December 2018 neafamily.com
The Meaning of Hanukkah When Your College Kids Are Home for the Holidays
That Awkward Week Between Christmas & New Year’s Christmas in Key West The Best Holiday Lights
NEAPOLITANfamily • December 2018
Plus: A Guide to the Best Parent-Approved Toys neafamily.com
NEAPOLITANfamily â€¢ December 2018
Christmas Tree Sales! Collier County Fairgrounds under the pavilion
Location: 731 39th Avenue N.E. Naples, FL 34120 Days & Times: Monday-Saturday: 9 am to 9 pm Sunday: 10 am to 6 pm We have the best Quality Frasier Fir Christmas Trees from North Carolina, at low prices. Trees range from 3 feet to 12 feet Tall. Come early! We will be selling trees until they are gone. Christmas Card Photo Opportunity The Collier County Agricultural Fair & Exposition, Inc. is a private, not-for-profit organization that provides support for such community groups as the Collier County Sheriff’s Junior Deputy Program, Catholic Charities, 4-H Association, Open Youth of Collier County, Boy Scouts, Kiwanis Club, Naples Bears, Immokalee High School Band, Make-A-Wish Foundation, Youth Haven, and the Palmetto High School Fishing Club, Marching Band, and Band Boosters. In addition, our Making Life Fair Fund supports local individuals with life-altering illnesses or hardships.
Don’t forget to mark your calendar for our
Big Swamp Smoke Off January 5, 2019!
Proceeds benefit the Making Life “Fair” Fund colliercountyfair.com NEAPOLITANfamily • December 2018
Collier County Fair
December 2018 TABLE OF CONTENTS
in every issue . . . 07
FROM THE PUBLISHER
FAMILY MOVIE PREVIEWS
COLLIER COUNTY SHERIFF’S OFFICE
COLLIER COUNTY SCHOOL DISTRICT UPDATE
16 That Awkward Week Between Christmas and New Year’s. Learn how to use these days to prepare yourself for the year ahead. by Anna Futrell 18 When Your Kids Come Home from College. How to navigate new territory with your new adults. by Rebecca Barton
20 MOMentum Moms. Meet Lauren Joel and learn what she and her family have gained by opening their home to foster children. 22 Loneliness. How to deal with being alone during the holidays. by Stan Popovich
on the cover…
36 Destination: Key West. Welcome to the holidays, Conch Republic style. by Karen T. Bartlett
Eli Miller, 5, is in kindergarten at Community School of Naples. He is the son of Jennifer Siegal-Miller, a family law attorney with Henderson, Franklin, Starnes & Holt, P.A.; and Rabbi Adam Miller of Temple Shalom. Eli loves to build and has an awesome imagination. He also loves swimming and playing with his twin brothers, Jonah and Gabriel. For Hanukkah, he wants a puppy, Transformers, a buildyour-own robot, and new games to play with his family.
Cover photo by Peggy Farren of Avant Garde Photography 239-263-7001 • naplesportraits.com
38 The Meaning of Hanukkah. Discover why Hanukkah is a celebration of Thanksgiving and religious freedom. by Jamie Lober 40 7 Free Ways to Create a Memorable Family Holiday. How to make memories without reaching into your wallet. by Rebecca Hastings 42 Lighting Up Your Holiday. A guide to the best local light displays, and where your kids (and pets) can get a picture with Santa. 44 Best Toys of the Year. We’ve made your holiday shopping easier with a look at some of the top toys of 2018. by Elena Epstein
Covenant Church of Naples Mom’s Morning Out Providing a loving environment for children while offering parents and caregivers a needed break
Session 3 starts November 12 Mon & Wed or Tues & Thu (one-day option available) 9 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. Ages 2-4 years by Jan. 1
6926 Trail Blvd., Naples, FL
239.597.3464 Visit www.covenantnaples.com/Moms-Morning-Out 4
Hurry! Space is limited. NEAPOLITANfamily • December 2018
Providing Care for Infants, Toddlers, Preschool, VPK & AFTER SCHOOL PROGRAMS K-5th GRADE
Gold Seal Recognized by the Department of
Children and Families
Family Friendly Business Award Recipient
Nationally Recognized Breastfeeding Friendly Childcare Center & Gold Level Employer
Two Year FACCM Center of the Year Winner
Secure Gated Entrance, Security Cameras, and a dedicated safety trained staff
Parent workshops and trainings
Balanced curriculum of 38 objectives including extracurricular activities such as STEAM, Music Lessons, Soccer, Dance, Zumba, Spanish and Baby Sign Language
On Campus Garden, STEAM Laboratory, and Library with over 4,500 books!
Family friendly events such as Halloween Parade, Scholastic Book Fairs, Spirit Nights, Family Dinner Nights, Mothers Day Performance, Fathers Day Dance, VPK Graduation & Prom, and more!
Weekly Yoga, Music, Piano, Soccer, Dance, Zumba, Foreign Language & Sign Language Classes Monthly field trips to destinations such as the Conservancy, The Children’s Museum, the Artis Naples, Barnes and Noble, the Botanical Gardens, Naples Zoo and more! Call today to schedule a tour! 239-261-7442 PHONE
Precious Cargo Academy 5200 Crayton Road Naples, FL 34103 WEBSITE: PreciousCargoAcademy.org
A Mission of Naples United Church of Christ NEAPOLITANfamily • December 2018
Find Us on Facebook!
years as a garden
BRINGING GENERATIONS CLOSER. CLOSER TO ANIMALS. CLOSER TO NATURE. CLOSER TO FAMILY.
years as a zoo
Naples Zoo is proud to showcase “Washed Ashore: Art to Save the Sea”. This traveling art exhibit will feature eleven larger-than-life marine animal sculptures made entirely of plastics found along beaches. Visit Naples Zoo to learn how you can make a difference for our waters today!
11/17/18 - 4/21/19
Free with paid Zoo admission.
NEAPOLITANfamily • December 2018
from the publisher… the parenting magazine devoted to collier county
P.O. Box 110656 Naples, FL 34108 email@example.com 8
THIS MONTH: The Holidays
Co-Publisher Leigh Ann Newman firstname.lastname@example.org 239-272-0529 Co-Publisher Stacy Nicolau email@example.com 239-370-5333 Travel Editor Karen T. Bartlett firstname.lastname@example.org 239-595-9026 Feature Writer Anna Snyder Cover Photographer Peggy Farren www.naplesportraits.com Field Photographer Lisette Morales email@example.com Intern Ginny Lundstrom Editorial submissions are welcome. We reserve the right to edit, reject, or comment editorially on all material contributed. We cannot be responsible for return of any unsolicited materials. Articles and advertisements in Neapolitan Family do not necessarily reflect the opinion of the publisher nor does the publisher assume responsibility for statements made by our advertisers or editorial contributors. Acceptance of advertising by Neapolitan Family does not constitute an endorsement of the products, services, or information. We do not knowingly present any product or service which is fraudulent or misleading in nature. Neapolitan Family is available free of charge at more than 200 distribution points throughout Collier County as well as digitally at neafamily.com. Neapolitan Family is ©2018 by Neapolitan Family Publishing LLC. All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or part without written permission is strictly prohibited. NEAPOLITANfamily • December 2018
The older I get, the less I want, especially at the holidays. I was a typical kid -- feeling like I was going to explode, waiting for Santa to come so I could rip open a pile of wrapped presents and spend the next several days destroying them. Now, all I want for Christmas is to sleep in and spend time with my family, while eating cookies and cheese. And that’s what we offer you in this issue: ideas on fun (and inexpensive!) ways to spend time with your family during this special time of year. Check out our top 10 list of free (yes, free!) holiday events in Southwest Florida on page 41. While you’re there, look over on the facing page for great tips on how to make memories without spending a fortune. Turn to page 42 for a list of the best local lighting displays and lighted boat parades, as well as where to see and take pictures with Santa Claus. To find even more opportunities for your kids to visit with St. Nick, visit our calendar, starting on page 26, and look for Santa. The calendar also offers an extensive list of other family holiday events, and we feature one event each day of the month on our pull-out calendar on page 24. Don’t worry, we didn’t completely forget about gifts! On page 44, check out a selection of this year’s best toys, for all ages, from infant to teens. Now that the beautiful weather has finally come our way, enjoy your family and all that Southwest Florida has to offer. Happy Holidays!
Family Movie Previews for December star-studded cast, including: Meryl Streep, Dick Van Dyke, Lin-Manuel Miranda, Angela Lansbury, Colin Firth, and Julie Waters. ON THE BASIS OF SEX Rated PG-13 for some language and suggestive content In theaters 12/25 • For kids 11+ The film tells an inspiring and spirited true story that follows young lawyer Ruth Bader Ginsburg as she teams with her husband Marty to bring a groundbreaking case before the U.S. Court of Appeals and overturn a century of gender discrimination. The 2018 premiere of the movie coincides with Justice Ginsburg’s 25th anniversary on the Supreme Court. Felicity Jones stars as Ginsburg. Other cast members include: Armie Hammer, Justin Theroux, Kathy Bates, Sam Waterston, and Cailee Spaeny.
MARY POPPINS RETURNS Rated PG for some mild thematic elements and brief action In theaters 12/19 • For kids 6+ In Depression-era London, a now-grown Jane and Michael Banks, along with Michael’s three children, are visited by the enigmatic Mary Poppins following a personal loss. Through her unique magical skills, and with the aid of her friend Jack, she helps the family rediscover the joy and wonder missing in their lives. Emily Blunt returns as Mary Poppins, and is joined by a
Not yet rated; Likely PG-13 In theaters 12/21 • For kids 12+
Rated PG-13 for sequences of sci-fi violence and action, and for some language In theaters 12/21 • For kids 11+
The Step Brothers are reunited – this time playing the world’s greatest consulting detective and his loyal biographer – as Will Ferrell and John C. Reilly star as Holmes & Watson. Written and directed by Etan Cohen, the movie also starts Rebecca Hall, Rob Brydon, Kelly Macdonald, and Ralph Fiennes.
Starring Jason Momoa in the title role, the film reveals the origin story of half-human, half-Atlantean Arthur Curry and takes him on the journey that will force him to face who he really is, and discover if he is worthy of who he was born to be: a king. The movie also features Nicole Kidman, Amber Heard, Willem Dafoe, and Djimon Hounsou.
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finds refuge in a junkyard in a small Californian beach town. Charlie (Hailee Steinfeld), on the cusp of turning 18 and trying to find her place in the world, discovers Bumblebee, battle-scarred and broken. When Charlie revives him, she quickly learns this is no ordinary, yellow VW bug. Directed by Travis Knight, the film also stars Justin Theroux, Angela Bassett, and John Cena. SPIDER-MAN: INTO THE SPIDER-VERSE Not Yet Rated; Likely PG In theaters 12/14 • For kids 10+
BUMBLEBEE Rated PG-13 for sequences of sci-fi action violence In theaters 12/21 • For kids 10+ On the run in the year 1987, Bumblebee
This highly anticipated computer-animated movie introduces Brooklyn teen Miles Morales, and the limitless possibilities of the Spider-Verse, where more than one can wear the mask. Directed by Bob Persichetti, Peter Ramsey, and Rodney Rothman, the film’s the ground-breaking visual style combines computer animation with traditional hand-drawn comic book techniques so that viewers feel as though they’ve stepped into a comic book. More than 140 animators worked on this project. Voice talents include Shameik Moore in the
title role, Nicolas Cage, Hailee Steinfeld, Jake Johnson, Lily Tomlin, Mahershala Ali, and Liev Schreiber. The late Stan Lee, one of the creators of the Spider-Man character, was an executive producer.
This Holiday give the
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239.566.3535 NEAPOLITANfamily • December 2018
Photo courtesy of Greater Naples Chamber of Commerce
YOUR COMMUNITY NEWS & EVENTS
Above: Amaya’s Bowtastic Bowtique, a vendor and second place winner in the 11-12 year old category at the recent Children’s Business Fair in Naples.
Naples Children’s Business Fair Rated in Top 5 in the Country
he Naples 2018 Children’s Business Fair has been ranked as one of the five largest fairs in the nation by Acton Children’s Business Fair program. Hosted by The Greater Naples Chamber of Commerce and the Leadership Collier Foundation, the fair attracted more than 100 youth-run businesses (run by 150 students) and 1,000 attendees. “Providing this kind of opportunity to the youth in our community is so important. It gives them a chance to work together, be creative, establish soft skills, and experience what it might be like to be a business owner,” said Nikkie Dvorchak, Naples Chamber vice president of events and development. “The quality and originality of the students’ products were very impressive. We can’t wait to see how the event continues to grow each year.” Attendees voted for the most original business idea, highest business potential, and best presentation/creativity. Local leaders served as judges and awards were presented in five age groups, with one student awarded the Sunshine Award, which granted this year’s winner, MoMoxy, a spot to display and sell her product in a local Sunshine Ace Hardware store. 2018 Winners Most Original Business: Letters 4 Luv Highest Business Potential: Big O’s Mobile Food Cart Most Creative: Sweets for Sudan Sunshine Award: MoMoxy 1st: David’s Art Work Age 6-7 Winners: 2nd: David’s Ultimate Cookie Shop 3rd: K&K Sweets Age 8-10 Winners: 1st: Slime Bunny 2nd: Hannah Ashley Designs 3rd: Nicole’s Casual Art
NEAPOLITANfamily • December 2018
Age 11-12 Winners: 1st: Dazzling Designs 2nd: Amaya’s Bowtastic Bowtique 3rd: Emily’s Tasty Treats Age 13-14 Winners: 1st: Creations by Kaelan 2nd: Glitter Squad 3rd: Beachy Bites Age 15-17 Winners: 1st: Letters 4 Luv 2nd: Nagen 3rd: Khari Cosmetics For additional information, visit www.napleschamber.org or www.childrensbusinessfair.org.
Our Educated and Dedicated Staff Encourages Creative, Expressive, Hands on Learning
Horse Therapy Offered to Teens As Part of New DLC Program
avid Lawrence Center (DLC) and Naples Therapeutic Riding Center (NTRC) have teamed up to offer adolescents enrolled in the new Children’s Partial Hospitalization Program (PHP) access to equine-facilitated psychotherapy – a holistic, evidence-based form of group mental health treatment using horses for healing. The adolescent mental health PHP is a voluntary day treatment program that provides structured, intensive, and medically supervised treatment for teens ages 13-17. The program assists at-risk teens who are exhibiting significant psychiatric symptoms that cause severe distress and impairment in areas such as self-care, school functioning, and family or interpersonal relationships. Children enrolled in PHP commonly struggle with depression, anxiety, oppositional defiance disorder, adjustment disorder, bullying, suicidal ideation, and self-harm. The focus of the new horse therapy service is to create a safe place for the troubled teens and their therapist to process feelings, thoughts, and reactions using horse-related exercises. This new form of therapy allows them to participate in fun exercises with their herd of highly-intuitive “furry” co-therapists – opening them up to new possibilities. On average, each child will attend two equine therapy sessions while enrolled in PHP. For more information, visit www.DavidLawrenceCenter.org or call 239-455-8500. NEAPOLITANfamily • December 2018
Your child will receive quality interaction with our low student-teacher ratios and will enjoy our spacious, shaded, fun-filled play area.
