Athens Oconee Parent December 2019

Page 1


A Resource for Families in Athens, Oconee County and the Surrounding Area

Holiday 2019

Building Families... Building Businesses




S Y O T &Other Gifts

12 +

things to do over holiday break Events for the Holidays

and winter, too! Celebrating our 22nd year!

2 Athens-Oconee Parent

contents “Building Families...Building Businesses” Holiday 2019 • Vol. 22 No. 1 LOCALLY OWNED AND OPERATED SINCE 1998


FEATURES 10 12 Things to Do During Christmas Break 12 Winter Blues or S.A.D.?


Shannon H. Baker


CBW Creative




Sarah Danis

S Y O T &Other Gifts


Anniston Howell WEB MANAGER


Shannon Baker, Laureen Miles Brunelli, Sarah Danis, Cassie Wright, Rush University Medical Center


Athens-Oconee Parent Magazine is published six times a year. Reader correspondence and editorial submission welcome.We reserve the right to edit, reject or comment editorially on all material contributed. No portion of this magazine may be reproduced without express written consent of the publisher. Athens-Oconee Parent Magazine reserves the right to refuse any advertising for any reason. The opinions expressed by contributors or writers do not necessarily reflect the opinions of this magazine. Distribution of this product does not constitute an endorsement of the products or services herein. Athens-Oconee Parent Magazine P.O. Box 465, Watkinsville, GA 30677 Advertising: Editorial: Office & Production: Calendar: Website:


DEPARTMENTS 4 Show & Tell 14 Get Out!



on the cover

Sisters Katyal and Vega adorn an evergreen magnolia tree. PHOTO BY CASSIE WRIGHT •

read us online!

Read Athens-Oconee Parent Magazine anywhere, any time ... online! Visit and click “read online.” Also, check out our online calendar for up-to-date, family-friendly events. Like us on Facebook!

Athens-Oconee Parent Magazine 3


Compiled by Shannon Baker

Classic City Bee Company’s


Banana Bread


anana bread is perfect for those times when you realize that the bananas you bought days earlier are just on the verge of being too ripe. Instead of letting them go to waste, use them to create a delicious dessert that everyone will love. The sweetness of the bananas and honey and the crunch of pecans invite you in and make you feel like you are home.

1/3 cup liquified coconut oil 1/2 cup Classic City Select Honey 2 eggs 1 cup mashed ripe banana 1/4 cup milk 1 Teaspoon baking soda 1 Teaspoon vanilla extract 1/2 Teaspoon salt 1/2 Teaspoon ground cinnamon 1 3/4 cups flour 1/2 cup chopped pecans


Yay! My Celebration Journal by wee society provides ideas for

celebrating special days like Static Electricity Day, National Backwards Day, National Popcorn Day and many more. From crafts and experiments, to adventures and get togethers, this book shares creative ways to celebrate each one while documenting it all in a journal you’ll look back on for years to come.

The Double Dangerous Book for Boys by Conn, Arthur and

Cameron Iggulden is a treasure trove of the essential activities and skills that have defined generations of boyhoods, from building a treehouse to fishing to finding true north. Parents looking to reduce screen time and rediscover the great outdoors can use this book to fill days with wonder, excitement, adventure, and fun.

Make.Share.Love. This family activity makes a useful keepsake. The whole family can create a special set of dishes together. What You Need: • Plain white plates that are Oven Safe • Ceramic paint (acrylic), paint pens and/or sharpies • Paint brushes What You Do: Plan your design by sketching out ideas on paper first, then start decorating plates with your paint or pens. If painting more

Preheat oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit. In a mixing bowl whisk the coconut oil and honey together. Add the eggs and beat well; whisk in the bananas and milk. Add the baking soda, vanilla, salt, and cinnamon and whisk together. Finally, mix in the flour and gently fold in the pecans to the batter. Pour the batter into a greased 9x5 inch loaf pan. Bake for 55 to 65 minutes or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean. Allow the bread to cool for 20 minutes before serving. -

Send your ideas & photos to P.O. Box 465, Watkinsville, GA 30677 or e-mail 4 Athens-Oconee Parent

Holiday Kinks?

