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December 2018

Local Love

Why to shop downtown

Money Apps Help kids save cash

Grading Schools Find out how yours rates

Ex Etiquette How to keep the peace

this Holiday season



Find LOCAL schools, profiles, after-school options, educational activities & family fun


January’s Private School Guide

Warren: 702-485-2992 | Renee: 694-0390

December 2018

Every Issue 5

Crafting with Kids Winter in a Jar

12 Features 10 Grade A Schools The Super on rating education.


Dear Reader


Cooking with Kids Snazzy Side


Bits and Pieces The Show Must Go On! A Light in the Dark

12 Holiday Ex Etiquette How to keep it civil.

14 From Frazzled to Fine Tips for on-the-go self-care.

16 Local Love The benefits of shopping downtown.

Charlie Brown Christmas Caroling Fool After-Hours Party


Edible Housing

24 Calendar of Events Santa Rides the Rail

34 Humor To Sleep in Peace

18 When December Hurts Help kids cope with the loss of a loved one.

20 Taxes & Tots Introducing your children to the IRS.

22 Virtual Piggy Banks Allowances go digital.


8 4 SonomaFamilyLife

December 2018

Crafting with Kids

Winter in a Jar A Few Snips and—Viola!–Snow

By Richela Fabian Morgan


now may not visit the Bay Area, but, with the help of Snowflake Jars, you can still experience its charm. This craft can be as simple or ornate as you choose it to be. You can use a small jelly jar or a large pickle jar, a single tea light or half a dozen, a sole jar or several grouped together. Snowflake jars can add a little festivity to a mantle or make a statement as a dining table centerpiece. Snowflake Jars Materials Snowflake stencils 10”-wide piece of parchment paper White duct tape Glass jar with lid (any size) Silver chrome duct tape (optional) Battery-operated tea lights Tools Pencil Scissors



Download and print out free snowflake stencils from the Internet. (A good place to start your online search is Pinterest.)


Place the parchment paper over the snowflake stencil printout and trace the snowflakes with a pencil.


Cover the snowflake tracings with white duct tape. Be sure that the tracing side of the parchment paper is face up. Please note: The snowflake might be larger than the width of the tape. You may need to overlap the tape strips at the edges in order to completely cover the tracing.


Flip the parchment paper over so the tape-covered side is facing down. Because the parchment paper is somewhat transparent, you will be able to see the tracing. Using clean scissors, cut out the snowflakes. You have created snowflake stickers. December 2018


Remove the parchment paper from the back of each snowflake sticker and place the stickers on the outside of the jar. Be sure to save the parchment paper that was removed from the back of the stickers. You will use it for step 7.


Optional: Cut little pieces of silver chrome duct tape and place on the outside of jar. This is to add more shimmer to your design.

7 8

Take the parchment paper from step 5 and place it inside the jar. Place the tea light(s) inside the jar and close it with the lid. ¶

Richela Fabian Morgan has written several craft books, including her most recent Duct Tape Bags (Clarkson Potter, 2016) and the bestselling Tape It & Make It: 101 Duct Tape Activities (Barron’s Educational Series, 2012). Find out more about her work at

SonomaFamilyLife 5

Dear Reader


he holiday season is in full swing. There are meals to make, presents to buy, and most importantly, people to love. Make Sharon Gowan Publisher/Editor sure your self-care doesn’t get lost in the shuffle. Check out “From Frazzled to Fine” (page 14) for ideas for nurturing yourself during December chaos. One way to keep things simple is to shop locally—no need to travel far to get gifts, just walk through downtown. Need more reasons to keep your cash in your community? Read “Local Love” (page 16) for advice from GOLOCAL’s Janeen Murray. Looking to save money? Cook up family meals at home and avoid the cost of going out. Momma Chef recipes, which call

for only six ingredients and take only six minutes to prepare, make it easy. Check out “Snazzy Side” (page 7) for stuffed peppers you can whip up in a snap. Another way to pinch pennies? DIY presents. Besides keeping you in the black, homemade gifts have that special made-with-tiny-hands appeal. See “Winter in a Jar” (page 5) for a fun project to create with your clan. And then turn to our Calendar of Events (page 24) for a plethora of festive activities that will entertain family members of every age all month long. Whether you celebrate Chanukah, Christmas, Kwanzaa, or Solstice, we hope your holidays are filled with joy!

Office Manager Patricia Ramos

Business Marketing Renee Nutcher Warren Kaufman

Features Editor Melissa Chianta

Production Manager Donna Bogener

Web and Social Media

Bennett Valley Union School District Registration for Kindergarten and Transitional Kindergarten (Kinder Bridge) for 2019-20 School Year begins February 5 & 6

Call 542-6272 to sign up

A limited number of interdistrict transfer requests for 2019-20 will be accepted

California Distinguished Schools

Yulupa Primary School Preschool–Third Grade 2250 Mesquite Drive, Santa Rosa 707 542-6272

Strawberry Intermediate School Fourth–Sixth Grade 2311 Horseshoe Drive, Santa Rosa 707 526-4433

Consistently high student academic achievement at both schools

YMCA provides on-site child care

Contributing Writers Steven D. Herrington LJ Kunkel Richela Fabian Morgan Karen Nochimowski Steve Siebold Heather Stang Fiona Tapp Denise Morrison Yearian

Billing Jan Wasson-Smith

Your child’s joy of learning is nurtured with our: • Excellent Teachers • Reduced Class Size (K–3) • Kinder Bridge Transitional Kindergarten • Extended Day Kindergarten (8:30-1:25) • Fully Staffed Libraries and Technology Labs • Visual and Performing Arts Programs

Natalie Bruzon

Publishing Office

• Band, Percussion and Chorus (4th–6th) • Boys’ and Girls’ Interscholastic Basketball (4th–6th) • Emphasis on Environmental Stewardship • Gifted and Talented Education (4th–6th)

P.O. Box 351 Philo, CA 95466 (707) 586-9562

Call to reserve tours: Yulupa 1/15, 1/23, 2/12, 2/20, 3/5, 3/27, 4/17 Strawberry by reservation only 526-4433 Registration Packets available Jan. 7. Children must be five on or before Sept. 1, 2019 to be eligible for kindergarten. Two year Kinder Bridge program offered for children turning five on or after Sept. 2, 2019.

707 542-2201 • Visit us at 6 SonomaFamilyLife

December 2018

Cooking with Kids

Snazzy Side Jazz Up Your Table with Red and Green By Momma Chef


have been making this dish for years, and it’s still a family favorite. You will definitely impress when you serve these stuffed peppers. They are so easy and yummy, it will seem like you spent hours in the kitchen making them. I like to add in raisins, which give a nice sweetness, but they are not necessary. ¶ Find the recipes of Karen Nochimowski, aka Momma Chef, on Each of her recipes contains six ingredients or less and takes under six minutes to prepare. Momma Chef’s latest endeavor is the creation of a soup kitchen. See

Deliciously Easy Stuffed Peppers Ingredients • 1 cup uncooked instant white rice • 1 24 oz. jar tomato basil sauce • 1 tbsp. salt • 5 cloves of diced garlic • 1 lb. ground beef • 6 bell peppers

Tip If you want a bit of elegance, put the pepper tops on foil in the oven for the last 15 minutes of baking. Then put the tops back on the stuffed peppers when serving.