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YOUR COMMUNITY NEWS & EVENTS
Sea Gate and Lorenzo Walker Named Blue Ribbon Schools
ea Gate Elementary and Lorenzo Walker Technical High School have been named as National Blue Ribbon Schools for 2018, two of only 12 schools in Florida to have received the honor. The recognition is based on a school’s overall academic performance or progress in closing achievement gaps among student subgroups. Schools were selected based on all student scores, subgroup student scores, and graduation rates. Now in its 36th year, the National Blue Ribbon Schools Program bestowed the honor on more than 8,800 schools. Last month, the Department of Education recognized 300 public and 49 private school honorees at an awards ceremony in Washington, D.C. Sea Gate Principal Beverly Budzynski and Lorenzo Walker Principal Jeff Rexton accepted the award on behalf of their schools. Collier County Public Schools was represented by Superintendent Kamela Patton and Stephanie Lucarelli, vice chair of the CCPS school board. For additional information, visit the Department of Education at www2.ed.gov, or www.collierschools.com.
Above: Sea Gate Elementary (SGE) Principal Beverly Budzynski (center) and Mary Jarrett (second from right), reading coach at SGE, accept a plaque from Aba S. Kumi, director of the National Blue Ribbon Schools Program, last month in Washington, D.C. Also in attendance were CCPS Superintendent Dr. Kamela Patton (far left) and Stephanie Lucarelli (far right), vice chair of the CCPS school board.
caught the flu? no school for you!
Prevent the flu– get your children vaccinated. No appointment necessary! Walk-In Services for Free Children’s Vaccines. Naples 239-252-8595 Mon–Fri, 8am–5pm
(Registration closes at 3pm)
Immokalee 239-252-7300 Mon–Fri, 8am–4pm 12
NEAPOLITANfamily • December 2018
COLLIER COUNTY SHERIFF’S OFFICE
By Kristine Gill
Deputies Improving Bus Stop Safety
ur traffic deputies are stepping up their presence at school bus stops and along bus routes, reminding motorists when to stop for a bus and reminding our students how to stay safe, too. In November, our Traffic Unit deputies issued nine citations on a Monday morning to drivers passing school buses. Deputies rode on two different buses to spot violators along two routes: one along Golden Gate Parkway and the other down Santa Barbara Boulevard. Each of the violators was given a $268 ticket. Two of those violators will also face mandatory court appearances for passing on the right side of the school bus where students were getting on. This is just one of several enforcement efforts by our traffic deputies over the course of each school year. We choose which routes to focus on based on reports of violations spotted by bus drivers. Sgt. Terry Smith of our Traffic Unit said the initiative was prompted in part by serious injuries to students boarding buses around the country in recent months. Thankfully no such injury has taken place in our county this year. Take a second to refresh yourself on these key safety tips: Safety Around the School Bus • Make sure your children knows their bus number. This will reduce your children’s stress and avoid confusion on which bus to ride. • Make sure your children know their telephone number and address. • Visit the bus stop with their children. • Walk the route to and from the bus stop with your children, pointing out landmarks and safe places to go if they are being followed or bothered by a stranger. The safe places can be used if a child needs help. • Teach your children what to do if the bus does not arrive on time. • Teach your children to stay with a group while waiting at the bus stop.
• Teach your children to be on alert if an adult approaches them for help or directions; remind them that adults should not ask children for help; they should ask another adult. School Transportation Safety for Motorists • Florida law requires motorists to stop upon approaching any school bus displaying its flashing red lights. The only exception is when a vehicle is traveling in the opposite direction of the school bus and traveling on a divided highway with an unpaved space of at least five feet or when traveling on a divided highway with a raised median or a physical barrier. • Be alert and watch for children, especially near schools, bus stops, school buses, and in school parking lots. • Children on bicycles can be unpredictable and can make sudden changes in direction. Be especially careful when children on bikes are present in school zones and residential areas. • Pay extra attention to lower speed limits in school zones. • Watch for and obey signals from school crossing guards. • Only drive or park in authorized areas to drop off or pick up children at school.
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CITY CONNECTION PARKS DEPT.
By Laura Tichy-Smith
Celebrate December at Our City Parks! There are lots of fun things to see and do in December, courtesy of the City of Naples Community Services Department. Free Holiday Open House at Naples Preserve and Eco-Center Your family will get into the holiday mood at the annual Preserving the Holiday Spirit Open House with appearances by special animal guests, live music, seasonal refreshments, and naturally decorated holiday trees. Make a food ornament for the wildlife tree and take a guided twilight tour of the boardwalk at this extraordinary nature preserve in the heart of the city. Dec. 7-9 from 4-6:30 p.m. For additional information, call 239-261-4290. (1690 Tamiami Tr. N.) Winter Camps for Children K-12 With an astonishing variety of themes offered in multiple winter break camps, you’re sure to find a day camp to please every child in your household. While the camps are educational, your kids will be having so much hands-on fun they won’t even realize they are really learning. The camps include offerings such as fun days, creative arts, rock climbing, skateboarding, BMX, and science. For additional information, call 239-213-3020. Christmas Parade Kick off your family’s holiday celebration at this parade where a certain jolly old elf
is almost certain to make an early appearance. The fun begins at 6 p.m. on Dec. 11 at the corner of Broad Avenue South and Third Street South, just north of the Naples Pier. The parade route proceeds north on Third Street to swank Fifth Avenue South, then turns south at Eighth Street South to end in front of Cambier Park around 8 p.m. For additional information, call 239-213-7120. The Holiday Science Spectacular
known for its gopher tortoises, also is the home of many other fascinating reptiles. The program will feature lizards, snakes, turtles, tortoises, and amphibians. On Saturday, Dec. 15, learn how the Preserve is “A Blooming Place.” The program will show photos of the summer season flowers and highlight what’s in bloom for the next few months. For additional information, call 239-261-4290. (1690 Tamiami Tr. N.) Parents’ Night Out With Miss Cricket
Explore and engage in some spectacular science this holiday season with Mr. Glen the Science Guy. Witness our fantastic holiday experiments during this interactive scientific stage show. Be sure to raise your hand and participate; Mr. Glen may ask for your assistance on stage. Saturday, Dec. 15 at 3 p.m. Tickets are $15. For additional information, call 239-2133058. (The Norris Center, 755 Eighth Ave. S., Naples)
Enjoy a night out while your kids enjoy dinner, games, and a movie with Miss Cricket, the gymnastics and after-school instructor at Fleischmann Park. Friday, Dec. 14 from 6-9:30 p.m. The cost is $22 for first child, $17 for siblings with pre-registration; $27 for first child, $22 for siblings with day-of registration. For additional information, call 239-2133020. (1600 Fleischmann Blvd., Naples)
Free Saturday Nature Talks
Free Concerts at the Bandshell
Bring your children (ages 6+) and learn together how nature can flourish in the city. The Naples Preserve continues its tradition of free nature talks at 10 a.m. on Saturday, Dec. 1 with a presentation on how the Preserve is “Not just for Gopher Tortoises.” The Preserve, which is
Enjoy free Sunday afternoon jazz concerts at 2 p.m. in Cambier Park. Naples Concert Band, Dec. 2; Gulfcoast Big Band, Dec. 9; and Naples Dixieland Jazz Band, Dec. 16. For additional information, call 239-213-3058. (755 Eighth Ave. S., Naples)
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NEAPOLITANfamily • December 2018
COLLIER COUNTY PUBLIC SCHOOLS
By Jennifer Kupiec
Learn About the #CCPSFamily
he holidays are upon us, and with them comes a time to reflect and give thanks. When I think of the holidays, I think about secret family recipes and stories shared around the dinner table of times past. I also get nostalgic for the places I’ve been and the people I’ve met along the way. Thinking about these special connections makes me think about our #CCPSFamily (our theme this school year) and the many connections made, day after day, year after year. Our #CCPSFamily, like all families, has many layers. We have students, staff, parents, volunteers, and many community partners and friends. If you sat around our #CCPSFamily table, there would be many stories, many memories, many families. One family that comes to mind when reflecting on those we are thankful for is the Trevino family. We have a saying here at Collier County Public Schools (CCPS) called, “Grow Our Own,” and the Trevino family embodies that statement. Janie, Alma, Dean, and Rey, along with their siblings, grew up in the community of Immokalee. They attended public schools in Immokalee while their parents worked in the nearby fields. On the weekends, Mom and Dad Trevino often would take their children with them to the fields to reinforce the importance of an education. They didn’t want their children to have to struggle to make ends meet the way they had to growing up. Boy, would their children make them proud! Janie, the oldest of the siblings, started with CCPS in 1986 as a substitute teacher. She was eventually hired full time with the district and worked her way up through the ranks. Over the years, she worked at the very schools she attended as a student, already knowing many of the families who would walk through the door. She eventually would move to the district offices where she now serves as a supervisor in our human resources department.
Alma, the youngest of the siblings, started with CCPS in 2002 as a substitute teacher as well. She took a very similar path as her sister, Janie, working at some of the Immokalee schools that she once attended. The two sisters have given students in Immokalee a great example of how hard work pays off – that you can go from a general secretary to an office manager to a specialist to now, in Alma’s case, a manager in our human resources department. “We all share the same common goals,” said Alma when asked about her time at CCPS. “We act more like family than we do colleagues and that makes a difference in your working environment. It’s like you’re coming to work with your brothers and sisters, not just your co-workers.” As for brothers Dean and Rey, Dean enjoys working in our maintenance departAlma Trevino ment, the same department his uncle retired from not too long ago. And Rey had a very different path to CCPS. After school, Rey would venture into construction and other areas. He also started his own company at one point. Ultimately, he would end up back at CCPS in one of the schools from his old community, Immokalee Technical College, as its facility manager. “I’ve always liked to help people. I really like to see people better their lives,” Rey said. “To see these kids get their education and to see them enjoy it, it’s awesome.” The Trevino children now have children of their own. Some are currently attending our schools, some have graduated and are in successful careers. We are blessed to have them as part of our #CCPSFamily. As you sit around the dinner table with your families this holiday season, share your stories – stories of those that have inspired you and those that have made an impact on your life. It’s those stories that are truly special. Happy holidays!
We act more like family than we do colleagues and that makes a difference in your working environment. –
NEAPOLITANfamily • December 2018
CELEBRATE THE SEASON
By Anna Futrell
That Awkward Week Between Christmas and New Year’s
e all accept the fixed reality that the holiday season is unreasonably busy. For families who celebrate Christmas, the weeks leading up to the holiday represent significant preparation and excitement. Parties, presents, and performances abound. Across the board, expectations are high. And then, on December 26, it is all over. Christmas is done and dusted. Some of us feel an emotional let-down; we’re sad that the most wonderful time of the year is behind us for another year. We walk around in a time warp, unable to determine what day it actually is, wondering if there is something we should be doing. Some locally owned businesses close, and employers provide time off. School is out, and the beaches and restaurants are packed with both visitors and locals. But to me, that week between Christmas and New Year’s Day isn’t sad, and there’s no time warp. Rather, it feels like a denouement – the story of my year coming beautifully to a close. The previous six weeks, my year (and yours too, I’m assuming) ramped up with festivities, celebrations, decorations, and gifts. And now, I get to relax, plan, and process everything in a (hopefully) stress-free way. No commitments, no programs, no expectations. Year in and year out, we each experience times of great pain, heartache, pure joy, laughter,
fun, longing, depression, hard work, and boredom. And each year, we get an entire week to put it all together and move on. Perhaps I began to look at this week a bit differently after I started making an annual calendar. Before I got married, I made one calendar each year using an online digital photo platform as gifts for my parents and my brother. Now, I make two calendars – one for my family, and one for my husband’s family. The calendars take a tremendous amount of work: I must sift through photos and put them together in an interesting and compelling way. I frame the story of the year for each side of the family. I gather, I sift, and I make unilateral decisions about what I found funny and significant. When I think about this item on my to-do list during the month of December, I get stressed. But, while I’m actually doing it, I find the work meaningful and significant for its own sake. When it is all over, and the calendars are in the hands of each recipient, I am done. Done with the year and ready to move on to the next (and often armed with a stout resolution to take more pictures). And so, I encourage you all to look at this week with resolve: resolve to form a to-do list to guide how you want your denouement to go in 2018. How will you say goodbye to this year and hello to the next? NEAPOLITANfamily • December 2018
Anna’s Handy Dandy Guide for That Awkward Week Between Christmas and the New Year 1. Process. This awkward week is a great time to process what went on in the previous year. What did you find significant? What was hard and painful? What vacations or trips did you take? What big purchases did you make? What funny stories do you have? How did you and your family change? Answer these questions, and write out the responses. I like to look at my phone’s calendar to remember what took place. Not only do I put practical items in my calendar, but I also include significant things that took place. For example, “Winnie walked for the first time.” is on April 10, 2016. 2. Plan. Make plans for the year ahead in any area you feel is significant. I’m not necessarily talking about resolutions. Each year, my husband and I go out on an end-of-the-year date. We take our Christmas money, hire a babysitter, and go somewhere to talk. We write down all of the things we’d like to do in the year ahead: home improvement projects, financial goals, races for which we’d like to train (he cycles, I run), restaurants to try, trips to take, state parks to visit, books to read, and the list goes on. We review the previous year’s list, identify what we accomplished, and focus on the year ahead. (I keep all lists on my phone’s Notes app.) How do you want to change, and what do you want to do in the year ahead? 3. Go out. Do not cook dinner – go out. Make a reservation at a restaurant you’ve been meaning to try. Grab take out. Order Pub Subs. Give yourself and your family a break, if you’re able. If not, frozen food is delicious – have you tried it?! And paper plates work SO well. Have fun with your family, and give yourself permission to forget about cooking for a few days. Don’t worry – health food-
focused pep talks will be available in abundance come January 1. 4. Vacate. Many businesses and organizations give employees time off during this week. It’s a great time to vacate! Surprise your kids and spend a few days at a resort. Or plan a bit of a staycation – complete with days at the beach or pool, paddle board excursions, matinees at the movie theater, and dinners out. 5. Write your thank you notes. Get it done. Make your kids write them. If they don’t get it done during this awkward week, they probably never will. Thank you notes are always a good id. 6. After-Christmas shopping. I’m not a fan of going to the store during the holiday season. During the weeks leading up to Christmas, Target, Publix, and Costco all feel so harried, angry, disorganized, and overwhelming to me. I end up purchasing items I later regret (BOGO family-sized M&Ms: you make promises of comfort my skinny jeans can’t possibly keep.) But, I force myself to get myself out the door at 7:50 a.m. on December 26 to do what Shipt can’t: shop the Christmas clearance at Target. I buy wrapping paper, ornaments, and other items at deep discounts for next year. The stores are almost always quiet; I’ll see you there! 7. Enjoy. This is perhaps the most important item on your list for this week. Refuse to give into post-holiday doldrums, and choose to celebrate all of the things that make your life great. And life is wonderful. It is impossibly brutal and agonizing, but it is so wonderful! So, take some time to enjoy your life – whatever that looks like for you and your family – during this awkward week! Happy Holidays! And Happy Awkward Week to all of my fellow Neapolitans! May this season bring you true peace and unending joy.
