I haven’t found the perfect petting farm in my new community, but these photos from Oatland Island in Savannah last year show a few of our favorite barnyard buddies. If you know of a great petting farm in Northern Virginia…let me know!
Take a trip to a local petting farm to meet the animals that typically live in a barn. Help your child think about what it might have been like for the holy family staying in a barn rather than a familiar home, or hospital – like many babies are today – when Jesus was born. Your petting farm may host a holiday party of some sort, so be sure to call ahead and schedule accordingly, if you would like to attend.
If you do not have any petting farms near you, or if you would like an additional activity – or reason to make a yummy treat (ooh, ooh, that’s me!!), make these haystack cookies and discuss the “accommodations” for the Holy Family. Ask your child what they think it would be like to not have a crib or bed for your baby, but to use a feeding trough for the animals instead!
My grandmother used to make these when we came to visit, and I always enjoy fond memories of my grandparents when I eat them. Who knows what memories you will be creating for your little ones!?! If you don’t have peanut allergies, peanut butter makes a great addition to this recipe.
1 can Chow Mein Noodles
1 pkg butterscotch morsels
A large bowl
Spatula or a spoon
1. Heat butterscotch morsels in double boiler or microwave in 15-20 second intervals, stirring in between, until melted and smooth.
2. When butterscotch is melted, immediately transfer to large bowl and fold in the chow mein noodles.
3. Spoon mixture onto wax paper in “haystacks” and let cool. Enjoy!
Day 7 focuses on the Wise Men Characters in the Nativity Story, As I have mentioned in the overview, The Big Picture, this Guide is front loaded with adventure so that you can build some big memories without losing your mind the week before Christmas. Since the petting farm is most exciting for the younger crowd, and planetariums are generally more age appropriate for grade schoolers and above, most of you won’t actually be taking field trips two days in a row. If so, feel free to rearrange the week to best fit your needs.
Open Wise Men figurines and read fourth Nativity Story, and focusing on the Wise Men. If possible, take a trip to a local planetarium to see their Christmas Presentation, or stay closer to home and drink hot chocolate in your yard while star gazing.
Some smart phones now have an app available to show you what stars you can see from your current location! Check out this list – but there are some great free apps out there. Our kids thought it was pretty fantastic.
Another option, if you happen to also be in the market for a snuggly night light, this might be a great time to bestow upon them one of these babies…
Apparently there are lots and lots of other options, though…so be sure to shop around.
If your kiddos are a little older, or you feel like brushing up on the legend of the Star of Bethlehem, check out this documentary. It is well worth the time, and extremely interesting.
Encourage your child to talk about how the wise men used the star to find the young Messiah, and teach them this fun little Christmas Carol…one of my favorites! (This post has a lot of those, apparently!)
We Three Kings
We three kings of Orient are
Bearing gifts we traverse afar.
Field and fountain, moor and mountain,
Following yonder star.
O star of wonder, star of night,
Star with royal beauty bright,
Westward leading, still proceeding,
Guide us to thy perfect Light.
Twinkle Twinkle Little Star
Twinkle, twinkle, little star,
How I wonder what you are.
Up above the world so high,
Like a diamond in the sky.
Twinkle, twinkle, little star,
How I wonder what you are!
What is your very favorite holiday treat? Any Fruit Cake people out there?!?!