December 2018

Instructions 1. Preheat the oven to 400°F. 2. In a large bowl, add rice, tomato sauce, salt, and garlic. Mix together. 3. Add the ground beef, breaking up the meat and mixing it as you go so the meat is mixed well into the sauce. 4. Cut the tops off the peppers about 1 inch down. Scoop out the seeds and as much of the membrane inside as you can. 5. Place the peppers cut-side up in a baking dish just large enough to hold them upright. 6. Spoon the beef mixture into each pepper, filling it almost to the top. 7. Bake for 1 hour. Serves: 6

SonomaFamilyLife 7

Bits & Pieces

The Show Must Go On!


veryone (especially parents) has days when they fantasize about running away and joining the circus. There are those who have the freedom—and the skills—to actually do it. See some of these lucky folks take to the big top in Circque de Bohème’s show Yesterday. The acts include an aerial artist spinning in a hoop, an acrobat performing feats on a rola-bola, and a fellow doing gravity-defying feats with chairs. In addition to this entertainment, there will also be a cyr wheel (google it!) artist as well as a mime, juggler, and other masters of the circus arts. Even though the circus recently lost some of its decorations and stage curtain in a fire, the tent and necessary equipment remain, so the show will (must!) go on. Performances will be held on December 8–9 and 15–16 at 1, 3, and 5 p.m. Tickets are $27–$55 and are available via ¶

Circque de Bohème

A Light in the Dark


or some the solstice is the most magical moment of the holiday season, a time for contemplation and celebration. The Shed in Healdsburg will be marking the longest night of the year with a free Solstice Meditative Walk. On December 21, 4–7 p.m., stroll along a spiral of candles, and then warm your bones with some hot cider downstairs. While families are invited, the presence of candles makes the event not suitable for young children. Go to healdsburgshed. com for more information. ¶

8 SonomaFamilyLife

Charlie Brown Christmas


hile it’s rare for snow to fall in these parts, thanks to modern technology, you can still feel flakes melt on your cheek. Take advantage of nightly “snowfall” at the free Charlie Brown Christmas Tree Grove on the Town Green in Windsor. The annual event, which features more than 200 Christmas trees decorated by local schoolchildren, community organizations, and businesses, kicks off with the free Windsor Holiday Celebration and Tree Lighting on the Town Green on December 6, 5–8 p.m. Walk through the grove, take the kids on wagon and train rides, watch youth performers, and get a photo taken with Santa. At 7 p.m., the tree will be lit and snow will gently float through the air. Flakes will continue to fall at 5:30 and 7:30 p.m. through January 1. Go to people4parkswindsor. org/charlie-brown-christmas-tree-grove for further details. ¶

December 2018

Caroling Fool


erhaps you are one of those people who loves carols so much you sing them year round: “Joy to the World” when summer break is over; “Hark! The Herald Angels Sing” at the morning alarm; “Frosty the Snowman” when enjoying an icy treat. If you are one of these people, December brings special fun: Carols are not only in season, but there are other people who are eager to sing them with you—in public! Find them at the free Community Carol Sing at Walnut Park in Petaluma on December 23 at 7:30 p.m. See to learn more. ¶

Edible Housing

After-Hours Party


hat happens in museums after the doors are locked? The film Night at the Museum envisioned static dioramas transformed into a chaotic mess of living, breathing flesh. While inanimate objects may not come to life at the Kids’ Night at the Museum at the Charles M. Schulz Museum in Santa Rosa, kids’ imaginations do. Children who participate in the after-hours event, geared toward ages 5–10, will learn cartooning and mess around with other art projects as well as eat a pizza dinner and play games. The fun happens on December 15, 5–9 p.m. Admission is $32, $27 for each additional sibling. Registration is required; see to sign up. ¶

December 2018


roblem: Your kids want to make a gingerbread house, but just the thought of such a project exhausts you. Solution: Go to the Rincon Valley Library in Santa Rosa for its Once Upon a Gingerbread House event. Librarians are stocked up on graham crackers, frosting, and candy. The only ingredient they need is children. This free event will be held in age-designated intervals on December 8: 10:30 a.m.–12:30 p.m., ages 0–5; 1:30–3 p.m., ages 6–12; and 3:30–5 p.m., ages 13–17. For more information, see ¶ SonomaFamilyLife 9

The updated Dashboard 2.0, scheduled to be released this month, will allow a specific school or district’s performance to be compared to state-level data. It will also have a more user-friendly design meant to function well on

Grade A Schools Find Out How Your Child’s Education Rates By Steven D. Herrington, Sonoma County Superintendent of Schools


arents of school-aged children may not be aware of a new online tool, the California School Dashboard. With its graphic-heavy, easy-to-read format, the Dashboard provides a wealth of information about how schools are serving children. By looking up a school and taking a glance at its virtual “dashboard,” which has gauges representing important metrics, parents and community members can take a “peek under the hood” and see how a school is serving the needs of the full spectrum of its students. Instead of doling out a single letter grade like an “A” or an “F,” the California School Dashboard gives a more complete picture of how a school is performing. It incorporates a wider range of factors, including graduation and suspension rates and English learner progress. As well, it gives an analysis of how the school is assisting students who have been 10 SonomaFamilyLife

found to need more support, such as foster youth and low-income students. The Dashboard’s metrics allow parents and community members to better understand how well their schools and districts are fulfilling their mission. They also help the state assess and allocate attention and resources to educational institutions that are underperforming.

The Dashboard provides a quick overview about overall performance on multiple measures of student success. both smartphones and computers. The new graphics will make it easier to navigate and understand performance data and assessments. Also, the site will be fully translated into Spanish. The Dashboard provides a quick overview, with additional detail available, about overall performance and student group performance on multiple measures of student success. This will help in identifying strengths, weaknesses, and areas in need of improvement. To start using Dashboard, go to and search for your school and school district. You’ll find reports on six aspects of a quality school environment: • state data on readiness for college and careers • graduation rates • progress of English learners • suspension rates • chronic absenteeism • scores on state standardized tests

December 2018

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These are shown as colored gauges with an arrow pointing to a blue area at the highest levels and red at the lowest. The gauges reflect both the current status of these metrics as well as change over time. Dashboard also gives results on how these indicators vary across different groups of students. Districts have four measurements called “indicators.” These are based on their own measures of: • availability of basic services • school climate • family engagement • progress toward meeting subject-matter content standards To get a comprehensive view of where your school stands and where it is going, visit caschooldashboard. org and take the new Dashboard 2.0 out for a test drive. ¶ Steven D. Herrington is the Sonoma County Superintendent of Schools.