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By Rebecca Barton
When Your Kids are Home for the Holidays
t’s the time of year every new empty-nester looks forward to – winter break. Your new adults are coming home for the holidays after their first experience with fending for themselves (or, as some of them might call it, “freedom”). While this is an exciting time of year for parents and college students alike, there are some pitfalls that many parents find themselves trying to avoid. But where do I sleep? If you’re like my parents who downsized their house and lost a room or if you transformed your sweet potato’s room into a stateof-the-art workout space, there can be some tension if your child comes home and finds her old room different than she left it. It can be a rough start to the long break if you wind up like my roommate, who found her room was turned into a “storage space” (aka, where all the things without a home found a home), and subsequently lost her cool. It is important to remember that even if your child is one who flourished with his new found freedom, nothing can compare to coming home to his long sought-after bed. You want me home … when? You may have had a strict curfew for your child while she was in high school, but it is safe to say that went out the window the moment you dropped your baby off at her freshman dorm. While I would be home by sunset on weeknights before I went away to college, at school I would often find myself pulling all-nighters and living off of coffee … sometimes not seeing my bed for 24 to 48 hours (one word: midterms). After the first finals week of college, it is safe to say that a sleep schedule is nonexistent. In fact, time has probably become fluid rather than linear, and more often than not your child may have no concept of “normalcy” when it comes to his once-established time constraints – like a curfew before midnight. When am I supposed to see my friends again? While it may be tempting to fill your kids’ entire winter break with quality time as a family, it is important to keep in mind that
you are not the only people that your dear daughter and son have missed while away. Although they probably saw some of their high school friends while at college, there will be plenty of others that they haven’t seen. Even though family time is inevitable with the holidays, it is important to remember that your child will not spend every moment of break with you. Give him space so he can make time for the other significant relationships in his life. He might even want to take the time just to drive around town. Remember, we live in a very special place, and it often takes going off to college for kids to realize just how much Naples has to offer. Some things never change While winter break can seem like a daunting time for both you and your young adult, you have to keep in mind that you are dealing with someone who has had limited rules for the past few months. For her part, your child needs remember that she is at home and not at college, while you as a parent also need to remember what it was like when you came back to the nest for the first time after being free. This is an adjustment, but do not fret: the one thing that remains pretty constant is “Mom, can you please do my laundry?”
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Norell Albanis, Esq. NEAPOLITANfamily • December 2018
By Emma Grace Denard
Out of My Mind by Sharon M. Draper
ut of my Mind by Sharon Draper is written from the perspective of an 11-year-old girl named Melody who has cerebral palsy. Melody cannot talk or walk but she is thinking all the time. She has no way to express her thoughts to the people around her. Like real life, there is sadness and sometimes it is good to think about this so your heart can grow. One thing I learned is how helpless someone with cerebral palsy might feel her entire life. Melody goes to regular school where there is a special needs classroom. One time the teacher underestimates kids in her class by decorating with a Styrofoam snowman. Most of the kids think it is babyish, but some had no way to tell her. In fact, there are a lot of things Melody thinks but cannot say. One time, she was watching TV and the news told about a toy that had been recalled because of lead poisoning. The next day, in a toy store, Melody saw the toy so
she began yelling and her mother thought she was pitching a fit, but Melody was really trying to warn the clerk about the recall. Later, Melody receives a specialized machine called a Medi-talker that changes her life. She could now simply type words in and press a button and the machine could talk for her. Finally, people can know what she is thinking and how smart she is. Melody enters a contest called the Whiz Kids and she wins most of it but then her team leaves her behind. That’s not fair. My heart feels sad for Melody that her body doesn’t work the same as her mind can. But the book also gives me hope. Melody is patient and funny and she does not give up. She has people to invest in her, like her parents and her friend Rose and her neighbor Mrs. V. Every kid needs someone to listen. Are you that person? Read Out of my Mind to understand the world from a different perspective.
EMMA GRACE DENARD is 9 years old. She to draw, write, and paint birds. She attends Covenant Church, is a member of 4H, and schools at home. She wants to be an ornithologist. She loves her ukulele and her cow, Mercedes.
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NEAPOLITANfamily • December 2018
Above, L-R: Michael (holding foster son D.), Lauren, Dane, and Ariel Joel. Photo by Lisette Morales
fter reading in the news about child endangerment or abuse, do you ever wonder what happens to the children when they are removed from the home? This month’s MOMentum Mom, Lauren Joel, and her family have created a safe haven for those children as foster parents. Lauren, a physical therapist, and her husband Michael, a state of Florida wildland firefighter already have a full house with daughter Ariel (17), son Dane (12), and their dog Molly. After seeing some friends become foster parents, they decided that it was their family’s mission to do the same. How did you prepare to become foster parents? We attended an informational meeting and chose One More Child, a Christian agency. Then we went to PRIDE (parenting and resource classes for foster and adopting parents) for a total of 30 hours. One More Child reviewed our application and our home, performed a background check, and discussed fostering with Dane and Ariel. We became licensed for children in June 2015. Our family has fostered five children long term and three children for respite care for other foster families. We foster one child at a time, a boy between the ages of one and five. How do you prepare your home to take in a foster child, knowing that it will be temporary? Before a new foster child comes in, we take a very quick trip to the store for some basics
like diapers, an outfit or two, and pajamas. Usually there isn’t time to prepare further. After they arrive, we go to Once Upon a Child for a week’s worth of clothes, and we have the child pick out a toy or two to help him feel more comfortable. Our biological children are our best ambassadors – the foster children see them playing, laughing, and trusting us, and it helps them immensely to acclimate. What are the challenges of foster care? I like to think that the challenging things about foster care help me grow! It is a chaotic system – people and places change frequently, often without notification or communication. The first few weeks are busy with visitors in our home, doctor and dentist appointments, and assessments. All children in foster care have experienced trauma in their lives – they may have witnessed or experienced neglect or abuse, drug abuse, drugs in utero, homelessness, and domestic violence. Then, they are removed from their homes and placed with us, which is a trauma unto itself. My biggest challenge is remembering I can only control my care for our little ones, not the process of their case, their family, or decisions made by others on their welfare. What would surprise us about foster children? When polled, 50% of people believe foster children did something wrong to come into care!!! I want people to understand these chilNEAPOLITANfamily • December 2018
dren did nothing wrong. Their parents made poor choices, got arrested, and became unable to care for their children for some reason. This is never the fault of the child. NEVER. Initially our foster children are quiet, reluctant to play, and follow every request we make because they are scared, unsure of their new home. As they grow more comfortable with our home, they bloom, they laugh, they play, they protest, and they meltdown like our other kids. But, with their underlying issues and traumas, we never know what will trigger them. One of our foster children wouldn’t enter a bathroom and we had to bathe him in our pool for seven months. We were surprised by the number of children in the system, the time they have spent in care, and the amount of interaction we have with the biological family. We communicate frequently, send pictures and updates, and discuss parenting skills and techniques to care for their little ones. We are so fortunate to still have contact with many of our foster children and their families. How has being a foster parent changed your family? Our family has become more aware of the needs of other people and less selfish to our own desires as we care for these little ones. We have met people and experienced cultures beyond our own. Most importantly, we are living out the message of James 1:27: “Pure and genuine religion in the sight of God the Father means caring for orphans and widows in their distress and refusing to let the world corrupt you.” What does your family like to do in your free time? My husband and I both work full time, so weekends include chores, shopping, laundry, and naps! We also like to go swimming, to
trampoline parks, the Naples Zoo, and especially the Golisano Children’s Museum of Naples – that place is magic! What is your best parenting advice for caring for both biological and foster children? My husband’s best advice is to “Pick your battles”. My best advice for foster parents is “Always be the adult in the room”. We have no control over what these kids have seen and their behaviors are not directed at us – they are reactions to all the previous traumas they have encountered. How do you prepare your family for the foster child to leave your home? We prepare from day one for our child to return to his family as reunification is almost always the goal. However, more frequently our experience has been grandparents eventually taking custody. We use visits, FaceTime, pictures, and videos to help their relationship grow and ease the transition from our home. When we know a child is leaving, we prepare a photo album of their time with us, and try to explain how loved they are by so many people. When they leave we are very sad – it’s as if we have lost a family member. Our home is so very quiet without a toddler running around. We grieve, we cry, we look at pictures, we tell stories of their adventures, and check in frequently with their families. We also do all kinds of “big kid” things like go to the movies, stay up late, and sleep in. Eventually, our children start suggesting it is time to consider another child, and off we go on another adventure in foster care. For more information about fostering in Florida, visit Florida Department of Children and Families at myFLfamilies.com, Children’s Network of Southwest Florida at childnetswfl.org, or One More Child at onemorechild.org.
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By Stan Popovich
6 Tips on How to Overcome Loneliness During the Holidays
any of us are excited to spend time with our families and friends during the holidays, but the reality for some people is that they spend part or all of that time alone. Being alone during the holiday season can lead to sadness, grief, and depression. Here are six tips on how to deal with being alone during the holidays. 1. Spend time with other relatives or friends. One of the main reasons why we may be lonely during the holidays is because of shared custody of our children, which often means dividing up holidays. Find other friends or relatives to spend time with during the holidays will relieve your loneliness and help you not dwell on being away from your kids. 2. Focus on the next time that you will be with your children. Instead of fixating on not being with your children, remind yourself that you will see them after the holidays, and make plans for some fun family time. This can help reduce your sadness by looking ahead instead of focusing on your present situation. 3. Surround yourself with other people. Some of us may be alone due to a sickness in the family, a loss of a loved one, or because of some other unforeseen circumstance. In these cases, it is important to be around people instead of sitting
at home by yourself. Volunteer your time to help others, go to the gym, or try out a local support group. 4. Spend some time at an animal shelter. Spending some time with animals in need of attention can make a big difference in your mood, and you may meet other like-minded people at the shelter. 5. Take a short trip. Pamper yourself at your favorite Florida hotel. Jump in the car and head to your favorite out-of-town
restaurant, book store, or boutique. Or check out last-minute travel deals. 6. Get professional advice. Talk to a counselor or clergy member on how to deal with being alone during the holidays. STAN POPOVICH is the author of A Layman’s Guide to Managing Fear. For more information and some more helpful advice, visit Stan’s website at www.managingfear. com.
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NEAPOLITANfamily • December 2018
For the Holidays!
All are welcome to Naples United Church of Christ
Christmas Eve Services Monday, December 24 3 p.m. Christmas Eve Extravaganza Crafts, Hot Chocolate, and “Snow!”
4 p.m. Family Service
Interactive Children’s Service with Youth and Children’s Choirs
Rev. Dr. Dawson B. Taylor, preaching Javier Abreu, tenor Sanctuary Choir Chamber Orchestra
10 p.m. Candlelight Service with Communion
Rev. Dr. Dawson B. Taylor, preaching Javier Abreu, tenor Sanctuary Choir Chamber Orchestra
5200 Crayton Road Naples, FL 34103 | (239) 261-5469 www.naplesucc.org NEAPOLITANfamily • December 2018
NEAPOLITANfamily • December 2018
6:30 p.m. Annie Jr. Performed by KidzAct through Dec. 10. The heartwarming and fun holiday musical is the perfect rags to riches tale to enjoy with the whole family. Sugden Community Theatre, 701 Fifth Ave. S., Naples. Call 239-263-7990 or visit www.naplesplayers.org.
4:00 p.m. Preserving the Holiday Spirit. Live music, holiday lights and decorations, boardwalk tours, food, animal guests, and more. Make food ornaments for our Wildlife Tree. The Naples Preserve, 1690 Tamiami Tr. N., Naples. Call 239-261-4290 or visit naplesgov.com. 9
5:00 p.m. Community-wide Chanukah Celebration. Free admission. Everyone is welcome. Menorah lighting, kids’ crafts, live music, face painting, Israeli folk dancing, children’s performances, food, and more. Mercato, 9118 Strada Pl., Naples. Visit jewishnaples. org. 3
9:00 a.m. Camp WILD. Also Dec. 28, 31, and Jan. 2. Ages 5-12. Includes games, tours, crafts, lessons, and dynamic animal encounters. Naples Zoo, 1590 GoodletteFrank Rd., Naples. Call 239-262-5409 or check napleszoo.org.
10:00 a.m. OldFashioned Holiday B a z a a r . Over 100 booths of creative crafts, beautiful art, and more. Pictures with Santa, a winter carriage ride, music, food, and more. Koreshan State Park, 3800 Corkscrew Rd., Estero. Call 239-992-0311 or visit friendsofkoreshan.org. 2
Edison & Ford Holiday Nights. The historic buildings and gardens are decorated with lights. Live music, food, Santa visits, crafts, tours, and more. Edison & Ford Winter Estates, 2350 McGregor Blvd., Fort Myers. Call 239-334-7419 or visit edisonfordwinterestates. org.
5:00 p.m. Cookies with Santa. Put on your favorite holiday attire and come tell Santa what you want for Christmas. Make some ornaments while you’re waiting. Vanderbilt Beach Branch Library, 788 Vanderbilt Beach Rd., Naples. Visit collierlibrary.org or call 239-597-8444. 11
5:00 p.m. Let’s Paint Chanukah. The entire community is invited to enjoy a giant painted menorah, rides, games, crafts, delicious Kosher food, and live performances. Cambier Park, 601 Park St., Naples. Call 239-272-4474 or visit chabadnaples.com.
5:00 p.m. Montessori Open House. Come see us in our new home. Or call to schedule a private tour. Montessori Academy of Naples, 2655 Northbrooke Dr., Naples. Visit www. naplesmontessori.org or call 239-597-2255.