Get Your Back Up Against the Wall! A

dults and children spend hours hunched over their phones and computers that it is poorly affecting postures and causing tight back and neck muscles. This quick exercise can help counter the kinks. When doing this movement, think of making snow angels. Place your body against a wall with bended arms at the elbows and the back of your hands flat against the wall. Ensure your neck and lower back are as close to the wall as possible. Slowly raise your arms up overhead, maintaining your arm contact with the wall, then slowly lower them back down. Repeat 10 times. Remember to do these slowly … speed does not win here.

Flatten those elbows and wrists and move arms up the wall than one layer of color, make sure to allow the first layer to dry before painting over the top. Sharpies and paint pens will also bake onto the plate and can be used for fine details. If the painting doesn’t go as planned, you can wash the plate and start over. Once the plate is decorated, “set” the paint by baking the plate in the oven at 300° Fahrenheit for 30 minutes (or according to your ceramic paint instructions). Remove the plate from the oven using hot mitts, and set aside to cool. Once they’ve cooled, the plates can be used for your next family meal, or they make great gifts for a holiday or special occasion. 5



S Y O T &Other Gifts

Pretend Peppa Pig Table & Chair Set (pictured above)

Your little one will go hog wild for this table with built-in storage in the center of the table for markers, crayons or small toys.

Clappy the Animated Monkey

Most appreciated in real life, Clappy is truly adorable! Touch his left foot to play an interactive clapping game, and the right to hear the song “If You’re Happy and You Know It” in a cute child’s voice.


Athens Gift Box from Community (pictured above)

Located in downtown Athens, Community offers gift boxes filled with goods from Athens-based vendors and are customizable for any occasion or budget. Gifts range from artisan coffee and chocolate, natural soaps, body and home products to handmade jewelry and Athens souvenir

Five Second Rule Board Game

Pick a card, read the seemingly easy topic, then start the timer! 5 seconds to name 3 things that fit the topic, sounds easier than it is! As seen on “Ellen”

Madame Alexander

So many dolls to choose from – there are collector dolls for your older children such as Pussycat – or for younger children there are the adorable Middleton Doll Newborn Twins.

Very Good Puzzle

Designs and photos are chosen from compelling artists such as Athens’ artist Mary Porter (pictured), Lou Kregel, David Hale, Terry Rowlett and more. Check them out locally at Treehouse Kid and Craft in Athens and Mercantile on Main in Watkinsville.

Thomas & Friends Super Cruiser Transforming Train Track Set

A transforming vehicle and track set that lets kids bring transporting adventures on the Island of Sodor to life in their own home. Comes with 3 trains, and storage space for over 40 engines. 6 Athens-Oconee Parent

PAW Patrol Mighty Lookout Tower

Standing 2.5 feet tall, this Tower has a real working telescope, action figure, vehicle, a working elevator, and a zip line the pups can use when trouble strikes!

Construction Play Set

If your child likes trucks, then check out the total pieces included in this engineering construction vehicle set: crane, trailer, steamroller, bulldozer, forklift, snowplow and truck. from iPlay, iLearn


Tech HubPlus Power Bank

A high-quality portable battery offers up to 4x extra battery life and features built-in Apple Lightning and USB-C cables along with wall prongs to directly recharge the unit.


BuddyPhones uses a built-in, always-on, volume-limiting circuit in all of their kidsafe headphones to cap the volume. Get the PLAY or the WAVE (waterproof) with hours of wireless battery life and four distinct SafeAudio modes.


2-in-1 Baseball and Tennis Play Set

Ball games help develop visual processing, concentration, and hand-eye coordination that’s required for players. From iPlay, iLearn.

Unicorn Bouncy Horse Plush

Gives kids a reliable partner to help strengthen muscles, learn how to maintain balance, and promote brain development. From iPlay, iLearn. n

8 Athens-Oconee Parent 9

timeout Make the most of it! Inspired by Laureen Miles Brunelli,


Things to Do During Christmas Break


DECORATE. No one is as enthusiastic about holiday decorating as kids! They throw themselves into it with energy most adults just don’t have this time of year.


PUT ON A TALENT SHOW. If you are trying to get things done, the kids might put together a show and perform for you later. Or the whole family could show off their talents for visiting guests – karaoke, lip-syncing, and dancing to a favorite song or just singing a few carols.


BAKE. From toddlers to teenagers, kids love the mixing and the measuring – but most of all, they love the treats at the end.