December 2018

SonomaFamilyLife 11

This was one reason Dan and Marian Bowen sought peaceful resolution when their marriage dissolved four years ago. “The first Christmas after we separated, Dan and I talked about how we were going to handle the holidays,” says Marian, mother of Matthew, then 18-months old. “I told Dan I planned to go to the candlelight service at

Holiday Ex Etiquette

Fractured Families Find Peaceful Solutions

By Denise Morrison Yearian


hen a family is fractured by divorce, experiences like child visitation, gift giving, and children’s programs add stress during the holidays. But it doesn’t have to be that way. If divorced parents can set aside their differences and focus on communication, cooperation, and compromise, the holidays can be a little less stressful for everyone. This was Ted and Linda Carlson’s goal when they separated in the fall of 2002. “Since our separation was just prior to Thanksgiving, Ted and I realized we needed to tackle this issue right away,” says Linda, whose sons were 7 and 9 at the time. “We didn’t want the boys to feel like they were losing their family unit, so we decided to spend Thanksgiving and part of Christmas together. We knew we had to do what was best for them.” 12 SonomaFamilyLife

“Parents may not be able to completely rid themselves of the negative emotions associated with a separation and divorce,” says parent information educator Lydia Robb, LCSW. “But they should look at the bigger picture and how, in the long run, it is affecting their children. It’s not, ‘What do I need?’ It’s ‘What does my child need to have a good holiday?’”

“Even after our separation, gift giving was treated no differently.”—Ted Carlson church the night before. So he came and then went back to the house with us to put out cookies and milk for Santa.” Once Matthew was asleep, the couple worked to put their son’s toys together, and then Dan went home. “The next morning he was there before Matthew woke up. It was a little uncomfortable for me, but our son was so happy to have us both there.” “Most kids grieve the loss of an intact family with every holiday and at every stage of life,” says licensed marriage and family therapist Nancy DePaul. “When parents of young children who have recently separated are willing to come together peacefully during the holidays, it gives their children the opportunity to experience it as an intact system.” At the same time DePaul cautions parents about creating delusions that could be misleading. “One area of concern I have is when divorced parents behave like buddies,” she continues. “It can be confusing to

December 2018


a child who is probably already dealing with a reconciliation fantasy.” For this reason, DePaul recommends parents set clear guidelines about their relationship and explain them to their children.

present a problem. “If the other parent can help in the right spirit—realizing this is important to the child—he or she should,” suggests DePaul. “But if it’s going to be an issue, get someone else close to the child to help.”

This is what the Carlsons did. “Last year Linda wanted to take the boys to New York to see her family for Christmas,” Ted recalls. But since the geographical distance would have made it hard to alternate

Another area of potential conflict during the holidays is attending children’s concerts and plays. “I think it’s important for both parents to be there,” says Robb. “They don’t necessarily have to sit together, but they should be cordial to one another.” Equally important is that each parent acknowledges the child after the program and shares a few moments alone with him or her.

‘It’s not, “What do I need?” It’s “What does my child need?’”—Lydia Robb, LCSW Christmas Day, Linda suggested Ted join them for a few days, and he agreed. “I spent most of my time at her parents’ house, but I wanted the boys to know the situation was still different, so I stayed in a hotel,” he continues. While there, the Carlsons had the usual exchange of gifts. “Even after our separation, gift giving was treated no differently,” Ted continues. “I always took the boys out and told them, ‘We need to buy a gift for Mommy.’ Then they’d give me their ideas, and we’d purchase it and wrap it up.” Linda did this, too. “The first Christmas after we separated, it was a little difficult for me to help the boys buy a gift for their dad,” she admits. “I didn’t want the gift to be too personal, because Ted knew I was purchasing it. I felt like it had to be more generic.” Although children should be encouraged to give both parents a gift, in high-conflict situations, this may

“Last year Matthew was in a Christmas production at church and Dan came and sat with me,” Marian recalls. “There wasn’t a whole lot of talk between us, but there wasn’t a lot of

“We’re in this for the long haul.”—Marian Bowen tension either. We both realized we needed to be there to support him.” And supporting one’s child should be the goal of every parent. “One thing I’ve tried to keep in the forefront of my mind is that we’re in this for the long haul,” Marian concludes. “I tell Dan, ‘It’s not just for 18 years. There are going to be graduations, weddings, grandkids—even great grandkids! We can set the stage for something good or something miserable for the rest of our lives.’” ¶ Denise Morrison Yearian is a former educator and editor of two parenting magazines, and the mother of three children and six grandchildren.

December 2018



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707.559.9110 SonomaFamilyLife 13

service coupons, or a meaningful note. Host a game night or just get together for a bottle of wine. 5. Strategize shopping. Save shopping for Tuesdays and Wednesdays when weekenddiminished stock has been replenished, retailers are fully staffed, and fewer people are shopping. While you’re

From Frazzled Holiday Survival to Fine Tips for Parents By Denise Morrison Yearian


f December seems like a month-long marathon of activities that leave you feeling frazzled and fatigued, restore the season’s peace, hope, and joy with these 15 holiday survival suggestions.

Make breakfast for dinner; pancakes, waffles, and scrambled egg wraps can be prepared in a snap. out, splurge on a gourmet coffee to stay revved up for the rest of your trip. When you get home, ease those aching feet with a good soak. 6. Wrap it up. Designate a specific holiday wrapping station in your home and keep the area stocked with supplies. Choose a specific paper print for each child so you don’t have to attach tags.

1. Pencil in and prioritize. With calendar in hand, write in regularly scheduled activities—haircuts, housework, sports practices, etc. Then pencil in specific days for holiday to-dos. If you see a steady stream of busy days, replace low-priority items with rest and relaxation.

3. Consolidate holiday obligations. Host a cookie exchange so you can visit with friends and avoid baking multiple batches of goodies.

7. Stock up and save time. Purchase baking supplies in advance, so the ingredients are on hand when you’re ready to bake. Rather than set aside a whole day for baking, break it into stages. One night after your child goes to bed make a double batch of sugar cookie dough and put it in the refrigerator or freezer. Then when you and your child have time, break off a chunk of dough, roll it out, and then cut and decorate the cookies.

2. Sweeten Up Your “No.” If you don’t want to attend a social event but fear you may offend the host, drop off a box of chocolates to say, “I appreciate the invite but...” When you

4. Think outside the gift box. If your holiday budget is tight, talk with those you normally exchange gifts with and offer low- or no-cost suggestions: handmade novelties,

8. No-fuss food. Make a list of quick-fix meals, post it in a visible location, and keep ingredients on hand. Double or triple soups and casseroles then freeze portions so you have

14 SonomaFamilyLife

purchase the candy, pick up an extra box for days you need a little personal appreciation.

December 2018

something to draw from when you don’t have time to cook. Or flip-flop menus and make breakfast for dinner;

Choose a specific paper print for each child so you don’t have to attach tags. pancakes, waffles, and scrambled egg wraps can be prepared in a snap. 9. Ease up expectations. Rather than slaving over the stove to make a holiday dinner, simplify the meal and create great memories. If you have a fireplace or an outdoor fire pit, roast hot dogs and marshmallows on a stick. Or pick up a couple of individual pizza shells and let everyone make their own pie.