7:30 p.m. White Christmas. Through Dec. 23. Presented by Naples Players. This heartwarming musical features the Irving Berlin classics “White Christmas” and “Blue Skies.” Blackburn Hall, 701 Fifth Ave. S., Naples. Call 239-263-7990 or visit naplesplayers.org.
6:30 p.m. Tuba Christmas. A remarkable evening of music from more than 70 sousaphone, euphonium, tuba, and baritone players. Sugden Plaza, Fifth Avenue South, Naples. Call 239-692-8436 or visit fifthavenuesouth.com.
11:30 a.m. The Nutcracker. The musical version of this timeless holiday classic about a young girl who is given a beautiful nutcracker. Broadway Palm Dinner Theatre, 1380 Colonial Blvd., Fort Myers. Check BroadwayPalm.com or call 239-278-4422.
5:30 p.m. Elf The Musical. This hilarious musical comedy follows Buddy the Elf on his quest to find his true identity and help New York remember the real meaning of Christmas. Broadway Palm Dinner Theatre, 1380 Colonial Blvd., Fort Myers. Check BroadwayPalm.com or call 239-278-4422. 7
6:00 p.m. Christmas Carnival. Join us for a full-scale Christmas carnival. Purchase tickets at the door. All ages. Max Hasse Community Park, 3390 Golden Gate Blvd. W., Naples. Call 239-252-4200 or visit colliercountyfl.gov.
12:00 p.m. Open House at Logiscool. Come learn about our programs for kids, including fun-based after-school coding classes. Logiscool Pine Ridge, 3510 Kraft Rd., #200, Naples. Call 239673-0051 or check www. logiscool.com.
2:00 & 7:00 p.m. Deadly Sugarplums: A Fright Before Christmas. A whole new twist on yuletide lore. Centers for the Performing Arts, 10150 Bonita Beach Rd., Bonita Springs. Visit www.artcenterbonita.org.
3:00 p.m. Snow Fest. No matter what the “real” weather is that day, snow will be in the forecast. Snow mountains, pictures with Santa, activities, and more. Golden Gate Community Center, 4701 Golden Gate Pkwy., Naples. Visit snowfestnaples.com.
NEAPOLITANfamily • December 2018
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9:00 a.m. & 1:00 p.m. Full STEAM Ahead Mini Camp. A fun way for your kids to spend their winter break. Hours are 9-12 and 1-4. Extended care available. Full S.T.E.A.M. Ahead, 2655 Northbrooke Dr., Naples. Call 239-451-3142 or check fullsteamaheadfl. com. 27
2:00 p.m. Movie Day. Join us for an afternoon movie. Popcorn and water will be provided. All ages. Registration is not required. Immokalee Branch Library, 417 N. First St., Immokalee. Visit collierlibrary.org or call 239-657-2882.
4:30 p.m. Holiday F a m i l y F u n . Rock around our decorated holiday tree as we play merry music and sample tasty treats. East Naples Branch Library, 8787 Tamiami Tr. E., Naples. Call 239-7755592 or visit collierlibrary. org.
9:00 a.m. Winter Camp. For kids in grades 2-5. Join our naturalists as we explore what Florida winters have to offer. Conservancy, 1495 Smith Preserve Way, Naples. Call 239-262-0304 or check www.conservancy.org.
7:00 p.m. Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer. This holiday television favorite comes to life on stage. Tickets $25-$55. Hertz Arena, 11000 Everblades Pkwy., Estero. Call 239-948-7825 or visit hertzarena.com.
10:00 a.m. Sensory Friendly Screening of Mary Poppins Returns. Lights are up, sound is down, and you are totally free to move around. Paragon Pavilion Theaters, 833 Vanderbilt Beach Rd., Naples. Check www.paragontheaters.com.
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Dusk. Movies on the Lawn: The Polar Express. Bring your blankets and chairs and join us on the lawn. Food and drinks available for purchase. No coolers, please. Well-behaved pets welcome. Mercato, 9132 Strada Pl., Naples. Visit mercatoshops. com.
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6:00 p.m. Santa’s Wonderland. Free pictures with Santa, free crafts and children’s activities. Bass Pro Shops at Gulf Coast Town Center, 10040 Gulf Center Dr., Fort Myers. For hours and schedule, call 239-461-7800 or visit www.basspro.com.
10:00 a.m. Pictures with Santa. Make an online reservation and spend less time in line. Reservations and photo purchase are not required to visit Santa. Coastland Center Mall, 1900 Tamiami Tr. N., Naples. Check coastlandcenter. com or call 239-262-2323.
6:00 p.m. Minecraft Club. Every Monday. A safe and productive place for your kids to stretch their minds and skills, relate to other kids, and create in Minecraft. Ages 6-12. Full S.T.E.A.M. Ahead, 2655 Northbrooke Dr., Naples. Check fullsteamaheadfl. com or call 239-451-3142.
6:00 p.m. Night Lights in the Garden. A tropical winter wonderland. Enjoy live music, family activities, and festive sweets and treats. Naples Botanical Garden, 4820 Bayshore Dr., Naples. Call 239643-7275 or visit www. naplesgarden.org.
YOUR COMMUNITY DECEMBER EVENTS
CALENDAR SUBMISSIONS: To submit your event for both our online and print calendars, go to the Calendar at neafamily.com and follow the instructions for inputting event information. The deadline for print calendar events is the 12th of the month preceding publication. You can submit events anytime for the online calendar. Note: Please check dates and times before attending events. As we do not enter all calendar data, we cannot guarantee its accuracy.
Call for times. Santa’s Wonderland. Through Dec. 24. Free photos with Santa, crafts, foam shooting gallery, remote control truck driving, building blocks area, new gaming station, and more. Located at Bass Pro Shops, 10040 Gulf Center Dr., Fort Myers. Call 239-461-7800 or visit www.basspro.com. 8:00 a.m. CCPS 5K Walk-Run. This event brings the focus of health and wellness to Collier County students, teachers, school staff, and the community. Located at Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Administrative Center, 5775 Osceola Tr., Naples. Call 239377-0001 or check www.collierschools.com. 8:30 a.m. Breakfast with Santa. Join Santa in for breakfast and a photo. Located at DeRomo’s, 26795 South Bay Dr., Suite 170, Bonita Springs. Call 239325-3583 or check deromos.com. 8:45 a.m. Additional Needs Bounce Session. Also Dec. 16. This is a sensory friendly event. Bounce is closed to the general public. Music is at a low volume or not played at all. Located at Bounce Naples, 2320 Vanderbilt Beach Rd., Naples. Call 239-302-3848 or check additionalneeds.info. 9:00 a.m. Free Zoo Admission. Admission is free on the first Saturday of every month at the Naples Zoo for Collier County residents with ID. Located at Naples Zoo, 1590 Goodlette-Frank Rd., Naples. Call 239-262-5409 or check napleszoo.org. 9:00 a.m. Kids Workshops. You and your child
can build a model sleigh pulled by a reindeer. Ages 5-12. Located at Home Depot, 2251 Pine Ridge Rd., Naples. Call 239-597-1515 or visit homedepot.com. 9:30 a.m. Adventure Race & Fun Run. Enjoy a 3K kayak or standup paddle along Henderson Creek and a 5K trail run. Located at Rookery Bay, 300 Tower Rd., Naples. Call 239-530-5940 or check rookerybay.org for additional information. 10:00 a.m. Free Kid’s Fishing. We supply the rods, reels, bait, and knowledge. Located at Bass Pro Shops, 10040 Gulf Center Dr., Fort Myers. Call 239-461-7800 or check www.basspro.com. 10:30 a.m. Pups n’ Books. Stop by the Naples Regional Library to read to a dog or just to pet one. Dogs are provided by PAWS Assistance and Therapy Dogs. All ages. Registration not required. Located at Naples Regional Library, 650 Central Ave., Naples. Call 239-252-5135 or visit collierlibrary.org. 10:30 a.m. WONDER in the Garden. Saturdays and Sundays, imagine, create, and explore with lessons and activities. Located at Naples Botanical Garden, 4820 Bayshore Dr., Naples. Visit naplesgarden.org. 11:30 a.m. The Nutcracker. A musical version of this holiday classic about a young girl who is given a beautiful nutcracker. Selected dates through Dec. 24. Located at Broadway Palm Dinner Theatre, 1380 Colonial Blvd., Fort Myers. Check BroadwayPalm.com or call 239-278-4422. 1:00 p.m. Autism Spectrum Playgroup. Open to ages 5-16. $10 per child. Children must respond to
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NEAPOLITANfamily • December 2018
verbal direction, be potty trained, not require one-on-one supervision, and engage in minimal aggressive behavior. Located at Christ Community Church, 4050 Colonial Blvd., Fort Myers. Call 239-910-0712 or visit www.fi-florida.org. 2:00 p.m. Holiday Family Film Series. A different holiday movie every Saturday through Dec. 22. Located at South Regional Library, 8065 Lely Cultural Pkwy., Naples. Visit collierlibrary.org for additional information. 3:00 p.m. Snow Fest. No matter what the “real” weather is that day, snow will be in the forecast to celebrate the winter holiday. Snow mountains, pictures with Santa, activities, and more. Located at Golden Gate Community Center, 4701 Golden Gate Pkwy., Naples. Visit www.snowfestnaples.com. 3:00 p.m. Sparkling Snowflakes Wall Decorations. Create some of your very own seasonal decorations. Located at Headquarters Library, 2385 Orange Blossom Dr., Naples. Call 239-593-0870 or visit collierlibrary.org. 4:00 p.m. Sensory Friendly Saturdays. Free admission from 4-6 p.m. for families with children with autism spectrum disorder or other sensory processing needs. An air-conditioned take-a-break space will be provided, as well as hands-on activities for the whole family. Registration required. RSVP to education@naplesgarden. org. Located at Naples Botanical Garden, 4820 Bayshore Dr., Naples. Check www. naplesgarden.org. 5:00 p.m. Festival of Lights. Herald in the holidays with music, lights, dancing, and delicious treats. Bring a new unwrapped toy for Operation Santa for free pictures with Santa. Located at Promenade in Bonita Bay, 26795 S. Bay Dr., Bonita Springs. Call 239-949-1573 or visit promenadeshops.com. 5:00 p.m. Holiday On The Bay. Enjoy a festive snow show and holiday entertainment including complimentary photos with Santa, stories with Mrs. Claus, Dickens-period carolers, and dance performances. Snow show starts at 7 p.m. Located at Venetian Village, 4200 Gulf Shore Blvd. N., Naples. Visit venetianvillage.com. 5:30 p.m. Elf The Musical. This musical comedy follows Buddy the Elf on his quest to find his true identity and help New York remember the meaning of Christmas. Through Dec. 25. Located at Broadway Palm Dinner Theatre, 1380 Colonial Blvd., Fort Myers. Check BroadwayPalm.com or call 239-278-4422. 6:00 p.m. Annual Marco Island Tree Lighting Celebration. Music, dancing, and fun. Located at Veterans Community Park, 901 Park Ave., Marco Island. Call 239-642-0575 or visit www.cityofmarcoisland.com for additional information. 6:00 p.m. Jingle Bell Bash. Friends from around the community will join us for an evening of winter fun, a tree lighting ceremony, snacks, and appearances by Santa and Mrs. Claus. Located at Golisano Children’s Museum of Naples, 15080 Livingston Rd., Naples. Call 239-514-0084 or check www.cmon.org. 8:00 p.m. White Christmas. Through Dec. 23. Presented by Naples Players. Based on the beloved film, this heartwarming musical features the Irving Berlin classics “White Christmas” and “Blue Skies.” Located at Blackburn Hall, 701 Fifth Ave. S., Naples. Call 239-263-7990 or visit naplesplayers.org.
2 SUNDAY 10:00 a.m. Old-Fashioned Holiday Bazaar. Over 100 booths of creative crafts, beautiful art, and more. Pictures with Santa, a winter carriage ride, music, food, and more. Located at Koreshan State Park, 3800 Corkscrew Rd., Estero. Call 239-992-0311 or visit friendsofkoreshan.org. 10:00 a.m. Toddler Time. Wednesdays & Sundays. A time for little ones to discover the joy of being active, bouncing under the supervision of their parents, without interference from the big kids. Located at Sky Zone Trampoline Park, 14181 S. Tamiami Tr., Fort Myers. Visit fortmyersstore.skyzone.com. 11:00 a.m. Free STEAM Sunday. Join us for a free Makerspace on the first Sunday of the month. Drive a robot, code a video game, play piano, and more. A perfect opportunity to try out the program. Located at Full S.T.E.A.M. Ahead, 2655 Northbrooke Dr., Naples. Check fullsteamaheadfl.com or call 239-451-3142.
A lifelong joy of learning, An education for life. INFANT * TODDLER CHILDREN’S HOUSE * VPK ELEMENTARY
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2655 Northbrooke Drive Wednesday, December 12, 2018 5:00 P.M. to 6:00 P.M.
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More information can be found on our website
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Daily hours from 7:30 A.M. to 5:30 P.M.
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3 MONDAY 9:30 a.m. Yoga on the Gazebo. Experience the magic of yoga on the beach. Located at Lovers Key State Park, 8700 Estero Blvd., Fort Myers Beach. Visit www.friendsofloverskey.org for additional information. 10:00 a.m. Maker Mondays. Come join us for a special time together. Kids can create, construct, discover, and share while their caregivers enjoy coffee and conversation. Ages 4-12 years. Located at Headquarters Library, 2385 Orange Blossom Dr., Naples. Call 239-593-0870 or visit collierlibrary.org.
NEAPOLITANfamily • December 2018
NEAPOLITANfamily • September 2018
1 WEEK FREE TUITION FOR NEW DAYCARE ENROLLMENTS REDEEM AFTER 4 WEEKS Infant-PreK // 6:30am-6:00pm For more info or tours BloomDaySchool.com 239-249-2084
Bring some BUDDY you love!
3:00 p.m. Good News Club. A free after-school program on Mondays after school until 4:15 p.m. Located at Pelican Marsh Elementary School, 1810 Persimmon Dr., Naples. Call 239-404-8528 or check goodnewsincollier.com for other locations. 3:30 p.m. Meals of Hope Food Pantry. Frozen food, fresh produce, and canned goods will be given away to families in need. Located at Lely Presbyterian Church, 110 St. Andrews Blvd., Naples. Check mealsofhope.org or call 239-537-7775. 4:30 p.m. Pups & Books. Stop by to read to a pup or just pet one. The service dogs-in-training are provided by PAWS Assistance and Therapy dogs. All ages welcome. Registration is not required. Located at East Naples Library, 8787 Tamiami Tr. E., Naples. Visit collierlibrary.org or call 239-775-5592. 5:00 p.m. Community-wide Chanukah Celebration. Free admission. Everyone is welcome. Menorah lighting, kids’ crafts, live music, face painting, Israeli folk dancing, children’s performances, food, and more. Located at Mercato, 9118 Strada Pl., Naples. Visit www.jewishnaples.org. 6:00 p.m. Minecraft Club. Every Monday. A safe and productive place for your kids to stretch their minds and skills, relate to other kids, and create in Minecraft. Ages 6-12. Located at Full S.T.E.A.M. Ahead, 2655 Northbrooke Dr., Naples. Check fullsteamaheadfl.com or call 239-451-3142.
