December is a truly magical time.  With the festivals of Hanukkah, Christmas, the promise of a New Year, and for many – some well deserved time off work, December is a time for family, friends, parties, school performances, visits to Santa, shopping and fun.  But, as the COVID-19 pandemic continues, and our local community is experiencing a huge spike in infections, December 2020 is proving to be a real grinch.
The Grinch review: Benedict Cumberbatch voices the character in a fun new version - Vox
But, just like the people of Whoville, we don’t have to let the Grinch win.
Below are some suggestions of ways you can still make the Holidays special for your children this year – and spread a little goodwill along the way.

1. Bake Christmas cookies and deliver them to your elderly neighbors.
Small Batch Chocolate Chip Cookies - Live Well Bake Often
You aren’t the only ones missing your family this year and older people can be even more isolated, especially in snowy and icy conditions.  Bake some Christmas cookies, wrap them in small packets and deliver them with a hand written note or picture.

2. Plan a THEM and YOU day.
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Doesn’t have to be grand and you don’t need to go anywhere.  Just tell your children that YOU are GIFTING them a whole day.  Let them decide what to do or suggest something seasonal like sledding (we just got snow), followed by hot chocolate and a Christmas movie*.  Regardless of what you do, put the phone down, don’t answer emails and dedicate the whole day to them.

3. Adopt a family or donate to Christmas Cheer.
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The legend of Good King Wenceslas is one that still resonates centuries later; Wenceslas saw someone suffering and took them his own food and wood so that they could be as comfortable as he was on Christmas Day.  While many in our community have suffered greatly during the pandemic, others have been ok, and if you are one of the fortunate ones, teach your children not to take that for granted and to share with others less fortunate.  A number of non-profits in town have ways to gift a meal or a present to a family, you can put a tab at a local restaurant – helping the business and someone in need, or you can donate items to Christmas Cheer.  In particular, Christmas Cheer needs non-perishable items like canned tuna, canned beans, canned fruit, ramen etc  Make sure that your children is engaged in the donation process and talk to them about the importance of donating with kindness and dignity.

4. Throw out the rules.
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Want to stay in your PJs for a whole day?  Want pizza for Christmas dinner?  Want to spread your presents over a whole week instead of one day?  Then do it!  If there is any year to break the rules and just do what makes your family happy THIS is the year to do it.  And maybe you’ll make some new traditions in the process.

5. Make handmade gifts.
These edgy-cool craft kits let kids make their own handmade gifts
Many families are struggling financially this year and can’t buy expensive gifts, but you can still make them special.  The dollar store has lots of great crafting supplies and you can encourage your children to make handmade cards for Grandparents instead of buying a gift.  Ask your child to write you a story to give to you and go through your drawers and closet to see if there is something special that you could pass down as a gift.  Maybe that scarf your daughter has always admired, or a piece of family jewelry.  The best gifts are meaningful ones and those often aren’t found in stores.

6. Take a tour of the Holiday lights or catch the Fire Truck
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A lot of neighborhoods are going all out this year in an effort to bring some cheer to the community.  The Tahoe Chamber is even having a Light Up the South Shore competition and you can find a map showing the best displays here: TrailofLightsMap.pdf   Jump in the car, take a tour around the trail and vote for your favorites!  And both Lake Valley and the City Fire Departments have their festive trucks going around the neigborhoods.  Catch the truck in your area and wish our brave firefighters a very Happy Holidays South Lake Tahoe Fire Rescue decorated holiday truck schedule | South Lake Tahoe – SouthTahoeNow.com

The key to December 2020 is going to be finding joy where you can and making the most of it.
The Club wishes all our members and families a wonderful festive season and our Christmas wish is to be back to normal operations as soon as possible in 2021.
Happy Holidays for everyone at the Club.
*Over very own Board Member Taylor Cole is the star in ‘Unlocking Christmas’ on the Hallmark Channel – check it out!
Unlocking Christmas (TV Movie 2020) - IMDb