10. Lighten the load. When you travel, mail gifts in advance. With the space you save create a personal survival tote. Include hand lotion, a holiday joke book, a deck of cards, a small notebook, and sweet treats. 11. Create continuity. Avoid pint-sized meltdowns by making sure your children maintain routines and eat right. If they will be out past bedtime, set aside a quiet time during the day. Seize this opportunity to paint your nails or curl up with a good book. 12. Snuggle up. When the children are in bed, enjoy time alone with your partner. Place a large pillow in front of the fireplace, dim the lights, and enjoy a cup of eggnog. 13. Manage your weight. To prevent sabotaging your diet, scout


out holiday buffet lines before going through with your plate so you know what is being served. Sample seasonal offerings in small quantities. 14. Maintain exercise. If you’re tight on exercise time, park further from public buildings, walk briskly around the mall once before you begin to shop, or get up 30 minutes early to take a run. 15. Rest and relax. Get the recommended seven hours of sleep each night. Once a week pamper yourself. Light candles, put on relaxing music, and revel in an in-home spa treatment before going to bed. ¶ Denise Morrison Yearian is the former editor of two parenting magazines and the mother of three children.


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December 2018


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SonomaFamilyLife 15


Jobs Locally owned businesses create more local jobs, which are usually stable and embedded in the economy. A local person who starts a business “is less likely to move

Local Love

Spending money at nonlocal stores is like blowing up a helium balloon that’s destined to float far, far away

7 Reasons to Invest Your Dollars in Your Community




away and move their headquarters to another area than, say, some business that isn’t invested in the community,” Murray asserts.

uring the holiday season, downtown businesses across the country encourage residents to “go local.” But why is shopping locally so important? We asked Janeen Murray, a co-manager of the Sonoma County business cooperative GOLOCAL, to answer that question. Here are her seven reasons for patronizing area businesses.


Local Return Basically this means keeping dollars in the local economy. “When $100 is spent at a locally owned business, more than three times [that amount]…gets reinvested locally,” Murray reveals. For instance, a company may use that $100 to hire a local printer, lawyer, or accountant. When

16 SonomaFamilyLife

that money is spent at a nonlocal business “a large amount of those dollars gets shunted off to the corporate headquarters outside of Sonoma County,” she says. Murray likens spending money at nonlocal stores to blowing up a helium balloon that’s destined to float far, far away.

Community Character “Communities that preserve one-of-a-kind locally owned businesses tend to have a more distinctive character,” Murray explains. And this can actually serve their economies. After all, tourists don’t come to Sonoma County to visit Wal-Mart; they want to stroll through its downtowns and visit its vineyards. Donations “Locally owned businesses are much more likely to donate to local nonprofits, schools, and community organizations than businesses that aren’t based locally,” Murray says. These financial investments contribute to a community’s well being, increasing the sense of good will between businesses and their neighbors.


Community–Based Decisions Local business owners are more likely to take into account the needs of their communities when they make

December 2018


decisions whereas nonlocal owners may only have their businesses’ interests at heart.

We want to know what you think.


Sustainability Shopping at area businesses can decrease the use of fossil fuels. For instance, walking around to different downtown stores uses less gas than driving from one strip mall or big-box store to the next. In addition, Murray notes, local shops tend to offer products that have been made in the area, and that means less fuel used for shipping. Calculate the amount of fuel it takes to ship jewelry crafted in Petaluma to a store in Sebastopol as opposed to jewelry made in China to the same store, and you get the picture.

• What did you like in this issue? • What do you want to see more or less of? • Know a teacher, coach, or special person who makes local family life better? • Know of an upcoming event or fun family outing? • Want to write stories or recipes, or blog for Family Life?


Spend the Holidays with Peanuts!


Entrepreneurial and Product Diversity Buying local supports a variety of area entrepreneurs, from software developers to farmers. This creates healthy competition and a diverse

selection of products from which the consumer may choose. As businesses grow, more local jobs are created (see number 2). “Buying a locally made soap…helps a local soap maker to increase [her or his] business and hire more people,” who do not have to commute out of the area to have jobs, Murray says. ¶ To find out more about GOLOCAL and its approximately 450 participating businesses, go to Visit any participating business to get a GOLOCAL card, which, when used at some businesses, offers rewards to local consumers.

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Locally owned businesses create more local jobs.

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SonomaFamilyLife 17

When December Hurts By Heather Stang


Help Kids with Grief & Loss

f your family has suffered a loss, the holidays can exacerbate the pain, especially for little ones. Here are some tips for helping children cope with their sadness now and throughout the year.

1. Allow this year to be different. Trying to pull off the perfect holiday celebration will likely only cause you and your children more stress. In addition to the grief a major loss brings, there are secondary losses. If you are facing financial hardships, allow there to be fewer gifts this year. If you don’t have the energy to cook a meal for the whole family, order out, go to someone else’s home, or make reservations. Children are sensitive to your stress, so don’t take on more than you can manage. 2. Understand developmental perspectives on death. Research performed by Maria Nagy segments children’s perspectives of death into three categories. Use this information in tandem 18 SonomaFamilyLife

with what you know about your children’s thoughts and feelings to talk about loss in an age- and worldview-appropriate way. • Ages 3–5: Death is a physical relocation, and the deceased exists somewhere else. • Ages 5–9: Death is often personified and can be avoided. • Ages 9–10: Death is universal, inevitable, and irreversible. 3. Balance new and old traditions. If Mom always read The Night Before Christmas to the family on Christmas Eve but she is no longer alive, what do you do? Skip it? Have someone else read it? Instead of trying to figure it out on your own, ask your children what they want to do. There isn’t a right

or wrong answer. Keep traditions that work, let go of those that don’t, and create new ones because you want to, not because you have to. 4. Don’t pretend the death didn’t occur. No one forgets that someone they love is missing. Pretending that everything is fine

Keep traditions that work, let go of those that don’t. will not temper the pain. It only will add confusion to what is already a disorienting situation. Instead, talk openly with children about how you and they feel. This sends a clear signal to children that talking about their feelings is okay, and that you are a safe person they can lean on. 5. Ask them how they would like to remember their special person. There are countless ways to weave memories

December 2018

Winter Camp Wa-Tam

into family gatherings: create a holiday decoration using photos of their special person, write a letter to put in the deceased person’s stocking, set a place at the dinner table where the loved one would have sat, or bake a favorite cookie recipe. 6. Consider age-appropriate volunteer opportunities. Donate money, goods, or time to the loved one’s favorite charity. Whether it’s volunteering at a local soup kitchen or handing out water during

Trying to pull off the perfect holiday celebration will likely only cause you and your children more stress. a 5K, you and your child can learn more about the deceased person’s passions while continuing her or his legacy. 7. Stick to routines while allowing for some flexibility. To whatever extent is possible, try to keep a steady routine, especially with meals and bedtime. But don’t be overly rigid. If children start talking about why they miss their person at 8:55 p.m. and bedtime is at 9 p.m., there is no need to cut them off. Balance their regular schedule with an awareness of what they need in the moment. Heather Stang is the author of Mindfulness & Grief (CICO, 2018). Find out more about her work at

Keep the kids busy over winter break! (Age 6-12) Session 1 Theme: Winter Wonderland 12/26-12/28: Wed-Fri, 8am-3pm Extended Hours Available

Session 2 Theme: Let It Snow! 1/2/19-1/4/19: Wed-Fri, 8am-3pm Extended Hours Available

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benefits, but it can also teach your children the importance of patience over impulsivity in regard to finances. Don’t ignore fun. While one part of the refund may go toward investments, at least a part of the remainder should be allocated to

Investing in yourself and your future is a pivotal way to model self-worth.

