We love to visit all the craft fairs that take place this time of year, especially at the church bazaars where the little old ladies bake pies, cakes, and cookies. Nothing is better than those homemade goodies! Not only is it fun to look at all the art and crafts, but we often get ideas for making our own Christmas gifts.There are always special holiday events that can be found in the newspaper or online.Several cities nearby have "Tour of Homes" where you get to visit lovely homes decorated for Christmas.Often they serve hot drinks. Going at night is usually the best because of all the candlelight and twinkle lights. There is so much history to learn on these tours, as well as information on architecture and remodeling.
Holiday concerts, plays, and productions are annual events in your city that you and your children may have not yet enjoyed.Our local community college, Seminole State College, offers free holiday concerts that are wonderful! There is always a band concert and a chorus concert. We dress up and enjoy the music! They also have a free Messiah sing-a-long that we have enjoyed participating in. There are soloists picked before hand, but when you arrive, you get your free copy of the music and head to your section: soprano, alto, tenor, or bass. You can also just listen. We have attended many free church performances in our area. The talent in the Body of Christ never ceases to amaze me. There are also concerts and plays that are excellent for free or a nominal fee.
An hour south of us, near Disney, is the town of Celebration, which hosts nightly "snow flurries" that look a tiny bit like soap suds. It is an enchanting town and we have traveled down several years to play in the "snow" and enjoy ice cream in one of Celebration's quaint shops. Closer to home, last year an assisted living facility hosted "snow" (cold and from a snow machine) for the children in the area. Our children had so much fun. Afterward, we went inside and enjoyed a spectacular model home and train display. The decorations inside were gorgeous too!
4H often has Christmas baking workshops and ornament making workshops early in December. When the children were little I would pay the tiny fee, drop them off, and head home to wrap presents. My youngest children still enjoy going!
Field trips can help to bring special meaning to our Christmas celebrations. Each Christmas Eve, we join another family on a Traveling Dinner to remind our children that Mary and Joseph were traveling on Christmas Eve. If you want to read more about this family tradition/field trip, check out my book, Celebrate Christmas with a Traveling Dinner.
Yes, I do live in Central Florida. Yes, I can go to Disney, Sea World, Universal, or The Holy Land--which all decorate and celebrate the season WELL! But frankly, I usually don't have money around Christmas to take a family of seven (and whoever else happens to be living with us at the time!) to a theme park! So, we have discovered all sorts of fun and inexpensive family fun trips (called field trips for record keeping purposes!). In our newspaper, Thursday is the day that all the events in the area are listed—there all kinds of neat field trips ideas right there in our newspaper! There is something marvelous about setting school aside and going on an adventure with your children--especially if your husband gets to come too! We make room for fun in December with unit studies and field trips!
Of course, our very favorite Christmas field trip is to pile into the minivan and travel around the city looking at Christmas lights. And our very favorite house is on Upsala Road, 1/2 mile away. Well, actually, it's three houses that belong to a nursery...you can find us camping out in their front yard after dark!
Merry Christmas Field Tripping!
(Meredith Ludwig Curtis)