4 TUESDAY 10:00 a.m. I Love Bugs. Also Dec. 6. For 18 months to 5 years. Multi-sensory, interactive activities, stories, and crafts. Meet ambassador animals. Located at Conservancy, 1495 Smith Preserve Way, Naples. Call 239-262-0304 or visit conservancy.org. 10:00 a.m. Preschool Open Gym. Bring your children ages 6 and under, Tuesdays & Wednesdays, 10-11 a.m. and 1-2 p.m. $9. Located at Gymnastic World, 2187 Trade Center Way, Naples. Call 239-592-0608 or check gwnaples.com. 10:00 a.m. Storytime with Miss Mary Ellen. A toddler favorite. Join us for reading, singing, and coloring in a fun-filled atmosphere. Located at Barnes & Noble, 5377 Tamiami Tr. N., Naples. Check stores.barnesandnoble.com. 3:30 p.m. Meals of Hope Food Pantry. Frozen food, fresh produce, and canned goods will be given away to families in need. Located at Greater Naples YMCA, 5450 YMCA Rd., Naples. Check mealsofhope.org or call 239-537-7775. 5:00 p.m. Festive Friendship Bracelet. Learn how to make a fun friendship bracelet to give as a gift or keep for yourself. Located at East Naples Library, 8787 Tamiami Tr. E., Naples. Call 239-775-5592 or visit collierlibrary.org. 5:00 p.m. Let’s Paint Chanukah. The entire community is invited to enjoy a giant painted menorah, rides, games, crafts, kosher food, and live performances. Located at Cambier Park, 601 Park St., Naples. Call 239-272-4474 or visit chabadnaples.com. 6:00 p.m. Chess Instruction, K-12. Join Antonio, as he shares his skills at chess with students entering K-12. Located at Headquarters Library, 2385 Orange Blossom Dr., Naples. Check collierlibrary.org or call 239-593-0870. 6:30 p.m. Holiday Concert. An evening of holiday favorites featuring classics from years gone by as well as traditional favorites. Located at South Regional Library, 8065 Lely Cultural Pkwy., Naples. Visit collierlibrary.org.
5 WEDNESDAY NOW – DEC 25 Fall in love with Buddy the Elf! Based on the popular film, this charming and whimsical musical comedy will spread holiday cheer for all to hear!
$19 Lunch & Show!
NOW – DEC 24 1380 Colonial Boulevard, Fort Myers
9:00 a.m. Pee Wee Play Dates. Wednesdays. Ages 9 months to pre-K. Have fun with our toys and games and listen to music. Drop-in program, no registration required. Located at Headquarters Library, 2385 Orange Blossom Dr., Naples. Call 239-593-0870 or visit collierlibrary.org. 10:00 a.m. Free Kids Crafts. Kids from toddlers to 12 can participate in fun activities. Located at Miromar Outlets, 10801 Corkscrew Rd., Estero. Call 239948-3766 or check www.miromaroutlets.com. 2:00 p.m. Holiday Book Discussion. You Better Not Cry by Augusten Burroughs. Located at South Regional Library, 8065 Lely Cultural Pkwy., Naples. Visit collierlibrary.org. 4:00 p.m. & 5:00 p.m. Afternoon Art Class. Ages 2-4 at 4 p.m. and ages 5-12 at 5 p.m. Classes include free play. Call InPlay to register at 239-963-9716. Located at InPlay Family Fun, 4035 Santa Barbara Blvd., Naples. Visit muralistica.com.
6 THURSDAY 9:30 a.m. Free Autism Screening. A free monthly autism spectrum disorder screening for ages 18 months to five years. Located at Miromar Outlets, 10801 Corkscrew Rd., Estero. To schedule a screening, call 239-343-6838 or visit leehealth.org.
NEAPOLITANfamily • December 2018
10:15 a.m. & 11:15 a.m. Mini Wonders. Toddler fun and activities dedicated to our little learners 5 and younger. Two workshops every Thursday. Located at C’mon, 15080 Livingston Rd., Naples. Call 239-514-0084 or check www.cmon.org. 11:00 a.m. Friday Fun Film: Arthur Christmas. Get in the Christmas spirit with this animated film. Located at Estates Library, 1266 Golden Gate Blvd. W., Naples. Visit collierlibrary.org for additional information. 2:00 p.m. Meals of Hope Food Pantry. Frozen food, fresh produce, and canned goods will be given away to families in need. Located at Golden Gate Senior Center, 4898 Coronado Pkwy., Naples. Visit mealsofhope.org or call 239-537-7775. 4:00 p.m. Christmas Trivia. Test your knowledge of holiday movies, characters, music, and history. No registration required. Located at Naples Regional Library, 650 Central Ave., Naples. Call 239-252-5135 or visit collierlibrary.org. 5:00 p.m. 45th Annual Christmas Walk & Tree Lighting Ceremony. Local Excellence in Education of Spirit, Mind, and Body since 1956! dance troupes and choral groups take over Fifth Avenue to usher in the holiday. Call 239-692-8436 or visit www.fifthavenuesouth.com. Excellence in STREAM-Integrated education of spirit, mind • Challenging Curriculum 6:00 p.m. Christmas Carnival. Join us for a full-scale Christmas carnival. Pursince 1956! chase tickets at the door. All ages. Located at Max Hasse Community Park, 3390 • Safe,and Familybody Community Golden Gate Blvd. W., Naples. Call 239-252-4200 or visit colliercountyfl.gov. • Faith, Values, and Service 6:00 p.m. Tree Lighting at Zocalo. Join us for our annual tree lighting. Take • Competitive Athletics pictures with Santa. All Ages. Located at Immokalee South Park, 418 School Dr., • Music, Band, Fine Arts, Foreign Language Immokalee. Call 239-252-4677 or visit www.colliercountyfl.gov. • 1:1 iPad program 6:30 p.m. Hanukkah Workshop. Listening to stories, create crafts, and enjoy a kosher treat. Located at Headquarters Library, 2385 Orange Blossom Dr., Naples. • Gifted & Honors Programs Call 239-593-0870 or visit collierlibrary.org. • Blue Zone Certified www.stann.net ~ facebook.com/SaintAnnSchool 7:00 p.m. Deadly Sugarplums: A Fright Before Christmas. A whole new twist • Scholarships Available on yuletide lore. Located at Centers for the Performing Arts, 10150 Bonita Beach Rd., Bonita Springs. Visit www.artcenterbonita.org. 542 Eighth Avenue S. ~ Naples, FL 34102
Grades PK3 thru 8 • Call (239) 262-4110 for a tour.
Call for a tour ~ (239) 262-4110 Grades PK3 thru 8
Visit our OPEN HOUSE January 27 from 11am - 2pm
www.stann.net • facebook.com/SaintAnnSchool
curriculum 9:00 a.m. & 1:00 p.m. Full S.T.E.A.M. Ahead Mini-Camp. Students will par- • Challenging STREAM-integrated 542 Eighth Avenue S., Naples, FL 34102 ticipate in our instructional STEAM enrichment classes, including robotics, coding,(Science, Tech., Religion, Engineering, Arts, Math)
• Safe, family community • Faith, values and service • Competitive athletics Vocals • Music, Band, Fine Arts, Foreign Language • 1:1 iPad program • Gifted, Honors, and Resource Programs • Blue Zone certified
Give your child the gift of a Catholic education. You can afford it!
Sign Up for 2018-2019 Performing Arts Classes ClassScholarships Instruction in Available. piano, brass, percussion, guitar, dance and theatre. Private Lessons Offered.
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Brass NEAPOLITANfamily • December 2018
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Minecraft, piano, ukulele, art, and much more. Located at Full S.T.E.A.M. Ahead, 2655 Northbrooke Dr., Naples. Check fullsteamaheadfl.com or call 239-451-3142. 9:00 a.m. Find It Fridays. Kids enjoy a scavenger hunt all day. Ask for more details at the ticket counter. Located at Everglades Wonder Gardens, 27180 Old 41 Rd., Bonita Springs. Call 239-992-2591 or visit evergladeswondergardens.com. 10:00 a.m. Le Leche League Monthly Meeting. All breastfeeding mothers and mothers-to-be interested in breastfeeding are welcome to attend, or call one of our leaders for breastfeeding help. Located at Center Point Community Church, 6590 Golden Gate Pkwy., Naples. Visit LLLsunshinestate.org. 4:00 p.m. Family Night. Every Friday night from 4-7 p.m. Admission is $7 per child. Located at Whiz Kids, 1050 Pine Ridge Rd., Naples. Visit whizkidsnaples. com or call 239-263-7017. 4:00 p.m. Elves Sweet Shoppe. Also Dec. 14. Kids help Santa’s elves prepare yummy holiday goodies. Cookies, candies, and other fun holiday treats. Ages 5-12. $35. Located at Vineyards Community Park, 6231 Arbor Blvd. W., Naples. Call 239-252-4105 or visit www.colliercountyfl.gov. 5:30 p.m. Santa’s Arts & Crafts Workshop. Also Dec. 14. Get into the holiday spirit while making friends and creating holiday crafts and gifts. Ages 5-12 . $35. Located at Vineyards Community Park, 6231 Arbor Blvd. W., Naples. Call 239252-4105 or visit www.colliercountyfl.gov. 5:30 p.m. Mommy/Daddy & Me Painting Afternoon. The first Friday of every month. Ages 5+. Call 239-213-3020 to secure your spot and save $5. Located at Fleischmann Park, 1600 Fleischmann Dr., Naples. Visit muralistica.com. 5:30 p.m. Parents’ Night Out. Ages 2.5-11 years. Join us for a evening full of laughter, surprises, activity, and great friends. Located at My Gym, 13020 Livingston Rd., Naples. Call 239-431-6499 or check www.mygym.com. 10:30 a.m. Night Lights in the Garden. Dec. 7-23, Dec. 26-30, and Jan. 1-3 from 6-9 p.m. Naples Botanical Gardens. A tropical winter wonderland. Your family will enjoy live musical performances, family activities, and festive sweets and treats. Located at Naples Botanical Garden, 4820 Bayshore Dr., Naples. Call 239-325-1354 or visit www.naplesgarden.org. 7:00 p.m. First Friday Family Art Night (ages 8+). Spend a fun evening as a family learning a new art form. In December, you’ll make an egg ornament. $30 plus $5 supply fee. Located at Norris Center, 755 8th St. S., Naples. Call 239213-3058 to register. 7:00 p.m. Supervised Drop-off Open Gym Ages 5-13. Drop off your child or stay and watch. $10. Located at Gymnastic World Naples, 2187 Trade Center Way, Naples. Visit gwnaples.com or call 239-592-0608.
8 SATURDAY 8:30 a.m. Bark on the Ark Doggie Cruise. A dog friendly cruise to Keewaydin Island. Located at Pure Florida at Tin City, 1200 Fifth Ave. S., Naples. Call 239263-4949 or check www.purefl.com for additional information. 9:00 a.m. Cookies and Milk with Santa. Ages 5-12. Located at Eagle Lakes Community Park, 11565 Tamiami Tr. E., Naples. Call 239-252-3527 or visit colliercountyfl.gov. 9:30 a.m. Breakfast with Santa. Celebrate with a pancake breakfast and pictures with Santa. All Ages. Located at Golden Gate Community Center, 4701 Golden Gate Pkwy., Naples. Call 239-252-4180 or visit www.colliercountyfl.gov. 10:00 a.m. Breakfast with Santa. Decorate cookies, enjoy sweet treats, make crafts, and take pictures with Santa. Located at East Naples Community Park, 3500 Thomasson Dr., Naples. Call 239-252-4414 or visit www.colliercountyfl.gov. 12:00 p.m. Annie Jr. Performed by KidzAct through Dec. 10. Located at Sugden Community Theatre, 701 Fifth Ave. S., Naples. Call 239-263-7990 or visit www.naplesplayers.org for additional information. 12:00 p.m. Christmas Around the World Carnival. Activities include a parade followed by a gala with food, games, music, snow, ice skating, live entertainment, and photos with Santa. Located at Immokalee High School soccer field, 505 Escambia Dr., Immokalee. Call 239-657-3237 or visit colliercountyfl.gov.
10 MONDAY 3:30 p.m. Kindness Club. Kids can participate in fun activities designed to encourage kindness and help make the world a better place. Grades 2-6. Located at South County Regional Library, 21100 Three Oaks Pkwy., Estero. Visit www. leegov.com/library for additional information.
NEAPOLITANfamily • December 2018
4:30 p.m. Milk and Cookies with Santa. Drop in for a quick chat and snack with Santa. Don’t forget your camera. All ages. Located at Estates Library, 1266 Golden Gate Blvd. W., Naples. Visit collierlibrary.org.
St. Elizabeth Seton Catholic School Catholic Education in the Heart of Naples Since 1981 Fully accredited by Florida Catholic Conference
11 TUESDAY 10:00 a.m. Zookeeper Adventures. Also Dec. 12 & 15. Learn how zookeepers take care of the different animals here at the zoo. Age 3-5. Located at Naples Zoo at Caribbean Gardens, 1590 Goodlette-Frank Rd., Naples. Visit napleszoo.org. 3:30 p.m. Food Around the World. Try new and different items from other cultures. Ages 5-11. Registration required. Located at Golden Gate Library, 2432 Lucerne Rd., Naples. Call 239-252-4542 or visit collierlibrary.org. 4:00 p.m. Cookie Decorating. Decorate two cookies, then eat them, while supplies last. All ages welcome. Located at Naples Regional Library, 650 Central Ave., Naples. Call 239-252-5135 or visit collierlibrary.org. 5:00 p.m. Cookies with Santa. Put on your favorite holiday attire and come tell Santa what you want for Christmas. Make some ornaments while you’re waiting. Located at Vanderbilt Beach Library, 788 Vanderbilt Beach Rd., Naples. Call 239597-8444 or visit collierlibrary.org.