Taxes & Tots Teach Kids about Financial Matters By Steve Siebold


s the year draws to a close, you may find yourself thinking about getting a jumpstart on filing your 1040. Why not use the opportunity to teach your kids about taxes?

Explain the concept of taxes. Children, particularly young children, might not know what taxes are or the purpose they serve in society. As a parent, it is your job to help them understand taxes and their role in fiscal actions. For instance, when something that costs $1 rings up as $1.06, explain why. Incorporate a tax element into allowances. If your children earn an allowance, set some rules regarding their earnings. If they make $10 a week, institute an applied tax. State that out of $10, $1 will go to “taxes.” You can explain that this 20 SonomaFamilyLife

money may go toward a specific household project or something that benefits the community. This helps kids understand from a young age the purpose of taxes so they are less likely to be surprised by the concept when it arises later in life. Teach kids how to invest. When the tax refund appears in the mailbox, set aside a certain amount for investing. Help your children understand that investments in the stock market and other endeavors are a great way to potentially turn money into more money down the road. Not only does investing reap financial

something fun. Make this something the entire family can enjoy. This helps create a good relationship with tax money. Create a positive relationship with the process and model it. A balance of enjoyable and financially educational activities establishes a strong foundation for your children’s relationship to money. Don’t make them afraid of taxes, but do aim to help them accept that taxes are as much a part of life as earning money. Use the money to better yourself. Investing in yourself and your future is a pivotal way to model self-worth. When the tax refund arrives, seek programs with which you can improve yourself. These may be books, webinars, audio programs, or events. Consider hiring a financial coach to continue your path to success. Help children to see the value in investing in themselves, too. ¶ Steve Siebold is the author of Secrets Self-Made Millionaires Teach Their Kids (London House Press, 2018). He is a self-made millionaire who has interviewed more than 1,200 of the world’s wealthiest people over the past 34 years. For more information, see

December 2018

Swim Lessons SONOMA COUNTY FAMILY YMCA Rain or Shine the Y swim lessons will be taught in our indoor heated pool by caring, skilled instructors. 707-545-9622 x 3138 Sonoma County Family YMCA 1111 College Ave. Santa Rosa, CA 95404 • 707-545-9622 F 707-544-7805 The Y is a non-profit Community Organization. Financial Assistance is available.

Educating the Whole Child

PARK SIDE (K-4) Rigorous Academics Social Skills and Collaboration Global Stewardship


Academic Excellence Art, Engineering, Wood Working, Makerspace Music and more! Comprehensive Athletics Program

CASTLE programs (K-8) Convenient Safe Nurturing

TAKE A TOUR OR ENROLL NOW! (707) 829-4570

December 2018

SonomaFamilyLife 21

Virtual Piggy Banks Money Management Apps for Little Ones

By Fiona Tapp


ne of the greatest skills we can teach our kids is how to manage money. The current data from Comet, a company that facilitates refinancing of student loans, shows most Americans carry debt, with 81.5 percent of millenials currently owing money.

Understanding saving, balancing incoming and outgoing cash flow, and creating a budget—the basics of financial literacy—are life skills that will benefit your kids whatever their future personal financial situation.

doing—or not doing—their jobs affects their bottom line. Any number of kids and other family members can be added to the app, allowing everyone to complete challenges as a family.

These apps make learning about money management as fun as playing a game.

Bankaroo iOS and Android; ages 4+; free. Bankaroo features cute animated characters that help children to save toward spending goals and manage their finances. Parents are kept in the loop with notifications. As the currency can be changed between different countries, it’s a great app for traveling families.

Allowance and Chores Bot iOS and Android; ages 4+; $2.99. For kids who receive an allowance for completing household chores, this app allows them to see how 22 SonomaFamilyLife

Celebrity Calamity iOS; ages 4+; free. In this game, kids get to spend and save the money of virtual celebrities and see just how quickly cash can be frivolously whittled away. This game is especially useful for young people who idolize celebrities and find it difficult to match up the spending power of the super rich with the more meagre budget of the bank of Mom and Dad. FamZoo Family Finance iOS and Android; ages 6–12; free month trial, then pay $25.99–$59.99 for subscription plans plus money for banking cards. With this system, parents act as bankers and preload banking cards to give to their older kids. Through practical use, young adults learn all about a range of financial issues, including how to avoid credit card debt and how to safely use their card online. iAllowance iOS; ages 4+; $2.99. This app uses push notifications to remind kids to do their chores and stay focused on earning their allowance. Moms and Dads love the fact that they are effectively outsourcing the nagging and kids feel empowered to complete their to-do lists by themselves. Parents can choose to use real money or reward kids with stars or time. PiggyBot iOS; ages 4+; free. This is a relatively low-tech app that parents can use to introduce young children to the art of saving and delaying gratification. Kids upload photos of things that they want; the app tracks

December 2018

how much of their allowances they have saved until they finally have enough to purchase the desired objects. It isn’t connected to your bank at all, rather the kids have virtual accounts with you. So it’s a secure way for kids to start to understand that the latest games or sneakers don’t simply fall from the sky, they need to be earned.

can score coupons, learn about bulk buying, compare unit sizes and prices, and begin to see how quickly savings can add up.

Renegade Buggies iOS and Android; ages 4+; free. Many parents find that the weekly grocery shop is a great place to start teaching children about spending, finding good deals, and sticking to a budget. In this app, kids drive a fast-moving buggy (a shopping cart) around as they collect coins and items from their grocery lists. They

Savings Spree iOS; ages 7+; $5.99. This app, which has won multiple awards, has quickly become a favorite for its practical lessons and illustrations that look hand-drawn. Kids are taught a series of money-management skills through interactive lessons that bring home essential concepts like the importance of having money put

Kids feel empowered to complete their to-do lists by themselves.

away for emergencies. The format is like a game show with a friendly piggy as the host. The Game of Life iOS and Android; ages 4+; $2.99. Do you remember playing this board game as a kid? Well, now it’s been updated to include 3-D digital play on an app. Kids will learn about saving for college, getting a job, and buying their first home in this game that is all about becoming an adult. As with all apps, make sure you disable in-app purchasing or set a password to prevent your kids from running up a big bill. Fiona Tapp is a parenting writer who has been published in Parents, the Washington Post, National Geographic, and more. Find her work at

We Grow Them★

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December 2018

SonomaFamilyLife 23

December Calendar of Events

Santa Rides the Rail


sleigh may be Santa’s preferred mode of transportation, but it’s not the only one. Trains have always fascinated the big guy. And when the Skunk Train offered to shuttle Santa about, he immediately said yes. “The reindeer could use a night off,” he remarked. And with that the Magical Christmas Train was born. Bring kids aboard this special Skunk Train, and they’ll not only get a personal visit with Santa, but they will also hear a holiday tale, eat Christmas cookies, sing carols, and play reindeer games, all while taking a 90-minute (from Willits) or 60-minute (from Fort Bragg) journey on Mendocino County rails. The Christmas Train will run through December 23. Tickets are $34–$44, dogs and infants, $10, and may be purchased at ¶

Tuesday 4 Iceless Skating Rink. Free with

admission ($13.95–$14.95). Thru Dec. 30. Weekdays: 9 a.m.–1 p.m. Weekends: 9 a.m.–5 p.m. Bay Area Discovery Museum. 557 McReynolds Rd., Sausalito. 415-339-3900. bayareadiscov City of Lights Driving Tour. A

self-guided tour of beautifully decorated Petaluma homes & businesses. Daily 5–10 p.m.