MAKE GIFTS. Homemade gifts are a kid specialty. They love to make them; we parents love to get them.


ATTEND LOCAL EVENTS. Drive through the lighting

10 Athens-Oconee Parent

displays around town; cut down your own tree; see a Christmas show at your local theater. VISIT WWW.ATHENSPARENT. COM FOR A VARIETY OF LOCAL EVENTS.


WATCH A MOVIE TOGETHER. TV isn’t all bad if you watch it together – especially today when all family members could be watching on separate devices! Choose a favorite movie that you want to introduce them to.


GO ICE SKATING. Ice skating is a great event to get moving and enjoy a winter sport. (Athens has it’sown ice skate rink at the Classic Center).


TRY AN INDOOR SPORT. Roller skating, swimming, basketball, ping pong, and pool are a few indoor activities to try over your holiday break. Check out your local rec for indoor basketball and more. Also, you can look for places such as theYMCA for an indoor pool.


PURGE. Getting kids’ rooms clean before Christmas may help when it comes to stowing new presents later. This also allows them to donate their gently used items.


VOLUNTEER. Of course, volunteering is a great thing to do at any time of year. During the holidays there are a lot of opportunities for kids to volunteer.


GO TO A MUSEUM. Many attractions put on special programs for kids during Christmas break. In Athens, think GMOA, OCAF, Sandy Creek Nature Center and libraries.


READ A BOOK TOGETHER. Choose a special book so it stands out as a holiday tradition – if reading together is not part of your routine, the holiday season is a great opportunity to start. n 11

takecontrol Go towards the By Rush University Medical Center Staff • Art by Jane Baker

Winter Blues or


S.A.D.? the winter blues are very common, with many of us experiencing a mood shift during the colder, darker days of winter. Although you may feel more gloomy than usual, the winter blues typically don’t hinder your ability to enjoy life. But if your winter blues start permeating all aspects of your life – from work to relationships – you may be facing Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD). SAD is a recurrent type of depression associated with the change in seasons. It typically starts in the fall and persists through the winter months. The primary culprit of both the winter blues and SAD, according to Christen Tibbs, MD, a primary care physician at Rush, is the lower level of natural sunlight we are exposed to in the fall and winter.

Less natural light can cause the following problems: • Dips in serotonin which regulates mood • Disruptions in circadian rhythms (your body’s internal clock), which help control sleep-wake cycles • Alterations in melatonin, a hormone associated with both mood and sleep

12 Athens-Oconee Parent

4 ways to get a leg up on the winter blues and SAD:

the 1Recognize signs

Winter Blues signs: • General Sadness • Lack of Energy • Difficulty sleeping • Feeling less social than usual • Difficulty taking initiative SAD signs: • Sleeping too much • Overeating • Mood that is down or depressed most of the day, nearly every day ª Loss of interest in activities you typically enjoy • Withdrawing and isolating yourself from friends and family • Struggling to focus and perform at work or home • Feeling constantly fatigued and lethargic


Don’t ignore your symptoms

If you’re experiencing depres sive symptoms – even mild ones associated with the winter blues – it is important to talk to your primary care doctor or a psychologist to discuss your options. “Often people with the winter blues or SAD first come

light! to see me because they aren’t feeling well – they’re lethargic, easily fatigued and aren’t feeling like themselves,” says Tibbs. “They think there is something wrong physically.”


Find a treatment that works for you

SUNLIGHT: Get outside whenever the sun is out during these darker days by taking a walk at lunch or playing with the kids. Exposing yourself to natural light will help boost serotonin production and your overall mood. LIGHT THERAPY: As the current standard of care for SAD, light therapy replicates natural light with light boxes, and can be particularly helpful in regulating the release of melatonin. EXERCISE: Often referred to as “nature’s antidepressant” moderate exercise of at least 30 minutes most days of the week is best.

COGNITIVE BEHAVIORAL THERAPY: This is clinically proven to be extremely beneficial for all types of depression and SAD. MEDICATION: If more conservative treatments are not providing adequate relief, you may need antidepressants to regulate the chemical imbalances associated with the winter blues and SAD.