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12 WEDNESDAY 4:00 p.m. Lego Fun. Share ideas, be creative, and have fun. Test out your wheeled creation on our super-fast test track. Located at Estates Library, 1266 Golden Gate Blvd. W., Naples. Visit collierlibrary.org. 5:00 p.m. Montessori Open House. Come see us in our new home. Or call to schedule a private tour. Located at Montessori Academy of Naples, 2655 Northbrooke Dr., Naples. Check www.naplesmontessori.org or call 239-597-2255.
13 THURSDAY 3:30 p.m. Lego Club. Join the club, share ideas, be creative, make new friends, and have fun. Bricks will be provided and your creation will be put on display. Ages 5-11 years. Located at South Regional Library, 8065 Lely Cultural Pkwy., Naples. Visit collierlibrary.org. 4:00 p.m. Christmas Tree Cookies. These 3D cookies are simple to make, take very little time to decorate, and are delicious. Located at Golden Gate Library, 2432 Lucerne Rd., Naples. Call 239-252-4542 or visit collierlibrary.org. 4:30 p.m. Cookies, Cocoa, and an Elf. Celebrate the holiday season with cookies, hot chocolate, and a movie showing. Decorate a coffee mug with your own holiday creation. Located at Headquarters Library, 2385 Orange Blossom Dr., Naples. Call 239-593-0870 or visit collierlibrary.org.
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14 FRIDAY 10:00 a.m. Fred Fridays. This five-week series features program themes focusing on the positive messages incorporated in the classic kids show Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood. Located at Headquarters Library, 2385 Orange Blossom Dr., Naples. Call 239-593-0870 or visit collierlibrary.org. 11:00 a.m. Color Me Amazing Friday. Join us for a fun and relaxing hour of coloring intricate designs and patterns while listening to soothing music. You will be surprised by how relaxing coloring is. Located at South Regional Library, 8065 Lely Cultural Pkwy., Naples. Visit collierlibrary.org. 3:00 p.m. Cookies with Santa. Have cookies and milk, take pictures with Santa, and make fun crafts. All ages. Registration not required. Located at Naples Regional Library, 650 Central Ave., Naples. Call 239-252-5135 or visit collierlibrary.org. 4:00 p.m. Candy House Creation. Use an assortment of candy, frosting, and cookies to design our own candy house. Ages 5-12. Located at Vineyards Community Park, 6231 Arbor Blvd. W., Naples. Call 239-252-4105 or visit colliercountyfl.gov. 6:00 p.m. Christmas Ghost Tour. Marco Island’s frightful past comes alive with tales of hard times, hostile tribes, and lawlessness. Located at Marco Mystery & History Tours, 100 Palm St., Marco Island. Visit marcomysteryandhistory.com.
15 SATURDAY 8:00 a.m. UnitedHealthcare Girls on the Run 5K. Join us to celebrate our Girls
NEAPOLITANfamily • December 2018
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on the Run of SWFL participants as the finish their season with a 5K. Open to the public. Located at Community School of Naples, 13275 Livingston Rd., Naples. Call 239-597-7575 or check www.gotrswfl.org for additional information. 9:00 a.m. Pancakes & Pajamas. Come join us for breakfast and pictures with Santa. Crafts, food, and music. $2 per person. Located at South Immokalee Park, 418 School Dr., Immokalee. Call 239-252-4677 or visit www.colliercountyfl.gov. 9:00 a.m. Holiday Story Time: The Polar Express Reading. Listen to this favorite holiday story based on the classic childrenâ€™s book by Chris Van Allsburg. Located at South Regional Library, 8065 Lely Cultural Pkwy., Naples. Call 239252-7542 or visit collierlibrary.org. 10:00 a.m. Cookies and Cocoa With Santa. Put on your favorite holiday attire and tell Santa what you want for Christmas. Located at South Regional Library, 8065 Lely Cultural Pkwy., Naples. Call 239-252-7542 or visit collierlibrary.org. 10:00 a.m. Junior Ranger Program.D iscover and learn about plants, animals, and other secrets of the park. Ideal for children ages 6-12. Located at Koreshan State Park, 3800 Corkscrew Rd., Estero. Call 239-992-0311 or visit friendsofkoreshan.org/events. 10:00 a.m. White Elephant â€œReindeerâ€? Exchange and Make & Take Holiday Crafts. Bring in a small new or slightly used trinket to give as a white elephant or â€œreindeerâ€? gift to exchange. Located at South Regional Library, 8065 Lely Cultural Pkwy., Naples. Call 239-252-7542 or visit collierlibrary.org. 11:00 a.m. Make Your Own Snowglobe. All materials provided, minus the actual snow. Ages 5+. Located at Marco Island Library, 210 S. Heathwood Dr., Marco Island. Visit collierlibrary.org. 12:00 p.m. Logiscool Open House. Come learn about our programs for kids, including fun-based after-school coding classes. Located at Logiscool Pine Ridge, 3510 Kraft Rd., #200, Naples. Call 239-673-0051 or check www.logiscool.com. 1:00 p.m. Teen Book Bingo. Are you ready for a different twist on bingo? Bring a friend and win some prizes. Ages 11-17. Registration required. Located at South Regional Library, 8065 Lely Cultural Pkwy., Naples. Call 239-252-7542 or visit collierlibrary.org. 2:00 p.m. Books & Bites: Monthly Teen Book Club. Meet new friends, eat snacks, and discuss great books. Ages 11-17 years. Registration is not required. Located at South Regional Library, 8065 Lely Cultural Pkwy., Naples. Visit collierlibrary.org or call 239-252-7542. 2:00 p.m. Holidays Around the World. Learn about the traditions, food, and music of December holidays in other countries. Located at Golden Gate Library, 2432 Lucerne Rd., Naples. Call 239-252-4542 or visit collierlibrary.org. 2:00 p.m. Naples Happy Ukulele Group Christmas Concert. Sing along and tap your toes to some familiar holiday songs. Located at Naples Regional Library, 650 Central Ave., Naples. Call 239-252-5135 or visit collierlibrary.org. 2:00 p.m. Art Smarts. Ages 2-5 years. Join us for a special storytime focusing on process art. This month the theme will be sweets and our art will spotlight gingerbread houses. Located at Headquarters Library, 2385 Orange Blossom Dr., Naples. Call 239-593-0870 or visit collierlibrary.org. 3:00 p.m. The Holiday Science Spectacular. Explore and engage in some spectacular science with Mr. Glen the Science Guy. Located at The Norris Community Center, 755 8th Ave. S., Naples. Call 239-213-3049 or check www.naplesgov.com. 4:00 p.m. A Caroling We Will Go. Listen to the festive sounds of The Naples Carolers as they sing holiday classics. Located at South Regional Library, 8065 Lely Cultural Pkwy., Naples. Call 239-252-7542 or visit collierlibrary.org.
16 SUNDAY 7:00 a.m. Christmas Sprint. A sprint duathlon and triathlon. This is your last chance to compete in a triathlon for the year. Located at Sugden Regional Park, 4284 Avalon Dr., Naples. Call 239-252-4000 or visit www.eliteevents.org. 9:30 a.m. Zoo Yoga. Start your day with an animal-themed yoga class designed for all ages. You will breathe, stretch, and relax in nature. Located at Naples Zoo, 1590 Goodlette-Frank Rd., Naples. Call 239-262-5409 or check napleszoo.org.
17 MONDAY 239-260-7672
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10:00 a.m. Christmas Movies. Enjoy holiday movies each day this week, through Friday. Located at Naples Regional Library, 650 Central Ave., Naples. Call 239252-5135 or visit collierlibrary.org. 6:30 p.m. Snowman Craft. Make your very own wintery snowman craft. Enjoy hot chocolate while you decorate cookies. Ages 5-11 years. Registration required.
NEAPOLITANfamily â€˘ December 2018
Located at Headquarters Library, 2385 Orange Blossom Dr., Naples. Call 239593-0870 or visit collierlibrary.org.
18 TUESDAY 10:00 a.m. Christmas Craft Fun. Make Christmas crafts of your choice and have a holiday treat. All ages. Registration not required. Located at Golden Gate Library, 2432 Lucerne Rd., Naples. Call 239-252-4542 or visit collierlibrary.org. 2:00 p.m. Christmas Movies at HQ. Watch classic holiday movies all week. Located at Headquarters Library, 2385 Orange Blossom Dr., Naples. Call 239593-0870 or visit collierlibrary.org. 3:00 p.m. Cookie Decorating Party. Spread holiday cheer by decorating holiday cookies. Ages 5-11. Located at Veterans Community Park, 1895 Veterans Park Dr., Naples. Call 239-252-4682 or visit www.colliercountyfl.gov. 4:00 p.m. Elf. Buddy was accidentally transported to the North Pole as a toddler and raised to adulthood among Santa’s elves. Located at Naples Regional Library, 650 Central Ave., Naples. Call 239-252-5135 or visit collierlibrary.org. Dusk. Movies on the Lawn: The Polar Express. Bring your blankets and chairs and join us on the lawn. Food and drinks available for purchase. No coolers, please. Located at Mercato, 9132 Strada Pl., Naples. Check www.mercatoshops.com.
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19 WEDNESDAY 10:00 a.m. Color Me Amazing Wednesday. Join us for a fun and relaxing hour of coloring intricate designs while listening to soothing music. Located at East Naples Library, 8787 Tamiami Tr. E., Naples. Call 239-775-5592 or visit collierlibrary.org. 4:00 p.m. Lego Club.Share ideas, be creative, and have fun. Test out your wheeled creation on our super-fast test track. Bricks will be provided and your creation will be put on display. Ages 5-11. Located at Estates Library, 1266 Golden Gate Blvd. W., Naples. Call 239-455-8088 or check collierlibrary.org. 5:30 p.m. Logiscool Open House. Come learn about our programs for kids, including fun-based after-school coding classes. Located at Logiscool Pine Ridge, 3510 Kraft Rd., #200, Naples. Call 239-673-0051 or check www.logiscool.com. 5:30 p.m. The Muppet Christmas Carol. View this Christmas classic at the library. Located at South Regional Library, 8065 Lely Cultural Pkwy., Naples. Call 239-252-7542 or visit collierlibrary.org. 5:30 p.m. Tiny Food Thanksgiving. Join us for a miniature holiday feast where you can be the chef. Ages 6-11. Located at Headquarters Library, 2385 Orange Blossom Dr., Naples. Call 239-593-0870 or visit collierlibrary.org.
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20 THURSDAY 4:00 p.m. Holiday Bingo. Join us for an afternoon of fun and win some prizes. Ages 11-17. Registration is not required. Located at Naples Regional Library, 650 Central Ave., Naples. Call 239-252-5135 or visit collierlibrary.org. 4:30 p.m. Holiday Family Fun. Rock around our decorated holiday tree as we play merry music and sample tasty treats. Located at East Naples Library, 8787 Tamiami Tr. E., Naples. Call 239-775-5592 or visit collierlibrary.org. 6:30 p.m. Magical Moving Trains. Play with science that feels like holiday magic. We’ll build a simple electromagnetic train with household supplies. Ages 8-11 years. Located at Located at Headquarters Library, 2385 Orange Blossom Dr., Naples. Call 239-593-0870 or visit collierlibrary.org. 7:00 p.m. PFLAG Support Group Meeting.The Naples chapter of PFLAG (Parents Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays) meets on the third Thursday of each month. Visit pflagnaples.org or call 239-963-4670 for location.
21 FRIDAY 9:00 a.m. Celebrate Winter Solstice. You’ll get more than your money’s worth out of the shortest day of the year with a buy one, get one free entrance. Located at Rookery Bay, 300 Tower Rd., Naples. Call 239-530-5940 or check www.rookerybay.org. 5:30 p.m. Mommy/Daddy/Granny & Me Painting Afternoon. The third Friday of every month. Ages 4+. Free play included. Located at InPlay Family Fun, 4035 Santa Barbara Blvd., Naples. Call 239-963-9716 or visit muralistica.com. 6:00 p.m. Coconut Point’s Tree Lighting Ceremony. A spectacular tree light-
NEAPOLITANfamily • December 2018
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December Picks L C IN EE OUNTY
ing to kick off the season. Entertainment, special offers, and much more. Located at Coconut Point Mall, 23106 Fashion Dr., Estero. Call 239-992-9966 or visit simon.com/mall/coconut-point. 6:30 p.m. Buddy Break Respite Program for Kids With Special Needs. Threehour monthly session of free respite care for children with special needs and their siblings. Crafts, games, movies, and special activities. Pre-registration required. Volunteers needed. Located at Naples Seventh-day Adventist Church, 5050 Davis Blvd., Naples. Call 239-272-8031 or visit www.facebook.com/BuddyBreakNaples. 7:00 p.m. Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer. This holiday television favorite comes to life on stage. Tickets $25-$55. Located at Hertz Arena, 11000 Everblades Pkwy., Estero. Call 239-948-7825 or visit hertzarena.com.
22 SATURDAY 10:00 a.m. Sensory Friendly Screening of Mary Poppins Returns. Lights are up, sound is down, and you are totally free to move around during Mary Poppins Returns. Film titles subject to change. Located at Paragon Pavilion Theaters, 833 Vanderbilt Beach Rd., Naples. Check www.paragontheaters.com. 12:00 p.m. Logiscool Open House. Come learn about our programs for kids, including fun-based after-school coding classes. Located at Logiscool Pine Ridge, 3510 Kraft Rd., #200, Naples. Call 239-673-0051 or check www.logiscool.com. 2:00 p.m. Crafternoon. Come and learn how to make an engaging, environmentally-friendly craft for all ages! No registration required, but arrive early because supplies are limited. Located at Naples Regional Library, 650 Central Ave., Naples. Call 239-252-5135 or visit collierlibrary.org.
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Over 3,500-square foot Christmas village chocked full of fun games, activities and crafts for the whole family. Comprised of both animated and live elves, nutcrackers, reindeer and more. 239-461-7800
Great Outdoor Adventure Day
Lovers Key State Park, 8700 Estero Blvd, Fort Myers Beach Saturday, December 1 • 10 a.m. - 3 p.m. Food, music, children’s activities, as well as Ranger-led programs will highlight the fun-filled day. 239-463-4588
Annual Holiday in the Park
Riverside Park in downtown Bonita Springs Tuesday, December 4 • 4:30 - 8 p.m.
Musical guests, snow slide and snowfall area for kids, family activities and the lighting of the city’s Christmas tree. 239-949-6262
The Harlem Globetrotters
6:00 p.m. Celebration Beach Christmas Eve Service. The Celebration Beach Church celebrates Christmas Eve with this annual service at Cambier Park, 755 8th Ave. S., Naples. Visit www.celebrationbeachchurch.com for additional information.