Holiday Gift Guide

Thru Dec. 31. Maps available at Ukiah on Ice. Skate downtown historic Ukiah. $10/day for unlimited skating. Includes skates. Daily thru Dec. 20. Weekdays: 3–8 p.m. (Wednesdays open at 2 p.m.) Saturdays: 11 a.m.–8 p.m. Sundays: noon–5 p.m. See website for special hours Dec. 22–Jan. 6. Next to Alex Thomas Plaza on School St., Ukiah. 463-6231.

Magical Christmas Train

Santa Train. 75-minute Christmas

train ride with music, games, entertainment & hot cocoa & freshly baked cookies. $49–$69. Daily at 5 p.m. thru Dec. 28, except Dec. 24 & 25. 7:15 p.m. train on Dec. 8–9, 14–23 & 26. Napa Valley Wine Train. 1275 McKinstry St., Napa. half-day-winery-tours/santa-train.

Thursday 6 FREE 10th Annual Charlie Brown Christmas Tree Grove. 200+

Give a Parks Membership hip includes: Your annual members + regional parks • free parking at 50 g pin • free night of cam • festival admission • free boat launching rk Ba • discounts to Water



9 g nior $6 9 se $4 Gift Memberships available at, Regional Parks’ Office, REI, Oliver’s Markets, and other retail partners 24 SonomaFamilyLife

December 2018


Give a Y Gift Card and let your friends and family know you care about their health and well-being.

Sonoma County Family YMCA 1111 College Avenue, SR 707-545-9622

We’re not just a GYM. We are a COMMUNITY where


Give the Gift of Health & Happiness this Holiday Season

December 2018

SonomaFamilyLife 25

decorated trees. Nightly “snowfall”: 5:30 & 7:30 p.m. Thru Jan. 1. Windsor Town Green. Annie. $22–$35. Thursdays–Saturdays:

7:30 p.m. Saturdays & Sundays: 2 p.m. Runs thru Dec. 22. 6th Street Playhouse. 52 W. 6th St., Santa Rosa. 523-4185. Light Up a Life. Heartland Hospice

Tree Lighting Ceremony. Celebrate the lives of those who have been lost or who have a terminal illness. Live jazz music. 5–6:30 p.m. Montgomery Village. 911 Village Ct., Santa Rosa. FREE Sebastopol Holiday Tree Lighting. 5–8 p.m. Sebastopol Town

Plaza. 6908 Weeks Way, Sebastopol.

Whirling Waters Vortex. Be prepared to get wet! Mondays, Thursdays & Saturdays (except Dec. 24). 10 a.m. Weather permitting. Admission: $9–$12; 12 months & under, free. Children’s Museum of Sonoma County. 1835 W. Steele Ln., Santa Rosa. 546-4069. FREE Windsor Holiday Celebration.

Gingerbread cookie decorating, wagon & train rides, live entertainment. Photos with Santa & more. Food for purchase. 5–8 p.m. Windsor Town Green. Windsor.

$34–$44. Ages 2 & under: $10. Dogs: $10. Open daily (except Dec. 10 & 11) thru Dec. 23. Fort Bragg Depot. 100 W. Laurel St., Fort Bragg. Willits Depot. 299 E. Commercial St., Willits. 964-6371. The Tailor of Gloucester. Based on

the story by Beatrix Potter. $18–$36. Spreckels Performing Arts Center. 5409 Snyder Ln., Rohnert Park. Fridays & Saturdays: 7 p.m. Saturdays & Sundays: 1 p.m. Runs thru Dec. 16. 588-3400. FREE 3rd Annual Gingerbread House Showcase & Competition.

Friday 7 Magical Christmas Train. Train ride

with Santa. 90- or 60-minute round trip (depending on departure point). Depart from Willits & Fort Bragg.

Dec. 7 & 8: 10 a.m.–8 p.m. Dec. 9: 1–5 p.m. Hotel Petaluma. 205 Kentucky St., Petaluma. hotelpetaluma.

“Alice in Wonderland' Musical Theatre Summer Camp, 2018

The Art of Academic Excellence Twin Hills Middle School 6-8 Winter Classes begin week of January 7! (Ages 5- 17) Magical Play!, Improv and Circus Theatre Let's Explore Shakespeare and Musical Theatre

New! Programming for Easter Week March 18 - 22 Musical in a Week! - “Giants in the Sky”

Apprentice Company Workshop Productions: “The Stinky Cheese Man and Other Fairly Stupid Tales” “The Girl Who Fell Through a Hole in her Sweater”

Gift certificates available! 10% discount 10% discount for forFamily Family Fun Life Readers, (good until Jan 15) Use discount code: Gift 26 SonomaFamilyLife

A safe, small country school with high academic and elective standards. Teachers focus on character development and lifelong learning habits. We offer a challenging high school prep environment. Electives: Culinary arts • Dance • Spanish • Music • Art • Photoshop • Video editing • Technology MATHEMATICS ENGLISH • SCIENCE CREATIVE ARTS ATHLETICS • HISTORY

Are you ready for a challenge? 707.823.7446

700 Watertrough Rd. Sebastopol, CA, 707.823.6278

Charter Middle 6-8

December 2018

FREE Light Up a Life Tree Ceremony. Featuring Casa Grande

High School Concert & Chamber Choirs. 6–7 p.m. Walnut Park. 201 4th St., Petaluma. petaluma.html. Posada Navideña. Dancers &

musicians rom Ballet Folklórico de Sacramento will perform a traditional Christmas processional & Mexican holiday songs. $5–$10. $2 lap pass for ages under 2 available only on day of show. 7 p.m. Luther Burbank Center. 50 Mark West Springs Rd., Santa Rosa. 546-3600.

thru Jan. 1, 2019. Download map & get more info at

event. See for branches/times.

FREE Once Upon a Gingerbread

FREE Fratello Marionettes’ North

House. Make a gingerbread house.

Pole Review. All-ages

Materials provided. Drop-ins welcome. 10:30 a.m.–2:30 p.m. Windsor Regional Library. 9291 Old Redwood Hwy., Windsor. Other libraries will host this

puppet show. 4–5 p.m. Petaluma Library. 100 Fairgrounds Dr., Petaluma. Other libraries will host this event. See

Sebastopol Holiday Home Tour.