Embrace a healthy lifestyle

• Go to sleep and wake up at the same time every day to help normalize your circadian rhythms. • Avoid the common urge in the winter to overindulge in simple carbohydrates, such as starchy or sweet foods. • Make (and keep) plans with friends and families to help you stay connected to your loved ones. n 13


Compiled by Sarah Danis


n Athens Library

n Ice Skating Athens on Ice Public Skating will be offered in Akins Arena at the 440 Foundry Pavilion at The Classic Center. classic n Storytimes at the

Story program for children ages 18 months to 5 years old and their caregiver. Lively time of sharing books, songs, puppets, nursery rhymes, early literacy and preschool activities. Tues and Wed 9:30-10am and 10:30-11am. 613-3650. n Athens Mothers’ Center

Oconee County Library

Tuesdays and Wednesdays at 10am and 11am. Storytime is for all preschool aged children and their caregivers. Come for stories, songs, movement, crafts, and fun! Free and open to the public. 769-3950. n Mitten Tree and Holiday

Cards for Heroes at the Oconee County Library

We are collecting warm clothes like mittens, hats, and scarves for kids in need throughout December! Come decorate our mitten tree with your donations. Who is your hero? Drop in anytime at our Card Creation Station in the Children’s Area to make a card for your heroes, and we will deliver them for you! 769-3950. n Deck the Hollow at

Bear Hollow Zoo

Celebrate the holidays in lights including live music, animal encounters, and photo opportunities in the zoo illuminated with holiday lights. Concessions are available for purchase. 5:30-7:30pm. $5/person. 2 and under free. Registration is not required. 12/6-8 and 12/13-15. n Bogart

Library Story Time

Fall in love with stories, rhymes and songs every Wednesday! Ages 3.5 to 8. Free. Bogart Library.10:30am. 614-9231.

14 Athens-Oconee Parent

Preschool Story Time

Social Group

Come and meet other moms experiencing similar joys and challenges! Tuesday and Friday mornings from 9:30-11:30am year round (except when Clarke County Schools are closed). Dads are welcome on Fridays. Covenant Presbyterian Church

Some events, dates and times are subject to change. Please call individual event organizers to confirm schedules. All area codes are 706 unless otherwise noted.

of all ages along to enjoy the mysterious world of nature at night! Be prepared to hike up to two miles on our wooded trails and in the garden. If you have young children or infants, a backpack carrier is suggested. Pre-registration is required. 7pm. Meet at fountain in front of the Visitor’s Center, $5/person, $15/family. State Botanical Garden of Georgia.

13 Canopy Teen Showcase Student trapeze/fabrics/acro performance, Canopy Studio, 160-6 Tracy Street. 7pm. $10,

14 Watkinsville Christmas Parade and Tree Lighting Parade 3pm. Tree Lighing 6pm. events-calendar

14 Breakfast with Santa at


Memorial Park

6-8 OCAF Annual

14 Breakfast with The Grinch at Rocksprings Park

Holiday Market

Pottery, paintings, fiber art, stained and fused glass, jewelry, sculpture, photography, woodwork, and more from over 70 artists plus tasty home-made treats. 12/6 5-8pm, 12/7-12/8 10am-5pm. Admission for all three days is $3 for adults. Kids under 16 free. Free parking. Oconee Cultural Arts Foundation (OCAF). 7694565.

12 Full

Moon Hike (Cold Moon)

Bring family and friends

athensclarkecountycom/ 2775/Rocksprings-Park-andCommunity-Center

14 Breakfast with Santa at Sandy Creek Nature Center

14 OCAF Mingle with Kringle

Saturday, Dec 14 at Rocket Hall on School Street in downtown Watkinsville. Crafts, entertainment, story time, a picture with Santa, and an unbelievable children’s show. mingle-with-kringle

14 Canopy Festivus Show Annual Holiday trapeze/ fabrics/acro performance, Canopy Studio, 160-6 Tracy Street , 4 & 8pm. $10.

15 Canopy Kids Shows and Jr. Teen Showcase Student trapeze/fabrics/ acro performance, Canopy Studio, 160-6 Tracy Street. Kids Shows 1 & 3 pm. $5 per family; Jr. Teen Showcase 5 pm. $10 info@ canopy

16-19 Visit with Santa at the OC Library

Visit with Santa Claus and take your picture with him! All ages. 12pm. 4-5:30pm. Oconee County Library. 769-3950.

19 The Lights of Hanukkah

We are celebrating the season of lights and want you to join us in ann afternoon of stories, crafts and food. Whether you celebrate Hanukkah in your home or want to learn about this wonderful holiday, you won’t want to miss the fun. Ages 3-11. Athens-Clarke County Library. 3:30pm. 613-3650.

