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Holiday Reflections from the SMPC Board

9 Dec 2022 9:36 AM | Anonymous member

The holidays are upon us! The SMPC Board would like to share a couple of words with the community on what makes the holidays fun and meaningful to their families. Wishing you and yours a very happy holiday season!

Community Events

“Our absolute favorite is Glowfari at the Oakland Zoo. We try to get a ticket for the earliest time window (5pm), bring dinner to eat inside and then head right up on the gondola before it gets too busy.”

“We've enjoyed going to Filoli Gardens in the evenings to see the light displays.”

“We hope to try ice skating at Central Park this year!”

“Our family tradition is to visit Christmas Tree Lane at Eucalyptus in San Carlos  every year. We look for the repeat decorations and identify the new ones.”

“Hopefully [with the pandemic behind us], we will be able to attend candlelight Christmas Eve services again this year.”

Family Activities

“We celebrate Hannukah - we enjoy gathering with our family and the community to light the hanukiah (menorah) each night, eating latkes (potato pancakes) and teaching our boys to play dreidel (which really just means them eating all the gelt (chocolate coins).”

“Every night of Hannukah, we light the candles together as a family and the kids (now 2yrs and 4yrs) are getting old enough to help light the candles. We also have a wooden hanukiah and candle set that the kids can put together on their own. Each night is filled with Hannukah songs and stories. And several times during the 8-day celebration we'll get together with family and enjoy latkes and holiday treats like gelt (chocolate coins) and sufganiyot (jelly-filled donuts).”

“My family in Texas always had Seven Layer Bean Dip on Christmas Eve so we wouldn't have to be too stressed trying to get to church or clean up before Santa came. We also had egg nog and peppermint cocoa (adult versions available too). My husband's family has a Christmas Eve Cookie Party every Christmas Eve after church. We would love to start making this a part of our future festivities!”

“We do an Advent countdown. In years past, we used a wooden Advent calendar, with little drawers representing each day. We wrote Bible verses on strips of paper, and put them into the drawers. Each day, we would take out one strip, forming a ring. We chained the rings together, taping the chain across the ceiling to form a decoration. This year, we are doing a Jesse tree. Each day, we put a new ornament onto the tree, each ornament symbolizing a story about how God brought love to earth.”

“Our extended family does not live close by, so during the Pandemic, we were able to start celebrating here, and one tradition my husband grew up with is cutting down a Christmas Tree. So now we all go to Skyline Ranch Christmas Tree Farm to pick one out and cut it down ourselves. Our children love helping (with a close eye on the handsaw) and tell everyone they picked the tree out!”

Holiday WishES

“I'm looking forward to participating in more local holiday events this year. So many experiences have come back in full-force this year, and we can't wait to go to many!”

“For everyone to remain happy and healthy as we travel to see our loved ones this Christmas and New Year.”

“Wishing everyone time to rest and reflect.”

“I'm not a baker (well I try hahaha), and so many of my childhood memories involve Christmas morning cinnamon rolls, decorating sugar cookies, making special New Years meals, and over the past few years (especially last year when we had a four month old), I gave myself permission to outsource all of the baked goods to Copenhagen Bakery, so my children could have the deliciousness, I wouldn't feel stressed about trying to do it all without feeling like I had failed. I hope everyone stays sane and remembers love and kindness for everyone, including giving ourselves the grace to not do it all!


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