A Note From the Founder – It’s Not About the Presents
My oldest daughter called me the other day and said she no longer wanted to decorate for Christmas. She said the Christmas season had been ruined for her now by all the commercialization of stores and media and the selfish behavior of the kids at school (she is an elementary school teacher.) For her, it is a stressful time as the kids misbehave, there are a ton of parties and events she must attend and everyone expects a present.
My kid is not a shopper. She absolutely hates it. Her love language is not giving material gifts, but giving her time. She is the first one to volunteer, to bring food to a sick friend, or to simply give you a smile and a compliment to brighten your day. The fact that the Christmas holiday has become so focused on shopping and expectations that money must be spent has ruined it for her.
So this year, instead of a traditional Christmas tree, she is decorating in simple winter garlands. She is going old school and trying to bring back the feel of what Christmas is supposed to be. No Santa, no Christmas tree. If you are Christian, it is a time to celebrate the birth of Christ. If you are not, it is a time to be thankful for family, friends and home.
Try something new this year. Focus on your family and friends, not the gifts. Play silly games together. Cook delicious meals. Watch Christmas movies. Collect memories, not stuff. Whether Santa visits your house this year or not, remember, it is not about the presents. It’s about the love.
Annual January Badge Sale
Just a reminder that our annual badge sale runs January 1-31. During the entire month of January each year all badges are 10% off. Please keep in mind that badges are made to order. I do not offer refunds on badges, so if you order badges in advance thinking you will earn them later, make sure you do so that they don’t go to waste. Please keep in mind that due to the sale, January is one of my busiest months for making badges. I do my best to get all ordered shipped out within a week of getting the order. Unfortunately many people wait until the last day of the sale to place their order and then I get swamped all at once. If you place a badge order this month, just keep this in mind as it may take a little longer than usually for me to ship your order.
New Badges Posted
January SWAPS Registration
Just a reminder that registration for our annual SWAPS event is coming up in January so don’t forget to read next month’s newsletter for the link. For those who are not familiar with this tradition, every year we encourage members from around the country get to know each other by trading SWAPS in the mail. The SWAPS tradition originated from the Native American “Potlatch” which is a ceremonial exchange of gifts. SWAPS were introduced into Boy/Girl Scouting/Guiding as a way to introduce one Scout to another and Curiosity Untamed carries on the tradition. We hold an annual SWAPS event through the mail nationwide every year.
SWAPS are small homemade craft items attached to safety pins that can be pinned for display somewhere on a jacket, a backpack, hat or bulletin board. They are a great way for kids to meet each other and promote friendship. Each SWAP item is a memory of a special event or person and stands for “Souvenir With A Purpose”. For our SWAPS event we ask that the crafts you make represent you in someway. They can represent where you live, your favorite food or activity, or something that makes your group special.
If you are looking for craft ideas for your SWAP, search Pinterest or Google for “SWAPS Girl Scouts” and then click on images.
Usually this event is only offered to our clubs and troops, but this year I am trying something different and opening it up to individual homeschool families as well. For those who have participated in the past, please make sure to read the registration and rules carefully and as there will be a few changes. The largest being that while the official SWAPS from us will still be free of charge, you will need to order them through the store this year. It is the only way I will be able to keep track of shipping out so many to individual families.
One of my favorite badges to earn this time of year is the Christmas Around the World badge. Whether you are learning new songs, new recipes, or new games and traditions, this badge enhances the Christmas season with new ideas to keep everyone busy.
Here is a highlight of of the Christmas Around the World Unit Study and Resources that was recently published on the blog. If you are looking for more ready to go resources for other badges, visit the blog in the resource section of the website and choose Badge Resources as the category.
Every country around the world has its own stories, songs, recipes and traditions that revolve around the Christmas holiday. For example, in the Philippines, The Giant Lantern Festival is held each year on the Saturday before Christmas. Traditional Pilipino lanterns are roughly 18″ in size, but for the festival, groups compete to try to build the largest and most elaborate lanterns they can.
In Austria, they not only have stories of St. Nicholas, but also his evil accomplice Krampus. While St. Nicholas rewards the good little boys and girls, Krampus captures the naughty children in his sack and steals them away. In the first week of December, young men dress up as the Krampus (especially on the eve of St. Nicholas Day) frightening children with clattering chains and bells.
In Norway it is tradition to hide your brooms on Christmas eve. According to legends, evil witches and spirits come out on Christmas eve and look for brooms to ride.
To Do: Learn about how Christmas is celebrated in different countries. The Kids World Travel Guide is a good resource to find out how families celebrate Christmas in multiple different countries. Try making a Philipino Christmas Lantern
Fulfills first part of requirement #1 for all levels.
Click Here for the video on how to make Philipino Christmas Lanterns as well as to view the remainder of the unit study and badge resources.