point out 2-3 examples of empathetic behavior, consideration of people's feelings, good deeds etc, the kid has done in the past year]. In fact, your heart has grown so much that I think you are ready to become a Santa Claus. You probably have noticed that most of the Santas you see (0 Nov 2017) SantaGirl.jpgare people dressed up like him. Some of your friends might have even told you that there is no Santa. A lot of children think that, because they aren't ready to BE a Santa yet, but YOU ARE. Tell me the best things about Santa. What does Santa get for all of his trouble? [Lead the kid from "cookies" to the good feeling of having done something for someone else]. Well, now YOU are ready to do your first job as a Santa!"

Make sure you maintain the proper conspiratorial tone.

We then have the child choose someone they know--a neighbor, usually. The child's mission is to secretly, cleverly, find out something that the person needs, and then provide it, wrap it, deliver it--and never reveal to the target where it came from. Being a Santa isn't about getting credit, you see. It's unselfish giving. Read the reaction>>>>

 

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  Steve: What does your young child really need?

Let's start out with what your child does not need. She doesn't need the new Smartwatch. Your toddler can thrive without iPad Multimedia Learning Tablet  He and she both will be healthier without a Game Boy or Disney Princess Doll. He can do without a Drone Camera (even if you really want it).

(0 Nov 2017) Xmas_DadBaby.jpgIt is not toys and gifts that your child needs. Your child most need you to truly connect with her. There are some things that Only You can offer to your child. It isn't stuff that is the real need - it is the fabric of a connected life. Connected to family and family traditions, to nature and the seasons, and connected to herself. The example of connecting the adults offer is the style of connecting imitated by the child. It is up to you to show the path to connecting in the holiday season.

It is you that your child most needs. You, the parent available, present and connecting. You are your child's guide in this life on earth, and you are her example of how to live. To me, holidays are an opportunity to develop and nurture traditions of connecting with each other. And I'd like to share some specific suggestions.  What are the foods that are important to you as part of your family holiday? Do you have the same foods every year on that holiday? That is something that makes memories and helps your child have direct experiences of the cycle of the year. Read Steve's suggestions>>>>

 

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  Helicopter Book Reviewer?

I was researching contemporary books for children to share with you, so I went to the 2017 Newbery Medal for Children's Literature list. "This one" for 10-14 year olds sounded good. I downloaded it to my Kindle.

It was a beautiful, sad, uplifting, intense, well written story with actors of fine character struggling over right choices. I found myself frequently putting it aside, so uncomfortable were the storyteller's intimations of dire outcomes. Yet it kept me returning for the next turn of events. The ending was tragic.

Did I want to recommend this book as a gift for tender minds? My first instinct was "No!"

In reaction I thought of my favorite classics: Good Night Moon, yes; Peter Rabbit, okay; Old Mother West Wind series, okay; Black Beauty, hmmm... --cruelty to animals, but a happy ending; A Dog of Flanders, oh my, one of the most beautiful and tragic books I've ever read; A Little Princess; Anne of Green Gables; Johnny Tremain, The Wind in the Willows; The Secret Garden, Huckleberry Finn, and more. These I delight in sharing.

I realized I was being a helicopter instead of a free range book reviewer. Although the book touches upon death of parents, orphans going to live with relatives, bullying children, cultural/social differences, a veteran with PTSD, community, challenges with poverty, violence, compassion, prejudice, wrong decisions, mob mentality, wise adults, children struggling with whom to trust, truth, the law, to obey, to disobey, all weighty topics, it also offers compassion and good character. In the end dear parents, I conclude that it's up to us to know what our children are reading, perhaps read along with them, sometimes offer different choices (librarians love to help) and sometimes go with the selection and help the children sort out the world as it unfolds before them. Check it out: Wolf Hollow by Lauren Welk.

  Fun Events!
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Kirby School 6-12, Shadow Day 12/4

 

Gateway Santa Cruz K-8, School Day Tour 12/5 & Middle School Info Night 12/7

 

Mount Madonna PreK-12, Campus Tour 12/8

 

Santa Cruz Waldorf Pre-8, Winterfaire 12/9 & Morning In the Preschool 12/16

Books

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A Very imaginative picture book!

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Exciting adventure series for boys and girls set in English lake country between the two world wars

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Youthful honor and lots of inspirational skating!

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One of the most lovable spunky girls ever to grace a book!