JANUARY 2020 4 Dad and Me Storytime: My Papi & His Motorcycle

Spend the morning at the library with your dad or male caregiver (moms are welcome too) for this special bilingual storytime. Listen to Isabel Quintero’s story of sharing a magical ride with her papi on his motocicleta, sample Mexican pastries, design your own helmet and motorcycle crafts to go. Ages 4-11. Athens-Clarke County Library. 11am. 613-3650.

10 Full Moon Hike Series (Wolf Moon)

Bring family and friends of all ages along to enjoy the mysterious world of nature at night! Be prepared to hike up to two miles on our wooded trails and in the garden. If you have young children or infants, a backpack carrier is suggested. Pre-registration is required. 7pm. Meet at fountain in front of the Visitor’s Center, $5/person, $15/family. State Botanical Garden of Georgia.

11 Train Tracks at ACC Library

Join us for a special train storytime! Come admire assembled trains on the move. With train crafts to go. Ages 3-8. Athens-Clarke County Library. 11am. 613-3650. 16 A Place to Land: MLK and the Speech that Inspired a Nation

Did you know that Martin Luther King, Jr.’s infamous “I Have a Dream” speech was not written for that day? Enjoy “A Place to Land” to find out how he came to write the infamous speech. In the spirit of MLK day of service, participate in a group service project. Crafts to go. Ages 6-11. Athens-Clarke County Library. 3:30pm. 613-3650.

18 Sing-Along Brown Bag Movie

Bring your lunch and get ready to sing along and act out your favorite family movie songs and characters! Costumes encouraged. Popcorn provided! 12pm. Free. Oconee County Library. 769-3950.

22 & Feb.26 Parent & Tot

Recycling Trot

Take a walk with your babies or toddlers in strollers and get moving, chatting, and doing good for our community all at the same time! Collect recycling and trash as we walk with our children in the neighborhoods surrounding reBlossom. 10-11am. 220 North Milledge Ave. 549-8900.

24 Pagemasters: Kids’ Book & Movie Club “Kit, An American Girl”

Which was better, the book or the movie? We’ll talk about what we think and watch the movie, too! Copies of the book are available at the Circulation desk for check-out all month long. For elementary school-ages. Oconee County Library. 4pm. 769-3950.

25 Lunar New Year Celebration – Family Fun Festival

Learn about Chinese culture and Lunar New Year traditions found throughout Asia. Enjoy music, food, literature, and art-making by creating origami crafts, learning to use chop sticks, and exploring new vegetables and snacks as the Year of the Rat begins on January 25. 10am-1pm. Visitor Center,

Conservatory, $2/person, kids under 2 years free. State Botanical Garden of Georgia.

30 Yeti Expedition

Solve the mystery of the infamous Yeti and embark on a brave expedition with us! Enjoy Yeti tales from around the world and design your own Yeti to take home. Ages 3-8. Athens-Clarke County Library. 3:30pm. 613-3650.

FEBRUARY 2020 3 Check Out the Moon at

the Oconee County Library

Get bundled up and come look at how the moon looks up close! Dr. Snook will bring telescopes for everyone to get an amazing view of the moon outside of the library. Free. Oconee County Library. 7pm. 769-3950.

13 Drew & Ellie Holcomb at The Classic Center Ellie, a solo Christian music artist, is reuniting with husband Drew for the You & Me Tour.

15 Space Science at the Oconee County Library

Come to the library to learn awesome and fun space science with Dr. Snook! Free. Oconee County Library. 2pm. 769-3950.

18 Mardi Gras Party at the Oconee County Library Let’s celebrate with music, crafts, extra-special snacks, and prizes! All ages. Free. Oconee County Library. 4pm. 769-3950.

21 Pagemasters: Kids’ Book & Movie Club “Curious George”

Which was better, the book or the movie? We’ll talk about what we think and watch the movie, too! Copies of the book are available at the Circulation desk for check-out all month long. For elementary school-ages. Oconee County Library. 4pm. 769-3950. n 15

16 Athens-Oconee Parent

Issuu converts static files into: digital portfolios, online yearbooks, online catalogs, digital photo albums and more. Sign up and create your flipbook.