26 WEDNESDAY 7:30 a.m. School’s Out Fun Day for Elementary School Kids. Need childcare when school is closed but you have to work? Fleischmann Park and River Park have got you covered. Located at Fleischmann Park, 1600 Fleischmann Blvd., Naples. Call 239-213-3020. 9:00 a.m. Holiday Camp. Registration now open. $175/week or $40/day. Hours 9 a.m.- 3 p.m. Located at Whiz Kids, 1050 Pine Ridge Rd., Naples. Visit whizkidsnaples.com for additional information. 2:00 p.m. Movie Day. Join us for an afternoon movie. Popcorn and water will be provided. All ages. Registration is not required. Located at Immokalee Library, 417 N. First St., Immokalee. Visit collierlibrary.org or call 239-657-2882.
27 THURSDAY 9:00 a.m. Camp WILD. Also Dec. 28, 31, and Jan. 2. Ages 5-12. Includes games, tours, crafts, lessons, and dynamic animal encounters. Located at Naples Zoo,
Hertz Arena, 11000 Everblades Pkwy, Estero Sunday, December 9 • 4 p.m. 239-948-7825
Santa at the Stable
Saddlewood Horse Club, 16111 Saddlewood Lane, Cape Coral Saturday, December 15 • 10 a.m. & 1 p.m.
Children 2 - 15 will be able to enjoy pony/horse riding, brush horses, pet, feed horses, hop in the bounce house, lunch, live horse painting and Santa! 239-738-9300
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NEAPOLITANfamily • December 2018
1590 Goodlette-Frank Rd., Naples. Call 239-262-5409 or check napleszoo.org. 9:00 a.m. & 1:00 p.m. Full STEAM Ahead Mini Camp. Dec. 27-28 & 31 (a.m. only on Dec. 31) and Jan. 2-4. Students will receive STEAM enrichment and participate in indoor and outdoor guided activities. Instruction is from 9-12 and 1-4. Ask us about extended hours care (8 a.m.-5 p.m.). Located at Full S.T.E.A.M. Ahead, 2655 Northbrooke Dr., Naples. Check fullsteamaheadfl.com, call 239451-3142, or email info@fullsteamaheadFL.com 9:00 a.m. Winter Camp. Also on Dec. 28. For kids in grades 2-5. Join our naturalists as we explore what Florida winters have to offer. Located at Conservancy, 1495 Smith Preserve Way, Naples. Call 239-262-0304 or check www.conservancy.org. 3:30 p.m. Teen Library Group. Want to participate in creating programs that are just for you? Share your ideas with the group and learn how to possibly receive volunteer hours for your time. Ages 13-17. Located at Immokalee Library, 417 N. First St., Immokalee. Visit collierlibrary.org or call 239-657-2882. 5:00 p.m. Sensory Night at C’mon.For children on the autism spectrum and/ or with other sensory integration disorders. Lighting and sound are muted and cool down spaces are provided. Limited participation. Registration is required. Located at C’mon, 15080 Livingston Rd., Naples. Call 239-514-0084 or check www.cmon.org.
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28 FRIDAY 3:00 p.m. Winter Break Games. Bring your friends, eat some treats, and play games. Ages 11-17. Registration required. Located at Headquarters Library, 2385 Orange Blossom Dr., Naples. Call 239-593-0870 or visit collierlibrary.org.
31 MONDAY 12:00 a.m. Collier County Lacrosse Association Spring Registration. Spring Registration is officially open. Season runs from the week of Jan. 7 until April 27. Located at The Village School, 6000 Goodlette-Frank Rd., Naples. Visit collierlax.com. 7:30 p.m. New Year’s Eve Fireworks. Find a spot anywhere along Naples Beach for the annual New Year’s Eve fireworks, blasting off from Naples Pier.
NEAPOLITANfamily • December 2018
Most Insurances Accepted
By Karen T. Bartlett
Destination: Key West in December
rom the town that brings you a Hemingway look-alike weekend (hordes of stocky, white-bearded Papas in cable knit sweaters swarming Duval Street), rainbow-hued Key West chickens (roosters and hens) strutting through the historic district, zombie bike rides, and an outrageous Sunset Celebration every single night comes a December message: Welcome to the holidays, Conch Republic Style. What does that mean? Oh, you know, a Christmas tree built out of lobster traps, outrageous boat parades featuring a 30-foot tall reindeer, a 50-foot tall Grinch, and the like. Plus, pirates, unicorns, and even a shapely 60-foot high leg in a sparkling blue high heel. Oh yes, and Santa, elves, reindeer, and nativity scenes. Boat parades are a raison d’etre in the Keys, and none is as exuberantly joyful and family-friendly as the Schooner Wharf Bar & Galley Lighted Boat Parade on the Historic Seaport on Dec. 15. Kayaks, dinghies, mega-yachts, and three-masted schooners have been out-bedazzling each other for the past 27 years. I highly recommend that you not miss it. schoonerwharf.com Like potato chips and Christmas cookies, it’s tough to stop at one. On the prior weekend, Dec. 7-9, you can satisfy your cravings with three nights of boat parades. Start on Friday with the Stock Island Lighted Boat Parade (ilovestockisland.org). On Saturday, choose between the Boot Key Harbor Christmas Boat Parade on Marathon (facebook.com/marathonmarinaresort) and the Key Largo Holiday Lighted Boat Parade (keylargoboatparade. com). And then on Sunday, stick around for the Key Colony 36
Beach Holiday Lighted Boat Parade, just north of Marathon. kcbca.org/boatparade The Harbor Walk of Lights (61,000 of them, along with 58 lighted trees) is on display now through New Year’s Eve, along the Key West Historic Seaport and Key West Bight Marina. The kids will love the three selfie-perfect Key West style Christmas trees – a fishing buoy tree, a nautical themed tree, and my fave, that towering lobster trap tree – plus ship’s anchors, and especially the manatees and animated sea turtles. The shops and restaurants along Harbor Walk are also all decorated to the max. Who doesn’t love a performance of The Nutcracker? But, you guessed it; Nutcracker Key West at the Tennessee Williams Theater takes a generous helping of tropical liberty with the interpretation. The music is still Tchaikovsky, but – spoiler alert – the Mouse King is a Rooster King, and the hero is a Conch Nutcracker. When Clara saves the Nutcracker by throwing her slipper, Conch Nutcracker is transformed into a Navy officer. The Sugar Plum Fairy is a Sea Star Fairy, and in place of the snowy forest and sleigh are a sailing skiff and a salt pond. King Neptune is involved, and the dancers include shrimp, reef fish, and sparkling jewels from the treasure ship Atocha. In the end … no, that’s all I’m going to tell you. Except that it’s a family must-do! Dec. 7-16. nutcrackerkeywest.com President Harry Truman’s Little White House is all decked out for the holidays, 1940s-50s style. The Little White House Christmas Tour on Dec. 17, 19, and 21 includes refreshments and ornament making for the kids. Make reservations at trumanNEAPOLITANfamily • December 2018
Facing page: A lobster trap Christmas tree in the Key West Historic Seaport. Above: A giant Abominable Snowman cruises along in one of the Key West’s many lighted boat parades in December. Photos courtesy of fL-keys.com.
G a rd e n School of Naples
Mon tessor i E a r l y E duc a t ion
littlewhitehouse.com. Key West has its own quirky take on land parades, too. On Dec. 5, you can join the family-friendly Lighted Bike Parade, a gift-raiser for the children of the Florida Keys. Admission is one unwrapped toy. Bring (and decorate) your own bike or rent a brightly colored one in town. On Dec. 8, The Hometown Holiday Parade features Santa and Mrs. Claus, marching bands, and awesome Keys-style floats. wesleyhouse.org The Eaton Street Christmas Stroll on Dec. 9 is a fabulous collaboration of the Key West Theater, Studios of Key West, Tropic Cinema, Keys Coral Arts, Key West United Methodist Church, and St. Paul’s Episcopal Church. There’s a live nativity, holiday music and dance, and lots more. It’s worth the $25 ticket price. tropiccinema.com The iconic Conch Train Tours run all year, but for Christmas lights junkies of all ages, an evening Holiday Conch Train Tour is an absolute must-do. Starting with cookies and cider (you keep your glass), you chug past Old Town’s most ooh and aahinspiring decorated houses and inns. The dates are Dec. 7, 15, 19, 21, and 22. conchtourtrain.com And then there’s New Year’s Eve You know, of course, about the world famous Red Shoe Drop (a sparkly red high heel big enough to hold the world-famous drag queen Sushi). At the stroke of midnight, the shoe descends from the roof of the 801 Bourbon Bar. But did you know about the Pirate Wench Drop from the mast of a tall ship at Schooner Wharf? Or the Dropping of the Conch Shell at Sloppy Joe’s? Past years have seen a Unicorn Drop and a Key lime wedge drop into a giant margarita. What other outrageous drops may happen at the stroke of midnight this year? It’s Key West, so it is anyone’s guess. For all the other holiday awesomeness I left out – menorah lighting, artisan market, pet pictures with Santa, and the rest, check out fla-keys.com. Travel Editor KAREN T. BARTLETT is the author of the awardwinning family guidebook, A (mostly) Kids’ Guide to Naples, Marco Island & The Everglades. NEAPOLITANfamily • December 2018
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CELEBRATE THE SEASON
By Jamie Lober Hines
The Meaning of Chanukah
Happy Holidays! 38
Photo by Peggy Farren
t may seem like Christmas gets all the attention at this time of year; however, the recent horrific mass shooting at the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh compels us to reflect on the importance of living in a country where everyone has religious freedom. “Chanukah is not a significant holiday on the Jewish calendar but was raised to higher prominence by its close proximity to Christmas and the Jewish community’s search for something meaningful at that time of year,” said Rabbi Adam Miller of Temple Shalom in Naples. “It is the perfect holiday because it is a celebration of Thanksgiving and religious freedom,” said Miller. Chanukah is about the story of the Israelites nearly 2000 years ago living in the land of Israel. After living with religious freedom for many years, a new King Antiochus of the Syrian Empire decided to force Greek culture, language, and religion upon the Israelites. The Jews were understandably oppressed by this, and a man named Judah and his five sons (who became known as the Maccabees) led a movement to push back and fight for freedom. “They were greatly outnumbered by the Syrian Greek army and had odds against them but were able to defeat Antiochus’ force and retake the city of Jerusalem and the holy temple,” said Miller. Some families like to use the saying “The great miracle happened there” to explain what Chanukah is all about. “The holiday and its origin is about the miraculous military victory of the righteous overcoming tyranny, and it is meaningful to celebrate living in a country where we are free, able to celebrate our holidays, and live in our culture,” Miller explained. After Jerusalem was retaken by the Maccabees, the Temple was re-dedicated, and a menorah, an ancient symbol of Judaism, was lit. It was thought there was enough oil available to keep the menorah burning for just one day, but the oil held out for eight days.
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NEAPOLITANfamily • December 2018
Traditions Every family has its own Chanukah traditions. Most commonly people light the menorah, which is a nine-branch candelabra. There are eight branches to represent the days of the festival and one in the middle that is a helper used to light the candles. “We light them each night to celebrate the miracles of Chanukah, being the military victory, the miracle of being able to be free, and the sense that Chanukah is the recognition of having light at the time of darkness,” Miller said. Jews in Europe adopted a spinning toy from Germany to teach kids about Chanukah and called it the dreidel. There are four letters on the sides; Nun, Gimel, Hei, and Shin. They stand for Nes Gadol Hayah Sham, which means the great miracle happened there. There also is a custom of giving gelt, which are little chocolate coins. “The first thing you did in ancient times when you took over a new land and declared freedom was mint your own coin to show you had control and power over what was happening,” said Miller. Another Chanukah tradition is enjoying foods that are fried or have oil. “The famous foods are latkes which are potato pancakes deep fried in oil and a fried jelly doughnut called sufganiyot,” said Miller. Some families host latke-making parties. (If you are looking for some last minute supplies, Temple Shalom is a good place to stop as they have the only Judaica shop in Southwest Florida.) Regardless of whether you are Jewish, the whole community is welcome to celebrate religious freedom and honor the victims of the Pittsburgh congregation by lighting up the darkness with
NEAPOLITANfamily • December 2018
the spectacular Hanukkah lights at two local events. The Jewish Federation of Greater Naples is hosting a free, communitywide Chanukah celebration on Monday, Dec. 3 at 5 p.m. on the lawn at Mercato. On Dec. 4 at 5 p.m. at Cambier Park, Chabad Naples is inviting the entire community to enjoy a giant painted menorah, rides, games, crafts, delicious Kosher food, and live performances. “Having a central community gathering feels special because Chanukah is about the Jewish community coming together, uniting to fight for freedom, standing up for what we believe, and fighting for our future,” said Miller. “It is a beautiful holiday.”
