The Holidays are here. Gather your smallest helpers round the table. Share traditional stories and rhyme. Sing songs in celebration of the season. Hang the twinkle lights. It’s time for all things Merry and Bright.

Create. Cut paper snowflakes to hang in windows, bake gingerbread, fashion a snowman from play dough. Adorn with buttons from a Grandmother’s Button Tin.

Communicate. Share Family Traditions. Build connection through stories of resilience and joy. Express gratitude.

We’re a collective of souls, as strong as the weakest among us. Think of others. Be a shoulder to lean on, a hand in the dark. Be kind. Find moments of calm. Pause. Reflect. Donate to a Food Bank. Share gently used items with local Shelters. Build your collective of heart, acknowledging we beat better as one. Be a Secret Santa. Shop local.

You are loved. May the beauty of the season, remain in your heart, all year round.

This Holiday Activity is perfect for The Little Hands and Hearts in Life.

You need,

•air dry clay (Crayola- White) or a Salt and Dough Recipe

https://shop.crayola.com/modeling-compounds/clay

• a baking sheet to allow the clay to dry (Line with paper towel to absorb any moisture from the clay.)

• a rollling pin

• seasonal cookie cutters (We chose a star, heart, and snowflake: Wish, Love, Magic!)

• a straw to poke a hole into the shape

• paint (Craft Acrylic)

• twine to thread

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Allow two to three days of dry time, depending on the thickness of your shape.

String and knot the shapes to form a garland. Hang shapes individually from a willow branch or tree. Place into a glass bowl or scatter round the table. A simple centre piece. Place one or three shapes into a brown paper bag. Tie with twine. Slip a snip of evergreen beneath the knot. Gift to another.

Stay tuned to view our finished project.

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The Snowman- Raymond Briggs

‘The Snowman,’ is a symphonic poem written and illustrated in 1978, by author Raymond Briggs. It first published as a wordless children’s book and was later brought to the British Public Television screen. It is screened every Christmas on Britain’s Chanel 4. Illustrations tell the story.

Miles and an ocean from Britain, I found a copy of this treasure. The book’s cover is now tattered, the spine has loosened. Yet, when I turn the page, the illustrations remain fresh. As is often heard said, when one questions the other, it began. A love affair, a curiosity with that which fuels imagination and beauty. Over time, I’d find myself scouring cluttered china shops, searching Royal Dolton figurines of ‘The Snowman.’

A choral ballad plays, “Walking In The Air,” by Howard Blake. As one listens, one is carried by the swelling chorus, entering the beautiful mind of the illustrator. ‘The Snowman,’ comes to life.

We’re walking in the air

We’re floating in the moonlit sky

The people far below are sleeping as we fly

Howard Blake

The night is sharp. Stars shine bright. Images are softened, far off in time, reminiscent, as if viewed through the glass of a shaken snow globe.

One late afternoon, it snows. Rushing out the door, James builds a snowman. Later, in bed, he has a dream. In it, he meets a snowman. Together, they embark on a journey to other lands, briefly touching down at the North Pole.

In stupor, we sink deeper into our couches and armchairs. There is only silence and stillness in the air. We are co operative, propelled along the journey.

As one, we fly above a world of towers and trees, over hillsides filled with wildlife, cross an ocean. A whale breaches the sea. A slap. The salty kiss of brine.

On the edge of dawn, ‘The Snowman’ returns James to the doorstep.

In the morning, he wakes to sunshine.

From couches and armchairs, we hear the phone ring, feel the text buzz. A ward against that which we really feel. In a fleeting instance, something deep within us, has stirred. We remember what it was to be innocent, to wonder, enchanted by the world’s mystery and magic, forever moved by that which delighted or teased us. We discover, we miss each other better in the distance.

‘The Snowman,’ by Raymond Briggs, is a beautiful story. Find it. Share it.

The idea was clean, nice and silent. I don’t have happy endings,” Briggs told the Christmas edition of Radio Times. “I create what seems natural and inevitable.

Raymond Briggs

Independent

‘The Snowman’

Royal Dolton