Tag Archives: Christmas

Sunday Morning Shout Out

Image Source: http://www.lego.com

Image Source: http://www.lego.com

Do you feel a little remorse after heaping the shopping cart with “toy of the moment” stuff from the big-box stores this holiday season? Are you already envisioning a yard sale in nine months, with much of the stuff you are buying right now?  Would you rather get your child some educational toys this holiday season, and find toys/experiences that will last more than a moment?  How about buying a toy that will help your little wonder and not so little wonder learn?

Now that I have asked these questions, I will point you in the direction of some sage advice.  Last year the folks at “Live Science” have come up a great list of toys that help children explore many science fundamentals.  From toys featuring old friends and familiar product s like Miss Frizzle and “The Magic School Bus,” and Lego sets, to toys that get at chemistry through cooking and exploration through a working microscope, there are a wide range of toys in every price range.  These toys offer toddlers through teens the chance to build robots, do chemistry, familiarize themselves with labs and lab equipment, and fit together gears.  As you shop for your family, picture the heap of toys gathering dust and taking up space in one corner, versus some great quality toys that will go far in encouraging them, to pursue science and find real learning satisfaction.  While there may some of that dusty heap, I am going to plan to offset it with quality items.


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Sunday Morning Shout Out

Twas a few nights before 2014 when all through the house

Not a child was stirring, not even our two year-old who likes to get up during the night still, and crawl around like a mouse.

 My children’s’ favorite dress up clothes were hung, no make that crumpled on the ground without a care. 

In hopes that mermaids, fairies, knights, princesses, princes, and the odd pop star would soon be there.


Daddy in his earplugs and I the complete sap

Had just settled down for some grown up time and a chat.


When out on our lawn there arose such a clatter

I sprang from my armchair to see what the heck was a matter.


Away to the window, I bolted like a flash

Sprung up the window and wanted to dash


When what to my sleep deprived eyes should appear.

Something that any parents in their right mind would fear.


The children were stirring, not inside but out

Bellowing bad boy band songs; looking like Elton John in the 70’s, and dancing no doubt.


Yelling nine year-old, six year-old, and two year-old, please stop!

If you continue, there will be a call to the cops

When does school resume, I say, it has been a long break

We don’t know how much commotion; pleas for inside voices, even when outside, we can take!


While your breaks are good, your time in school is also a pleasure.

Two weeks off has given us measure.


The sight of your school buses and the normal routine, we will treasure.

From our house of Elton John’s to yours, Happy Holidays and Happy 2014!

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Filed under Education, My Experiences, Parenting

Sunday Morning Shout Out

It is here and fully upon us.  As the first real snow continues to fall lightly outside, I truly welcome in the holiday season.  We get ready to give thanks tomorrow and then the build up to Christmas time.

I love this season on so many levels.  For me, it marks a time in which we are all at our collective best.  As we give thanks, we think more often of our blessings and what we are grateful for in life.  We also think longer about those who do not have all we do and we think of how to help; how to contribute; how to share our bounty.  For a time, it Is less about us and more about the greater world and its needs around us.  Imagine what such attention and contribution could do the rest of the year!

I also love the wonder of the children.  I do not think the most jaded individual would remain that way, if they spent abundant time with little ones.  The big turkey; little pilgrims and Native Americans; the baking and cooking; the decorating; the music and singing; the tree;  and playing in the snow all create a palpable excitement and  joy among the  little set.  You can’t help but feel it in their presence.

I love the socializing. Whereas most other times of the year we say we will make plans with extended family and friends, we tend to really do more of that this time of year.  We gather and enjoy each other’s company.  We make greater efforts. We do not rush as much.

I love the traditions, with the food ones being some of my favorite.  The pasta dishes on my husband’s side and the fish, sausage, and ham dishes on my side, remind us of where we came from and the richness of our differences.  Hearing the old stories of how it used to be done and telling our children stories about our childhoods, mean everything to me.  The roots are being planted; I am a grateful gardener.

