I'm sorry this took me so long to get done ~ I know I promised it weeks (or gosh was it months?) ago. Well, I hope this post is helpful to you as you make your own plans for December - the brightest month of the year.
But first I must ask ~ how is the weather where you are? Has old man winter come knocking on your door? The days are so short now, aren't they? And the afternoons so dark. No wonder this month seems to fly by!
Up here in New England it has grown quite cold, and there is snow in the forecast for Sunday. There may be just enough time to squeeze in a few holiday errands, and then scurry home to warm ourselves by the fire.
Well, the clock is ticking, so without further ado, here are some Themes and Plans for December ...
- The garden has been put to bed.
- We'll see the first real snowfall of the season.
- The nights are dark and cold.
- Orion is visible.
- In the greenhouse, we find the plants of Christmas:
- Christmas rose
- The skies are gray, the earth is brown.
- Pinecones are plentiful underfoot.
- The birch trees stand out in the woods.
- Winter moths gather at the windows on mild nights.
- The light grows again after the Solstice (22).
- The Full Cold Moon (23) rises just before Christmas.
- holiday spices
- star anise
- gingerbread cookies
- cookies of all kinds (too many to name!)
- peppermint tea and candy cane cocoa
- glogg (spiced wine or cider)
- roast - beef, turky or goose
- Nana's homemade fudge (chocolate *and* penuche)
- old-fashioned ribbon candy
- champagne or "fizzy" water on New Year's
- Advent begins
- St. Barbara (4)
- St. Nicholas (6)
- The Immaculate Conception (8)
- Our Lady of Guadalupe (12)
- St. Lucia (13)
- Christmas Eve (24)
- Christmas Day (25)
- St. Stephen (26)
- Holy Innocents (28)
- Holy Family (30)
- Prepare the winter kitchen ~
- Set up special candles, evergreens and music.
- Stock up on baking supplies.
- Clean countertops with herbal cleansers.
- Organize and restock food wraps.
- Set up a wrapping station.
- Put up decorations inside and out.
- Clean windows (to let in more light).
- Organize thank you notes (buy or make).
- Prepare holiday tips.
- Make up trays of cookies and tins of bread.
- Consider snow removal strategies.
- Author Jan Brett's birthday (1)
- National Cookie Day (4)
- Pearl Harbor Day (7)
- National Poinsettia Day (12)
- Earlybird & Papa's birthdays (14)
- Boston Tea Party anniversary (16)
- Caroling hayride with parish
- The Giving Tree at church
- National Treasure 2 opens (21)
- New Year's Eve (31)
Stories: Please see my Winter and Christmas book baskets on the left- and right-hand sidebars, respectively. (I'll be adding more titles soon.) :)
- Attend a Christmas play, concert or pageant.
- Visit a barn or stable.
- Go out for a special holiday cocoa (maybe after mailing the cards).
- Make clove-studded orange pomanders.
- Go on a winter woods walk ~ find a Yule log.
- Take an evening drive to admire neighborhood lights.
- Tote along thermal cups of cocoa!
- Bake with the children at least one afternoon!
- Deliver goodies to friends, neighbors or a nearby shelter.
- Go caroling at a local nursing home.
- Plant a paperwhite narcissus bulb for midwinter bloom.
- Roll beeswax candles.
- Make paper snowflakes.
- Fill windows with shiny window stars.
- Listen to carols and hymns, especially as night falls.
- Make terracotta bells for New Year's Day.
- Construct a gingerbread house.
- Make homemade ornaments (keep a basket of materials available).
- Make gift tags from children's artwork.
- Learn about Christmas traditions around the world.
- Make tin can luminarias on Our Lady of Gauadalupe's feast day.
- Drink Mexican hot chocolate on Poinsettia Day.
- Read a book from the Christmas basket each night before bed.
- Pray and light the Advent wreath each night before supper.
- Watch special holiday movies while signing cards.
- Little Women is a personal favorite. :)
- Wear star hats or candle crowns on St. Lucia Day.
- Serve orange-cranberry bread and spiced coffee for breakfast.
- Decorate a Solstice tree for the birds.
- Visit an outdoor creche one quiet starry night.
Now, you all know I don't plan on doing all of these things, lol! Not in one year anyway. ;) I just like to keep a running list of ideas that I can come back to again year after year. As always, I'd love to hear what your thoughts are for December ... which by my latest calculations begins in precisely five hours!
So I'm off now, but thanks for stopping by and I wish you a Happy December!
Chill December brings the sleet, blazing fire and Christmas treat ...