Holiday Book Sales


Library Scotts Valley
12/2, 10am to 2pm
Purchase great quality, gently used books for yourself and your friends
Scotts Valley view all details >>



Library Central
12/2, 12 to 4pm
  Enjoy the Downtown Santa Cruz Parade and then join your Friends at
Santa Cruz County view all details >>

 

 

Library Watsonville
12/11-14, 3:30-6pm
Teen Book Sale

view all details >>

 

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Holiday Ice Skating
click to view website
  Holiday Ice Skating
Beach Boardwalk
Date: Every day (Nov 11-Jan 7)
Details: Ice skate by the beach, on real ice!
City: Santa Cruz view all details >>
     
Annual Children's Holiday Craft & Food Fair
click to view website
  Annual Children's Holiday Craft & Food Fair
Boys and Girls Club of Santa Cruz
Date: 12/02/2017 from 11:00am to 2:00pm
Ages: All
Details: Art, crafts, baked goods by the children!
City: Santa Cruz Phone: (831) 423-3138 view all details >>
     
Holiday Craft Fair & Tree Lighting
click to view website
  Holiday Craft Fair & Tree Lighting
Chamber of Aptos
Date: 12/02/2017 from 2:00pm to 5:00pm
Details: Enjoy a special visit from Santa Claus, Christmas carols, free hot chocolate and entertainment
City: Aptos view all details >>
     
Holiday Train Rides
click to view website
  Holiday Train Rides
Beach Boardwalk
Date: Every day (Nov 24-Dec 23)
Details: Celebrate the Holiday Season with a ride on one of three festive trains!
City: Santa Cruz view all details >>
     
Holiday Parade
click to view website
  Holiday Parade
Downtown Santa Cruz
Date: 12/02/2017 from 2:00pm to 4:00pm
Details: Community celebration, rain or shine, quirky, fun parade!
Special Instructions: Spruce Street down to Pacific Avenue to Front Street
City: Santa Cruz view all details >>
     
Watsonville Holiday Factory Sale
click to view website
  Watsonville Holiday Factory Sale
City of Watsonville
Date: 12/02/2017 from 9:00am to 4:00pm
Details: Sale with a delightful array of products... save the date, it happens only once a year!
City: Watsonville view all details >>
     
Studio Ghibli Free Kid Movies
click to view website
  Studio Ghibli Free Kid Movies
Live Oak Grange
Date: The 1st Sa of every month at 7:00pm
Details: View wonderful kid movies with the family!
City: Santa Cruz view all details >>
     
Book Sale
click to view website
  Book Sale
Library Scotts Valley
Date: 12/02/2017 from 10:00am to 2:00pm
Details: Purchase great quality, gently used books for yourself and your friends
City: Scotts Valley view all details >>
     
Holiday Book Sale
click to view website
  Holiday Book Sale
Library Central
Date: 12/02/2017 from 12:00pm to 4:00pm
Details: Enjoy the Downtown Santa Cruz Parade and then join your Friends at
City: Santa Cruz County view all details >>
     
You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown
click to view website
  You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown
All About Theatre
Date: Every day (Dec 8-Dec 10)
Details: The whole gang is here Lucy, Schroeder, Sally, Linus, Snoopy, AND CB!!
City: Soquel view all details >>
     
The Ultimate Christmas Show
click to view website
  The Ultimate Christmas Show
Mountain Community Theater
Date: Every day (Nov 24-Dec 17)
Ages: 12+
Details: The fruitcakes of Mountain Community Theater invite you to take an irreverent, comedic, yet heartwarming trip through the holida
Special Instructions: Fri & Sat 8pm, Sun2pm
City: Ben Lomond Phone: (831) 336-4777 view all details >>
     
Holiday Art & Craft Faire
click to view website
  Holiday Art & Craft Faire
Santa Cruz County Parks
Date: 12/02/2017 from 10:00am to 4:00pm
Ages: All ages
Details: Do your holiday shopping, and support local artists and craftspeople!
Special Instructions: Free parking, too
City: SANTA CRUZ Phone: (831) 454-7901 view all details >>
     
Triple P Workshop: Parenting as a Team
click to view website
  Triple P Workshop: Parenting as a Team
Triple P, Positive Parenting Program
Date: 12/04/2017 from 6:30pm to 8:30pm
Details: Learn tools to help you find common ground, improve communication, and work as a team with your partner
City: Santa Cruz view all details >>
     
The Peace of Wild Things by Imant Raminsh and music of the seaso
click to view website
  The Peace of Wild Things by Imant Raminsh and music of the seaso
Cabrillo Symphonic Chorus
Date: Every day (Dec 1-Dec 3)
Details: The Peace of Wild Things by Imant Raminsh and music of the season,
City: Santa Cruz view all details >>
     
Senderos Winter Dance
click to view website
  Senderos Winter Dance
Senderos
Date: Every day (Dec 1-Dec 2) at 5:30pm
Details: Come for dinner and a show!
City: Santa Cruz view all details >>
     
 ParkStore Holiday Sale 2017
click to view website
  ParkStore Holiday Sale 2017
Friends of Santa Cruz State Parks
Date: Every day (Dec 1-Dec 3) from 4:00pm to 7:00pm
Details: Find apparel, jewelry, maps, nature guides, local history books, educational toys and...
City: SantaCruz County view all details >>
     
Lighted Boat Parade
click to view website
  Lighted Boat Parade
Santa Cruz Harbor
Date: 12/02/2017 from 5:30pm to 10:00pm
Ages: All
Details: 50+ beautifully-decorated power and sailboats parading through the Santa Cruz Harbor
City: Santa Cruz Phone: (831)425-0690 view all details >>
     
Lucia Festival of Lights
click to view website
  Lucia Festival of Lights
Scandinavian Cultural Center of Santa Cruz
Date: 12/02/2017 from 4:00pm to 6:30pm
Details: Celebrate the pageantry of the candlelit procession with Lucia, her attendants and star boys
City: Santa Cruz view all details >>
     
     
  Transition... continued...