CELEBRATE THE SEASON
By Rebecca Hastings
7 Free Ways to Create a Memorable Family Holiday
’d like to say that December only brings cozy opportunities for family bonding and reflecting on the meaning of the season. The reality is, however, that we are bombarded with long lists of things to do. And the list is only part of the problem. The tightened purse strings make it feel even more difficult to shower people with love. But you can make this December different. Here are seven ways to show your children how much you love them without throwing out your list or digging deeper in your pockets. 1. Read to them. This is about more than homework reading assignments. This is about time and bonding. There are few things more special than reading a book with your little (or not so little) one. Take 10 minutes, because usually that’s about all it takes, and snuggle up. Get close, grab a blanket, and share a great Christmas or Hanukkah story. You can find plenty at the library to enjoy together. You can even wrap a 40
library book for a special surprise. Some of our family’s favorite books are: The Littlest Angel by Charles Tazewell The Christmas Miracle of Jonathan Toomey by Susan Wojciechowski Jacob’s Gift by Max Lucado Oskar and the Eight Blessings by Tanya Simon Hanukkah Bear by Eric A. Kimmel 2. Have a winter picnic. Pretend it’s a cold winter day and head out for a picnic. Make some hot chocolate or some tea and put it in a thermos. Bring blankets (even if they’re just to sit on) and some mugs. You don’t have to go anywhere fancy; you can even do this on your lanai, or head to the beach. Just enjoy being together in the fresh air. The kids may give you a crazy look at first, but the time together is worth it. For an extra special treat, try doing this under the stars and bring some of the books suggested and a flashlight. NEAPOLITANfamily • December 2018
3. Enjoy a candlelight dinner. Think about what everyday life was like when Jesus was born. Enjoy dinner by candlelight and feel how peaceful it can be to sit by the warm glow of a flickering flame. If you are eating by the light of a Chanukah menorah, it’s best to do it on the eighth night, when the candles burn the brightest. Or better yet, have a special menorah for each child to light. 4. Give a “Gift for the Day.” Before you think this involves reaching for your wallet, keep reading. My kids are almost always asking to use something that belongs to my husband or me. Maybe it is a lip gloss or a flashlight or tool. It could be a pretty scarf or even a special mug. Wrap up the coveted item and give it to your child with a note reading, “This is something of Mommy’s that is usually just for me. I’d like for you to use it today because you are special as can be.” 5. Bake together. The holidays usually have us mixing and baking at some point. Take some extra time and hand over the wooden spoon. Sure, it may take longer. Yes, it will be messier. But letting children help shows that you value their abilities, and that they are more important than a stress-filled to do list. And I’ve never met a child (young or old) who doesn’t like to lick the spoon! 6. Enjoy the lights. There are few things that evoke squeals like twinkling Christmas lights. Go to page 42 to see our list of the best local light displays and lighted boat parades in Southwest Florida. Maybe take a different route home from basketball one night so you can see the lights on the street you don’t usually drive on. Go a block or two out of your way to drive by the town tree. You don’t have to make a big night of searching for lights (although that’s fun too!) Just take time to enjoy the ones you see. If little ones cry, “I didn’t get to see it,” like mine sometimes do, make a quick u-turn and go back by again. You’ll only be losing minutes, but it sure adds up to them. And the squeals are worth it! 7. Designate family movie time. Christmas is filled with all kinds of movies. Whether you’re looking for something funny or heartwarming, taking an evening and watching a Christmas movie together is a memory worth making. There is a bonding that occurs when you sit together and enjoy a holiday movie. So don’t worry about addressing the Christmas cards for a night. No one will remember when they got the card anyway. A tradition of the family watching a Christmas movie together will be held dear for years to come. Whether it’s Elf, A Charlie Brown Christmas, or It’s A Wonderful Life, you’ll feel good knowing you took the time to be together. These are just a few of the ways we’ve been able to show our children love and create memorable family Christmases without spending a dime. NEAPOLITANfamily • December 2018
FREE Free LOCAL HOLIDAY FUN Local Holiday Family Fun
This time of year, it seems like we never stop spending money. To give your wallet a rest, we’ve listed the top 10 free holiday events in Southwest Florida. Also check out our directory of holiday light displays on page 42, as many of those events are free. Take the whole family and make some inexpensive memories. Community-wide Chanukah Celebration. Dec. 3, 5-6:30 p.m., Mercato. Free admission. Everyone is welcome. Menorah lighting, kids’ crafts, live music, face painting, Israeli folk dancing, children’s performances, food available for purchase, and more. Visit www.jewishnaples.org. Holiday on the Bay. Dec. 1, 8, 15, 22-24, The Village Shops on Venetian Bay. Check website for hours. Enjoy a festive snow show and holiday entertainment, including free photos with Santa, stories with Mrs. Claus, Dickens-period carolers, dance performances, and more. Visit venetianvillage.com for each day’s schedule. Let’s Paint Chanukah. Dec. 4, 5-8 p.m., Cambier Park. The entire community is invited to enjoy a giant painted menorah, rides, games, crafts, delicious Kosher food, and live performances. Call 239- 272-4474 or visit www.chabadnaples.com. Marco Island Christmas Parade. Dec. 15, 6:30-8:30 p.m. The parade runs along San Marco Road, starting at Balfour Drive and ending at Barfield Drive. Visit christmasislandstyle.com. Movies on the Lawn: The Polar Express. Dec. 18, 5:45-7:45 p.m., Mercato. Bring a blanket or chairs. No coolers, please. Food, beverages, and popcorn available for purchase. Visit mercatoshops.com or call 239-254-1080. Naples Christmas Parade. Dec. 11, 6-8 p.m. The parade starts at the corner of Broad Avenue South and Third Street South, and ends at City Hall. Don’t miss the special appearance by Santa and Mrs. Claus. Call 239-213-7120 or visit naplesgov.com. On Christmas Day Concert. Dec. 15, 5 p.m., and Dec. 16, 4 p.m., Trinity-by-the-Cove Episcopal Church. The church choir sings old and new holiday favorites. A carol sing-along concludes the concert. Visit trinitybythecove.com. Preserving the Holiday Spirit. Dec. 7-9, 4-6:30 p.m., The Naples Preserve. Live music, holiday lights and decorations, boardwalk tours, refreshments, special animal guests, and much more. Make food ornaments for our Wildlife Tree. Visit www.naplesgov.com. Santa Wonderland 2018. Through Dec. 24, Bass Pro Shops, Gulf Coast Town Center. Free 4x6 picture with Santa. Free crafts, Lincoln Log and Crayola blocks building area, gaming area, laser arcade, remote control trucks, foam shooting gallery, and more. For hours, call 239-461-7800 or visit www.basspro.com. Tuba Christmas. Dec. 14, 6:30-7:30 p.m. A remarkable evening of music in Sugden Plaza from more than 70 sousaphone, euphonium, tuba, and baritone players. Call 239-692-8436 or visit fifthavenuesouth.com. neafamily.com
Lighting up Your Holiday
A ROUND UP OF LOCAL EVENTS WHERE THE LIGHTING DISPLAYS ARE THE STAR OF THE SHOW (AND WHERE TO FIND SANTA FOR PHOTOS)
LIGHTING DISPLAYS Night Lights in the Garden. Dec. 7-23, Dec. 26-30, and Jan. 1-3 from 6-9 p.m. Naples Botanical Garden. A tropical winter wonderland. Your family will enjoy live musical performances, family activities, and festive sweets and treats. Call 239-325-1354 or visit www.naplesgarden.org. Christmas Walk and Tree Lighting Ceremony. Dec. 7, 5-8:30 p.m. Local dance troupes and choral groups take over the Fifth Avenue to usher in the holiday and light up the city’s beautiful tree. Call 239-692-8436 or visit www.fifthavenuesouth.com. Victoria Park. Located in North Naples off Airport Road (about one mile south of Immokalee), Victoria Park has some of the most over-the-top holiday lights displays in town. Many of the streets have matching decorations (arches, trees, candy canes) lighting the way. Victoria Park has a luminaria display on Christmas Eve that attracts thousands. Be prepared for a VERY slow drive and huge crowds.
event features live music, food and beverages, Santa visits, crafts, tours, and more. Don’t miss an all-new nightly Liquid Fireworks show. Visit www.edisonfordwinterestates.org or call 239-334-7419. Sanibel-Captiva Luminary Holiday Stroll. Dec. 7 (Sanibel) and Dec. 8 (Captiva), 5:30-9 p.m. Beautifully lit paths will lead the way to landmarks, where festival goers can enjoy assorted activities, snacks, and refreshments. There will be Santa visits, photos with Santa, a live nativity scene, music, and activities for the entire family. Call 239-472-1080 or visit www.sanibel-captiva.org. Holiday Festival of Lights Cape Coral. Dec. 1, 4-10 p.m. Visit with Santa, slide down Snowcap Square’s very own snow drift, watch the magic as we light up the Christmas tree, ride the Tiny Tot Train, bounce for hours in the Candy Cane Park, and shop in the Holiday Village. Visit holidayfestivalcc.com or call 239-549-6900. ON THE WATER
Tree Lighting Ceremony at Mercato. Dec. 5, 5 p.m. Featuring the largest real tree in Southwest Florida. Come out for a night of holiday fun including the world’s tallest elf and free face painting. Visit www.mercatoshops.com.
Marine Industries Christmas Boat Parade. Dec. 8, 6:15-8:30 p.m. on Naples Bay. This year’s theme is “It’s a Cartoon Classics Christmas”. The parade may be viewed from Pincher’s Crab Shack, Riverwalk Restaurant, Naples City Dock, Naples Landing, Kelly’s Fish House, The Boat House Restaurant, and Bayview Park. Call 239-682-0900 or check www.miacc.org for details.
Edison & Ford Holiday Nights. Through Dec. 30, 5:30-9 p.m. Closed Dec. 24-25. The historic buildings and gardens at Edison Ford are decorated with lights and holiday decorations. This year’s
Bonita Springs Holiday Boat Parade. Dec. 8, 6-8 p.m. The parade starts at The Bay Water Boat Club on the Imperial River. Call 239-495-0455 or check www.bonitaboatparade.com.
NEAPOLITANfamily • December 2018
LEARNING NEVER LOOKED SO FUN! Left: Night Lights in the Garden. Photo courtesy of Naples Botanical Garden. Above: Fifth Avenue’s Annual Christmas Walk.
Marco Island Christmas Boat Parade. Dec. 8, 6-9 p.m. Celebrate Christmas, island style, as you watch decorated boats sailing up and down the Marco River. Call 239-250-8348 or visit www. christmasislandstyle.com.
Not all classrooms have walls and whiteboards. Not all learning is confined to library desks and reading corners. Sometimes, learning is much more experiential than that. Sometimes, learning takes place between rocks and trees, in crisp mountain lakes and across forested trails. Sometimes, we learn best while making new friends, trying new things, experiencing new thrills and discovering new worlds.
Fort Myers Beach Christmas Boat Parade. Dec. 1, 6-8 p.m. Come enjoy some Christmas spirit as more than 30 decorated boats pass though Matanzas Harbor and the first two canals of Siesta Isles. Visit www.fmbboatparade.com. SANTA CLAUS Coastland Center Mall. Through Dec. 24. Make an online reservation to see Santa and spend less time in line. Reservations and photo purchases are not required to visit Santa. For hours, call 239-262-2323 or visit www.coastlandcenter.com. Santa Wonderland 2018. Through Dec. 24. Bass Pro Shops, Gulf Coast Town Center. Free 4x6 picture with Santa. Free crafts and children’s activities. For hours, call 239-461-7800 or visit www. basspro.com. Miromar Outlets. Through Dec. 23. Make an everlasting memory and receive a photo with Santa. Visit www.miromaroutlets.com or call 239-948-3766. Venetian Village. Dec. 13, 5-7 p.m. Bring your dogs to meet and take holiday photos with Santa. Meet the adorable, adoptable pets from the Humane Society of Naples. Drop off your receipts from Dec. 13-16 and The Village will donate 10% back to the Humane Society of Naples. Visit venetianvillage.com. Waterside Shops. Dec. 15-16, 12-4 p.m. Photos with Santa and Mrs. Claus in the central courtyard. Well-behaved pets are welcome. Feel free to use your personal camera. Visit watersideshops.com. Holiday Market. Dec. 8, 10 a.m., Fleischmann Park. Bring a new unwrapped toy and enjoy free photos with Santa, free refreshments, free crafts, and a market full of vendors. Call 239-213-3020. NEAPOLITANfamily • December 2018
ce. Come Enjoy. Com xperien e Lea E e rn. Com
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Best Toys of
So many new toys hit the market every
keep up to date. To make your life a littl
Magazine has rounded up a selection of Bright Lights Soccer Ball by Vtech Press the happy light-up face button to hear playful phrases and three songs that introduce opposites and numbers. Kick, pass, or shake the ball to activate the motion sensor and hear fun sounds and music. $14.99, ages 6 months-3 years. www.vtechkids.com
by the National Parenting Product Awa
Hatchimals CollEGGtibles With the all new Hatch Friends Forever, you will hatch and discover Best Friends – two characters from separate eggs who come together to form special poses. Piggybacks, whispering secrets, Hatch-fives, and more. For the first time, you can also hatch twins – two Hatchimals from one egg. $2.99$19.99, ages 5-8. www.hatchimals.com
Touch & Discover Sensory Turtle™ Cuddly plush featuring a variety of textures, colors, and patterns to stimulate baby’s senses and encourage fine motor skills. $19.99, ages 3 months and older. www.vtechkids.com
Virtuoso Bears With an adorable likeness to Amadeus Mozart and Ludwig van Beethoven, these cuddly pals carry 40 minutes of carefully selected tracks of sonatas, concertos, and symphonies. $49.99, birth to 7. www.vosego.org
KidiBuzz This smart device does it all – sends texts, voice messages, photos, and drawings. Also a multimedia player for music and videos. Includes more than 40 learning games and awesome apps. $99.99, ages 4 to 9. www.vtechkids.com
Squishmallows All new, jumbo size squishy buddies – great pillows, bedtime buddies, travel companions, and best buds to relieve stress and anxiety. $29.99, all ages. www.squishmallows.com
Selma’s Dolls – Annie, Lola, Ameena A collection of soft ragdolls that celebrate diversity. Each doll is packaged with the same storybook, “Selma’s First Day of School.” Annie is a doll with Down syndrome; Ameena is a Muslim doll, and Lola is Mexican-American doll. $39.99, ages 2 +. www.selmasdolls.com
NEAPOLITANfamily • December 2018
year that it is impossible for parents to
le easier this holiday season, LA Parent the best new toys of 2018, as selected
Kids First Coding & Robotics Meet Sammy, an adorable peanut butter and jelly sandwich that’s a robot. Teaches coding principles and skills without a tablet, smartphone, or computer. Simply lay down a sequence of physical code cards. $129.95, ages 4+. www.thamesandkosmos.com
Avengers Hero Inventor Kit With their favorite Marvel Avengers, kids become their own super heroes by building and customizing high-tech hero gear and unique identity. Comes with a companion app that walks you through the steps of creating circuits. $149.99, ages 8+. www.shop.littlebits.com
PJ Masks Super Moon Adventure HQ Rocket Release the rocket’s ramp and watch Gekko launch out on his space rover. $39.99, ages 3+. www.justplayproducts.com
Ben 10 Alien Creation Chamber Create custom mini figures by mixing and matching alien body parts inside the Omnitrix-inspired chamber. Set includes 4 figures including Heatblast, Four Arms, Wildvine, and Grey Matter. $29.99, ages 4+. www.playmatestoys.com
Disney Junior Vampirina Rock N’ Jam Touring Van Rock out with The Ghoul Girls. The van transforms into a spook-tacular stage and when Vampirina is ready to perform, she magically rises on a light-up platform. Vampirina and Poppy figures included. $39.99, ages 3+. www.justplayproducts.com
Beasts of Balance Thought of as Jenga for the 21st century, players work together to stack beasts onto the augmented reality playbase, which connects to an app. $99, ages 8+. NEAPOLITANfamily • December 2018 www.beastsofbalance.com
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NEAPOLITANfamily â€¢ December 2018
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NEAPOLITANfamily â€˘ December 2018
1 4 9 5 S m i t h P r e s e r v e Wa y I N a p l e s , F L 3 4 1 0 2 I 2 3 9 . 2 6 2 . 0 3 0 4 I w w w. c o n s e r v a n c y. o r g
The only parenting magazine devoted to Naples, Marco Island, Golden Gate, Immokalee and Bonita Springs, Florida.
Published on Nov 29, 2018
The only parenting magazine devoted to Naples, Marco Island, Golden Gate, Immokalee and Bonita Springs, Florida.