So now I am really ready.  The Christmas music that began right after Halloween on the airwaves and  the items that appeared  two months ago in the stores were completely out of place for me.  Yet with it now really here, I am ready to dive head first into it all.  When you pull me out, you might just find me covered in flour; lights; and little boy and girl kisses.

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Christmas is…

So the day has finally come that millions of children around the world have waited for all year. For us parents it is also a special time when we can interact with our children. Whether it is putting batteries in a toy, opening those clam shells (and not drawing blood), putting together some legos, dressing a doll, trying to compete on a video game or setting up a tablet it is all time you get to spend with your child. It is time you are interacting with your child and ideally you are both teaching and learning through the experience. We here at Tutor Doctor hope you have a great day and create memories you will cherish in the future.

Percy Faith with Spence Maxwell wrote and first recorded one of the holiday songs that captures some of the magic of the day. Here are a bit of the lyrics:

“Christmas is …”

Christmas is sleigh bells

Christmas is sharing

Christmas is holly

Christmas is caring


Christmas is children who just can’t go to sleep

Christmas is memories, the kind you always keep

Deck the Halls and give a cheer

For all the things that Christmas is each year

Christmas Merry Christmas

May all your wishes come true


Christmas is carols to warm you in the snow

Christmas is bedtime when no one wants to go

All the world is tinsel bright

So glad to know that Christmas is tonight


Christmas Merry Christmas

When all your wishes come true

Christmas Merry Christmas

May all your wishes come true


Merry Christmas


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Making Christmas Real

On a recent road trip to a students house I heard an interview on NPR that I thought was interesting. I don’t have the reference at the moment but I wanted to quickly capture the thought before I lost it. Basically, the woman spoke about having been discouraged about Christmas after her early teens until recently when she had children of her own. She stated that she found the spirit of Christmas through her children and was able to get past the commercialization.

She went on to say that it was every parents responsibility to make Christmas real. To her this meant doing what you can do and making sure you do the small simple things like decorations, scents, and foods. Establishing traditions around the holiday season are also important to children and ultimately it is the joy, wonder and happiness that we see in our children that helps us find Christmas and make it real for our family.

Update…I found the interview and it is titled ‘Tracey Thorn Finds Joy and Angst in Christmas Songs‘. Tracey Thorn is an English singer and songwriter, formerly of the dance-pop duo Everything but the Girl. The interview was with NPR’s Scott Simon and focused on her holiday album called Tinsel and Lights.

Here is the exact quote I was trying to pass on:

“As a parent, you have this responsibility to make Christmas happen in the house. You’re the one who puts the tree up, and who sort of makes the house feel Christmas-y and cooks the right food at the right time. And I quite liked the sense that, to children, it’s very magical and intangible, and yet as an adult you’re quite aware that there’s a lot of work going on behind the scenes, people actually making it all happen. It’s slightly Wizard of Oz: Behind the curtain there’s a lot of frantic effort going on. But I quite like that. I think, with children, you enjoy putting in the effort because the reward you get from their enjoyment of it is enormous.”

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‘Tis the Season(?)

In the immortal words of The Byrds, “to everything there is a season”. Sometimes, this time of year makes me wonder exactly WHAT season we’re in, however. The temperatures have been all over the board, there hasn’t been any significant snow, and yet if you turn on many of the local radio stations or head out to the shopping centers, you might expect to see snow on the ground and scarves wrapped around chilly necks.

The curious time in between Halloween and Thanksgiving seems to have been filled by Christmas cheer. What happened to living in the moment? This early introduction of the holiday spirit seems to overextend the pleasures of the Yuletide. So how can you help your family out? Avoid playing festive music or putting up decorations until a date you decide is reasonable. Just because every other house on the street has an inflatable Frosty the Snowman in the front yard by November 1st doesn’t mean you have to. Do things that involve enjoying the season at hand. Rather than looking ahead to the winter season, drink apple cider and bake apple pies or head out to a body of water to observe the migration patterns of the many waterfowl that pass through this area. Your kids will thank you for teaching them to live in the moment.

What do you think about the earlier introduction of the winter holidays?

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