Spend day touring decorated homes & historic Pleasant Hill Christian School. Proceeds benefit the school. $35–$45. Kids: $10. Dec. 7: 6–9 p.m. Dec. 8: 10 a.m.–5 p.m. Pleasant Hill Christian School. 1782 Pleasant Hill Rd., Sebastopol. sebastopol

Saturday 8 Santa & Mrs. Claus. The Christmas

couple will be in their photo studio Saturdays & Sundays thru Dec. 16. 11 a.m.–3 p.m. Montgomery Village. 911 Village Ct., Santa Rosa. Yesterday: Circus Holiday Spectacle. Cirque de Bohème

performs. $27–$55. Dec. 8–9 & 15–16: 1 p.m., 3 p.m. & 5 p.m. Runs thru Dec. 16. CornerStone Sonoma. 23570 Hwy. 121, Sonoma. cirquedeboheme2018. Trails. Meet Sonoma County farmers,

Come for the train, surprise them with Santa.

sample local goods, visit Christmas tree farms, greet farm animals, eat farm-to-table meals, shop farm stands. Most stops are free. No pets. Runs

Rides Throughout December | 707.964.6371

FREE Holidays Along the Farm

December 2018

SonomaFamilyLife 27




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Nonstop flights to: - Seattle (SEA) - Portland (PDX) - Los Angeles (LAX) - Orange County (SNA) - San Diego (SAN) - Phoenix (PHX) - Denver (DEN) - San Francisco (SFO) - Minneapolis (MSP) - Las Vegas (LAS)

Offering connections to anywhere

28 SonomaFamilyLife for branches/times. Navidad Mexicana with Mariachi Reyna de Los Angeles. America’s

first all-female mariachi ensemble performs a holiday show. $25–$55. 7:30 p.m. Sonoma State University. Green Music Center. 1801 E. Cotati Ave., Rohnert Park. Goddess Crafts Faire. Community

celebrations of the coming of winter with women’s art, music & dance. Donation: $5–$13. Kids: free. Thru Dec. 9: 11 a.m.–7 p.m. Sebastopol Community Cultural Center. 390 Morris St., Sebastopol. Holiday Crafts Faire. 35+ local & regional artists. Food for purchase. Dec. 8: 10 a.m.–5 p.m. Dec. 9: 10 a.m.–4 p.m. Occidental Community Center. 3920 Bohemian Hwy., Occidental. FREE Santa Fly-In. Santa arrives in

a helicopter. Open cockpits to climb into, face painting & a chance to sit on Santa’s lap. Bouncy house & air slide. 10 a.m.–2 p.m. Pacific Coast Air Museum. One Air Museum Way, Santa Rosa. 575-7900. pacificcoast Breakfast with Santa. Food & activities. 9 a.m. Santa Rosa Plaza. 1071 Santa Rosa Plaza, Santa Rosa. The Snow Maiden. Performed

by the Sonoma Conservatory of Dance. Russian folktale filled with love & magic. $12–$22. Dec. 8 & 9: 1 p.m. Sebastiani Theatre. 476 1st St. E, Sonoma. thesnowmaiden.

Occidental Community Choir Celebrates 40 Years of Music. $15. Under 12: free. 8 p.m.

Occidental Center for the Arts. 3850 Doris Murphy Ct., Occidental.

Sunday 9 FREE Pokemon TCG Play. All ages welcome. Bring your deck & have fun playing against other players. Trainers available to help you learn. Sundays. 2–4 p.m. Fundemonium. 579 Rohnert Park Expy. W., Rohnert Park. 800-4060. Latke MasterChef & Adult Social.

Teams will face off in the ultimate Chanukah cook-off. Join a team or make your own. Supplies & ingredients provided. 7 p.m. Water Street Promenade. 100 Petaluma Blvd N., Petaluma. MasterChef. Occidental Community Choir Celebrates 40 Years of Music. $15.

Under 12: free. 3 p.m. Glaser Center. 547 Mendocino Ave., Santa Rosa. FREE Strolling Santa at the Outlets. Dec. 9, 15–16 & 22–23. 4–6

p.m. Thru Dec. 23. Premium Outlets. 2200 Petaluma Blvd. N., Petaluma. 778-9300. petaluma-village. Pet Photos with Santa. 6–8 p.m.

Santa Rosa Plaza. 1071 Santa Rosa Plaza, Santa Rosa. santa-rosa-plaza.

Tuesday 11 Welcome Yuletide! Petaluma Chorale holiday concert. $10–$12. Ages 12 & under: free. Dec. 11: 7:30 p.m. Dec. 15: 3 p.m. Petaluma Valley Baptist Church.

December 2018

580 Sonoma Mt. Pkwy., Petaluma.

Friday 14 Nutcracker. Performed

by the Santa Rosa Dance Theater. $25–$30. Spreckels Performing Arts Center. 5409 Snyder Ln., Rohnert Park. Dec. 14: 7 p.m. Dec. 15: 2 p.m. & 7 p.m. Dec 16: 2 p.m. 588-3400. The Nutcracker. Featuring the Petaluma School of Ballet & North Coast Ballet California. $16–$29. Dec. 14: 7:30 p.m. Dec. 15: 1:30 p.m. & 6:30 p.m. Dec. 16: 11 a.m. & 3 p.m. Sonoma State University. Evert B. Person Theatre. 1801 E. Cotati Ave., Rohnert Park. 762-3972.

A Christmas Carol. Performed by the Apprentice Program of Roustabout Theater. $16–$26. Dec. 14: 7:30 p.m. Dec. 15: 3 & 7:30 p.m. Dec. 16: 3 p.m. Luther Burbank Center. 50 Mark West Springs Rd., Santa Rosa. 546-3600. FREE Lego Club. Ages 5–12. Explore,

create, build & learn. Dec. 14 & 28: 3:30–5:30 p.m. Sonoma Valley Library. 755 W. Napa St., Sonoma. Other libraries will host this event in Dec. See for branches/times.

Saturday 15 Snacks with Santa. Families

can share hot chocolate, a treat, and their holiday wishes with Santa. Thru Dec. 16. 8 half-hour seatings

both days, beginning at 8:30 a.m. $9.95–$12.95 plus admission ($13.95–$14.95). Bay Area Discovery Museum. 557 McReynolds Rd., Sausalito. 415-339-3900. Photos with Santa. Free with admission ($13.95–$14.95). Thru Dec. 16. 1:30–4 p.m. Bay Area Discovery Museum. 557 McReynolds Rd., Sausalito. 415-339-3900. FREE Hora de cuentos bilingües para familias/Bilingual Family Storytime. Vamos a leer cuentos y

cantar canciones en español e inglés para niños de 0–5 años. Read stories in Spanish & English. Ages 0–5. 10:15–11 a.m. Roseland Community Library. 779 Sebastopol Rd., Santa Rosa.


Specializing in making “Square Peg has been the game changer in autism families our families’ lives” feel connected and —Sylvia F., Parent supported since 2004 Book a FREE tour today to see if Square Peg is right for your family! 415 342-8348

December 6, 2018 to January 1, 2019 • Square Peg is 501(c)3 accredited by the Thoroughbred After Care Alliance & The Horse Boy TM Foundation

December 2018

SonomaFamilyLife 29

755-2029. Other libraries will host this event in Dec. See sonomacounty.libcal. com for branches/times.

M. Schulz Museum. 2301 Hardies Ln., Santa Rosa. Advance registration required:

Valley of the Moon Chamber

Holiday Art Sparks Family Studio.

Ensemble. Dec. 15: Gala, $125, 6 p.m. Jacuzzi Family Vineyards. 24724 Arnold Dr., Sonoma. Dec. 16: $35, 2 p.m. St. Andrew Presbyterian Church. 16290 Arnold Dr., Sonoma.

