13: Bracelets for Opera and Ballet Lovers

If you are a personal friend of mine, you know that I love opera! I know this is all about Christmas with Kids, but let’s face it, many of us are looking for the perfect gift for our parent, spouse, sibling, or grown child here!

This first gift is a great way to commemorate your daughter’s first opera experience!

Check out this wonderful spiral chart from Cindy Battisti about Donizetti’s opera “The Elixir of Love.”

The Elixir of Love bracelet spiral chart

What girl wouldn’t want a beautiful Queen of the Night bracelet in a box with a pair of tickets to see The Magic Flute? I know that I’d love this! Check out all of these lovely bracelets!

This jewelry artist specializes in bracelets that the tell the story of an opera or ballet through symbolic beads and charms. They are very clever and beautiful. I really like that they can help you remember plot details. and it’s a great way to recall and celebrate favorite performances and events.

Did your daughter just sing her first operatic role at college this semester? Celebrate that with an opera bracelet!

Did your young ballerina dance in The Nutcracker this Christmas? There’s a Nutcracker bracelet for that! If she’s too young, get one for yourself to commemorate the event!

Please visit Cindy’s Facebook Page and her website for more information!

If you are a fan of The Metropolitan Opera’s Live in HD Series, join my Facebook group! That’s where I met Cindy!



97: Sing in a Christmas Celebration!

Do you like to sing? Do your kids like to sing? Now is the time to get involved in choral organizations if you want to be a part of their annual Christmas programs. There are many opportunities to sing during the Christmas season. If you don’t have a church home, now is a great time to “church shop” if being a part of a music ministry is important to you and your kids. If you do have a church home, find out when the choir meets and go give it a try! In my experience, choir folks are some of the friendliest people in church and love to have a good time together! For kids, it’s a great opportunity to work as a team. Singing in a choir builds self-confidence and is a very positive experience for all participants!

Find a program that meets your scheduling needs, because this is supposed to be fun and bring joy, not drudgery and complications!

Psalm 100  says “Make a joyful noise unto the Lord” or “Shout for joy to the Lord!” Excellence is important (Psalm 33:3,) but only comes through experience. So, get out there and spread the Good News this Christmas!

41: Michelle’s Christmas Memories

My friend Michelle sent me a note with her favorite Christmas memory filled with traditions:

“Absolutely, hands down….
Family dinner, followed by the opening of one gift, then Midnight service at church, ending with ‘Silent Night’ by candlelight and coming home and making ‘reindeer food’ with my nieces and nephews.  They’re grown now and we all are in different places, but it warms my heart to think about it!”

What a great evening! There are several elements to this evening that make it special: food, gifts, worship, tradition, and fellowship. Any great memorable tradition combines many of these elements. When all five senses are engaged, the experience is etched in your memory very strongly.

Beautiful photo courtesy of Miriam.

42: Birthday Cake for Jesus

Rhonda, a fellow elf, sent in a favorite family tradition:

“Every year on Christmas eve, we bake a birthday cake for Jesus.  We light some candles and sing Happy Birthday.  We have decided his favorite cake is probably chocolate cake with chocolate frosting.”

My daughter thinks this is a great idea! Kids love birthday parties and it’s a great way to add another Jesus-focused element into your Christmas celebration.

Photo courtesy of Tim Notari.

63: Unusual Harry Potter Gifts

Musicnotes.comSince the next movie won’t be out this holiday season, how will we get our Harry Potter fix? Well, there are many things out there to tide us over until next summer. You could always play with your HP action figures, have a DVD-watching marathon, play the Scene-It games, but we’ve all done that already. What else is there? Here are some of the more unusual gift ideas for yourself and the other Harry Potter fans in your life!

  1. For the musician, get them a giftcard to download the sheetmusic from the films.
  2. Knit a house scarf for your Gryffindor, Ravenclaw, Hufflepuff, or Slytherin.
  3. Get them their very own wand from Alivan’s Wand Shop.
  4. The Tales of Beedle the Bard, Collector’s Edition (Offered Exclusively by Amazon)
  5. HARRY POTTER HOGWARTS SPELLS & POTIONS MAGIC SCIENCE SERIES STARTER INTRODUCTORY CHEMISTRY I & II EXPERIMENT DEMONSTRATION & PROJECT KITS. Over 20 Safe Easy Science Lab Projects. Gross Troll Boogers, Invisibility Crystals, Goo Blobs, Uhderwater Art and more!
  6. Looking for God in Harry Potter for the Kindle.
  7. Knit Weasley jumpers (sweaters) for all of your friends! Visit Charmed Knits for more Harry Potter knitting projects.

Those are just a few of the unusual items I found online. I’m sure there are dozens more out there!

80: Karaoke Fever

Do you have a karaoke machine? This is an awesome thing for parties, sleepovers, and holiday gatherings. We had a wonderful time with a karaoke microphone system at a birthday party we hosted today. The price was right and has already provided hours of fun family entertainment! Party gold! I’m looking forward to future gatherings with the grownups singing loads of classic rock. We mostly used Disney’s Karaoke Series: High School Musical today, and everyone was entertained. Grab one for your Christmas party season!

Leadsinger LS-3222 Duet Microphone for LS-3700 All-in-One Karaoke System

Photo courtesy of saeru

88: Family Picture Prep

Start thinking about having a family photo taken for your Christmas cards. What will you wear? Do you like to coordinate colors or have matching clothes for the kids? Start thinking about what you want your photo to look like so you have plenty of time to really shop the sales, knit matching scarves, or sew dresses and bowties.

Family photo ideas:

  • black turtlenecks and jeans
  • winter scene in the snow with matching scarves
  • beach scene with jeans, white shirts, and bare feet; scatter shiny red Christmas balls in the sand
  • get the family dog in the picture with a matching sweater
  • choose three colors and have everyone stick to those colors for a unified look

Do you have a favorite photo idea? Share it with everyone in a comment!