If you’re anything like us here at Indiana Adoption Program, you’ve got holidays on the brain. This time of year brings with it additional school and church activities, early dismissals, travel logistics, gift-wrapping and gift-giving, home decorating, carol singing, and a whole host of other items for the To Do List!
And while we don’t really want to add more to your (or our) list of things to do this month, we did come across a few less popular holidays that we think are worth celebrating. They’re probably less stressful than some of the other holidays on your calendar, and – added bonus – they don’t require extensive travel, planning, or trips to bustling stores. If you’re looking for fun, low-key activities to do with your family or friends, or ways to bring a smile to the faces of foster and adoptive families, maybe these holidays will fit the bill!
December 4: Cookie Day. Who doesn’t love cookies? Around here, we have some very specific requirements for our cookies: one of us insists that his chocolate chip cookies be soft and chewy. Another one of us insists that oatmeal raisin cookies are the absolute best. Yet another has never met a cookie she didn’t like…unless it had nuts in it. Baking cookies is a great way to spend time together as a family, and if you bake too many, you can share with friends, neighbors, and your favorite local foster and adoption organization! Not a fan of gathering ingredients and baking from scratch? Don’t worry – refrigerated cookie dough can be found at any grocery store, and you can still look like a champ on Cookie Day.
December 6: Give A Secret Gift Day. This is a time of year when gifting is on a lot of people’s minds. It’s also a time of year when many children and youth in foster care don’t expect to receive gifts, and don’t have the means to provide gifts to their loved ones. If you’re looking for a way to give back to your community, consider playing “Secret Gift Giver” to someone who isn’t expecting it. Maybe there’s an elderly couple down the street who are feeling a little down during this usually festive season. Or perhaps an expectant mother in your neighborhood seems a little too tired and could use some additional cheer right now. Secret gifts don’t have to be elaborate – a scented candle, a gift card to a local coffee shop, a handmade card left in a mailbox – but they can certainly brighten a person’s day! (And usually, they brighten the giver’s day too!)
December 9: Homemade Gift Day. Many of us have homemade items from our children – picture frames made from popsicle sticks, lopsided clay pots, ornaments made of melted crayons and wax paper. And it’s likely that many of our parents still have and proudly display the homemade gifts we gave them when we were kids. Today, let your imagination run wild, and let your (inner) child make some homemade gifts. Those popsicle-stick picture frames are astonishingly sturdy, and speaking from experience, that misshapen clay sugar bowl that leans precariously to the left can still (mostly) hold sugar, and may be the recipient’s favorite item to display in their home. Don’t worry if you don’t consider yourself the crafty or artistic type. Browse Pinterest for some ideas — you’re sure to find some ideas for any skill level!
December 12: Gingerbread House Day. Gingerbread. Frosting. Gumdrops. Candy canes. M & Ms. What could be better? Sure, it’s likely to be a little messy, you may end up with frosting in your hair, and your house may not be structurally sound, but what a fun way to spend an afternoon! Plus, you can probably sneak some gumdrops and M & Ms to eat while channeling your inner Frank Lloyd Wright. And, if you get really into building gingerbread houses, there are even competitions around the country where you can enter your tasty masterpiece!
December 19: Build A Snowman Day. In some parts of the country, there’s already more than enough snow to build a dozen snowmen. But many of us are still waiting for the first snowman-worthy snowfall, and are hoping it will come by the time this holiday rolls around on the calendar! If you’re fortunate enough to have snow on the 19th, take advantage of it by bundling up in your warmest coat and mittens, and building a snow creature (or several) in your front yard. Not surprisingly, there are dozens of competitions for building snowmen too, but in our research, it seems like Greenfield’s own “snow artist” is the one to beat!
If you and your family participate in any of these activities, please send us pictures! Or, you can post them to Facebook or Instagram, and be sure to tag #IndianaAdoptionProgram. And, if you’ve got any extra cookies lying around after your baking extravaganza on December 4, we’d be happy to help take those off your hands!