Get Festive at Christmastime

4 year old, Chef Izabella (aka: Chef Izzy) here. It's almost Christmas. I love being in the Christmas spirit. I have a few thoughts about Christmas.

1. We should love one another by sharing with one another.
Share food with friends, family and neighbors. You can make the food with loved ones and share the food with loved ones. You can also buy nice treats and share them with others.
Serve others who are less fortunate than yourself at a food kitchen. Or donate food to a food drive.
We love to support Feeding America. Most of the donations get used very efficiently and go directly to the people who need it.

Share your toys too! As a kid, I love my toys, but I find it refreshing to donate some of my toys to less fortunate kids. This is especially kind to do during the holidays.
We love to donate to the Vietnam Veterans of America. They typically pick up within 24 hours. Find an organization near you, and donate warm sweaters, blankets, toys and other gently used household items today.

2. Help out around the house. Not because "someone is watching you do good deeds" but because you have a big heart and want to be a contributor in your home. If you are four years old like me, you can do a lot (with adult supervision): (a) carefully help set and clear the dinner table (b) help transfer laundry from the washer to the dryer; easier if you have a front loader (c) help take out the trash cans (d) help with the cooking and baking (e) help open the back door to "let the dog out" in the morning (f) help grab a diaper or throw something away, for your parents; if you have a baby sibling (g) help by putting your toys away without being asked to do so (h) help by putting your dirty clothes directly into your laundry bin in your closet (i) help wrap the gifts, if you are good with little scissors... help cut the paper... help tear and place the tape, etc.

To my younger readers, what are some things you like to do to help out?

3. Make a ginger bread house and have your parent or older sibling, write your last name on it. Or, you can try to write some of the letters yourself, like I do.
Do some additional festive Christmas cooking. We like to make our Christmas Biscotti, our Cheesecake Christmas bites and our red and green Christmas tortillas (use this recipe but use red and green food gels to add a Christmas flare). Of course we love to share the food we make.

4. Add some sparkle wherever you go. We like to add a little bit of sparkle to our cheeks with face glitter. We also like to add glitter to our reindeer food. Here's our reindeer food recipe AND our demo video. We add a bit of oats, glitter and shiny hearts and sprinkle it on the lawn so the reindeer know where to land on Christmas Eve.

5. Say some prayers and/or meditations together as a family and write a gratitude list of everything you are grateful for. At the end of the day, you will probably conclude, like we do... that we already have our Christmas gifts right in front of us. We have our loved ones - and they are the best gifts in the world.

6. Be prompt in writing and mailing or handing out your thank you cards. Often times family members mail packages or hand deliver them to us. Don't just unwrap it like lightening, say "thanks" and race onto the next gift. Savor each gift. Give the gift giver eye contact, and genuinely say "thank you" from your heart. Write your thank you notes in a timely fashion and remember to say "thank you" in person or over the phone, skype or facetime. Be grateful. Gifts cost money and each gift should be cherished. If you received $10 in a check or cash, buy your "thank you" cards with this money.

Have a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

If you are breathing and alive... you are tremendously blessed.
Buon Natale. Chef Izabella