My oldest chose the "witch lady" on the corner. She really was horrible--had a fence around the house and would never let the kids go in and get a stray ball or Frisbee. She'd yell at them to play quieter, etc--a real pill. He noticed when we drove to school that she came out every morning to get her paper in bare feet, so he decided she needed slippers.

So then he had to go spy and decide how big her feet were. He hid in the bushes one Saturday, and decided she was a medium. We went to Kmart and bought warm slippers. He wrapped them up, and tagged it "Merry Christmas from Santa." After dinner, he slipped down to her house, and slid the package under her gate. The next morning, we watched her come out to get the paper, pick up the present, and go inside.

My son was all excited, and couldn't wait to see what would happen next. In the morning, as we drove off, there she was, out getting her paper --wearing the slippers. He was ecstatic. I had to remind him that NO ONE could ever know what he did, or he wouldn't be a Santa.

When it came time for Son #2 to join the ranks, my oldest came along, and helped with the induction speech. They are both excellent gifters, by the way, and never felt that they had been lied to--because they were let in on the Secret of Being a Santa.

This original story by Leslie Rush is going the rounds of the internet. Enjoy, and adapt it to your family's traditions. The spirit of giving is universal! Read the story behind the story>>>

  Steve's Suggestions, continued...

(0 Nov 2017) Steve_BakingwithMom.jpgTogether in the Kitchen - When I think of foods, I try to think how the child can engage in the preparation of those foods. Can he help cut up the vegetables? Can she pour in the ingredients for the sauces? Can you knead the dough together? Be a creative cook and create ways for your young child to help prepare the food. Food preparation is a social gesture of service. Encourage your child in this way. One tip though - plan for the extra time that these young helpers will add to your prep time.

Another aspect of food is that you can make food together for other people as gifts. Grandma would love some pumpkin bread you made for her. Uncle Joe would be grateful for a batch of chocolate chip cookies. And don't forget the mail delivery person and your health care professionals. A gift of food is a gift of love!


Gift Making and Giving - There are many other types of simple gifts you can make together with your children, the internet is littered with ideas for them. You can help your child to create gifts for siblings and other relatives. It is a wonderful sea change when you can shift your family culture from gift-getting to gift-giving! And you have created this opportunity for spending time together engaged on behalf of another person. Incredible!

(0 Nov 2017) Steve_FamilySinging3.jpgSing together - What about singing together? My fondest elementary school memory is the weeks leading up to Winter Break each year. The school would open a half hour early for those who wanted, and the halls were full of teachers and children singing together songs from various religions and traditions. You can create this on a smaller scale and sing at home, maybe after dinner each evening, or in the car. "Of course," you say. "That's a great idea but I can't sing." The secret is, your child is NOT a critic. She will be a joyous participant in song with you and you will even discover it is FUN.

Visit together - How about arranging for some friends and families to get together and walk around a neighborhood knocking on doors and offering songs? Caroling is great fun and you can even meet your neighbors. The possibilities are infinite.

Choose one meaningful holiday event - Maybe you can have a special family outing to a special performance. Perhaps there is an annual artistic or musical performance in your area that you can make part of your family annual tradition, and each year make sure to return as a family in your fancy outing clothes. In my area, El Teatro Campesino presents theatrical productions and every other year they offer a version of the story of "Our Lady of Guadalupe' they call "La Virgen del Tepeyac." For my younger daughters, and now my granddaughter, it is our family tradition to head down to San Juan Bautista and enjoy the pageant (it's really an amazing show) of the meeting of the indigenous Central American culture with the Spanish colonialists.

If giving gifts is important to you, I suggest a limit on the amount. Wisely choose the one gift that is just right for the child, and one that she will enjoy and treasure. Gifts made by you are extra special.


(0 Nov 2017) Steve_SewingButtons.jpgGive a "doing" gift - A gift that is something for the child to do, or make, is a great way to go. How about a tool box or sewing kit and some supplies to go along with it. And then be sure to make something yourself with your supplies and tools, and your child will learn by imitating you (because imitation is how the young child learns).

Give one special book - What about one special book as a gift? You can create your own tradition and each year, for a birthday or a holiday gift, choose one book that you think will mean something for your child. And then after he receives the book, read it to him again and again. (0 Nov 2017) Xmas_IAmYourFather.jpgStash the electronics - Oh...don't forget to limit your own use of electronic devices so they are not an obstacle to connecting with your child. Have some electronic free time, and make the time to use your smart phone when your child is asleep, or otherwise engaged and you are elsewhere. Be smarter than your smart phone.


The best present for your child is your presence. True connecting with your young child takes some active will on your part to overcome the habits our consumer culture has created. It's worth the effort.

Happy Holidays to you all, whatever holidays you enjoy! Steve

https://chamakanda.blogspot.com/

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