Learn techniques & tricks from professional artists. Various workshops suitable for family members of all ages. $5–$15. Ages 3 & under: free. 1–3:30 p.m. Di Rosa Center for Contemporary Art. 5200 Sonoma Hwy., Santa Rosa.

Kids’ Night at the Museum. Drop

off your kids & catch up on holiday shopping. Pizza, games, cartooning & holiday crafts. Ages 5–10. $25–$32. $20–$27 per sibling. 5–9 p.m. Charles M. Schulz Museum. 2301 Hardies Ln., Santa Rosa. Advance registration required: Gingerbread Doghouse Workshop.

Parent & child will work together to decorate Snoopy’s doghouse. Also make holiday cards & ornaments. Ages 3–6. $25–$32 adult/child pair. $10 additional child. 10 a.m.–noon. Grades 1–6 (no adult required): Dec. 15 or Dec. 16, 1– 4 p.m., $25–$32. Charles

Year of the Dog: Happy Howl-idays.

Make a Peanuts-themed ornament. Photo-ops throughout the museum. Included in price of admission ($5–$12). 10 a.m.–5 p.m. Charles M. Schulz Museum. 2301 Hardies Ln., Santa Rosa. 579-4452.

Sunday 16 Carlton Senior Living Symphony Pops: Holiday Soundtracks. $37–$90. 3 p.m. Luther Burbank Center. 50 Mark West Springs Rd., Santa Rosa. 546-3600.

Holiday Table Centerpiece Crafting. Materials & tools provided. Weave fresh foliage into shaped wire structure. $10 or 2 for $15. 10 a.m.–noon. Artful Arrangements. 205 Orchard Ln., Petaluma. Register: 664-8656.

Monday 17 Sensory Friendly Night. Exclusive

to families of children with special needs. Music turned off & distractions dialed down. $16 per child (chaperone or parent included). 5–8 p.m. Rebounderz. 555 Rohnert Park Expy., Rohnert Park. 416-4445.

Tuesday 18 Moscow Ballet’s Great Russian Nutcracker. Russian-made costumes

& sets. $34–$74. VIP: $108–$181. 8 p.m. Luther Burbank Center. 50 Mark West Springs Rd., Santa Rosa. 546-3600.

Wednesday 19 Secret Santa Marathon. Dec. 19

& 20: 10 a.m.–6 p.m. Montgomery Village. 911 Village Ct., Santa Rosa.

Truly Talented


hen you think of craft fairs, crocheted tissue-box covers and rick-racked aprons may come to mind. But in an area that is home to so many artists, events like the Occidental Crafts Faire offer so much more: fine pottery, jewelry, woodwork, geodes, and woven textiles. See what local creatives have to offer—and support the local economy to boot—at the this fair on December 8, 10 a.m.–5 p.m., and December 9, 10 a.m.–4 p.m., at the Occidental Community Center in Occidental. Peruse the wares of more than 35 artists, taking a break to eat lunch or nosh on baked goods, or to buy a raffle ticket. Admission is free; proceeds benefit Occidental Community Council programs. For more details, see ¶

30 SonomaFamilyLife

Thursday 20 Dave Koz & Friends Christmas Tour. $50–$95. VIP: $180. 7:30

p.m. Green Music Center. Sonoma State University. 1801 E. Cotati Ave., Rohnert Park.

Friday 21 An Irish Christmas. Featuring

Riverdance dancers as special guests. Storytelling, music & dance. $40–$55. 7 p.m. Spreckels Performing Arts

December 2018

Center. 5409 Snyder Ln., Rohnert Park. 588-3400. FREE How the Grinch Stole Christmas. Hear the story read out

loud & then do Grinch-oriented crafts. Ages 5–9. 2–2:45 p.m. Windsor Library. 9291 Old Redwood Hwy., Windsor. The Nutcracker. Performed by

Sebastopol Ballet. Complimentary pre-matinee Sugar Plum Parties, featuring sweet treats & the opportunity to meet cast members. $15–$30. Dec. 21: 7 p.m. Dec. 22: 11 a.m. & 4 p.m. Dec. 23: 11 a.m. Analy High School Theater. 6950 Analy Ave., Sebastopol. Holiday Hoopla YMCA Overnight.

Kids are invited to sleep over & participate in swimming, games, movies, arts & crafts. Snacks & breakfast served. Ages 6–11. $25–$40. (Additional $15 for same-day registration.) Dec. 21: 7 p.m.–Dec. 22: 9 a.m. YMCA. 1111 College Ave., Santa Rosa. Info & registration: 545-9622.

Saturday 22 Holiday Gift-Making Workshop.

Make hand warmers, scented soaps & mint sugar body scrub. $25–$32. 10 a.m.–1 p.m. Charles M. Schulz Museum. 2301 Hardies Ln., Santa Rosa. Advance registration required: or 284-1272.

Sunday 23 FREE Christmas Sing Along. All

ages welcome. Bundle up. Hosted by First Presbyterian Church of Petaluma. 7:30–8:30 p.m. Walnut Park. 201 4th St., Petaluma.

Thursday 27 FREE Magician Mike’s Winter Magic Show. All ages welcome. 2–3 p.m. Guerneville Regional Library. 14107 Armstrong Woods Rd., Guerneville. 869-9004. Other libraries will host this event. See for branches/times.

Friday 28 Jurassic Quest. 80+ true-to-life-size

dinosaurs. Rides, games, activities & fossil digs. $18–$34. Parking: $9. Dec. 28: 3–8 p.m. Dec. 29 & 30: 9 a.m.–8 p.m. Dec. 31: TBD. Sonoma County Fairgrounds. 1350 Bennett Valley Rd., Santa Rosa.

Saturday 29 FREE Noon Year’s Eve Party.

Craft, story & countdown to noon. 11:30 a.m.–12:15 p.m. Central Santa Rosa Library. 211 E St., Santa Rosa.

Monday 31 Happy New Year, Charlie Brown!

Up-Down & Baby Balloon drops at noon. 10 a.m.–4 p.m. Root beer & toast at noon & 3 p.m. Included in price of admission ($5–$12). Charles M. Schulz Museum. 2301 Hardies Ln., Santa Rosa. 579-4452.


Underestimate the Power of the Purse Moms typically control 80% or more of their household budgets They’re looking right here, to find you. Call now. Don’t miss another month.

Noon Year’s Eve. Celebratory

ball drop at noon. DJ Mancub & dancing. Confetti cannons & photo booth. Craft activities. Free with admission ($13.95–$14.95). 9 a.m.–2 p.m. Bay Area Discovery Museum. 557 McReynolds Rd., Sausalito. 415-339-3900. bayareadiscovery December 2018


586-9562 SonomaFamilyLife 31


Girl Power


hen you think of mariachi music, you most likely think of male musicians playing music by men. But Mariachi Reyna de Los Angeles, the first all-female mariachi ensemble in the United States, has set out to change that image. The group, which has been breaking musical glass ceilings since 1994, will perform a special holiday concert, Navidad Mexicana, at the Green Music Center at Sonoma State University in Rohnert Park on December 8 at 7:30 p.m. Purchase tickets, which are $25–$55, at ¶

Sign up online for our weekly enews featuring the best family friendly weekend events.

Mariachi Reyna de Los Angeles


It’s a Bird, It’s a Plane, It’s….Santa!


id you know that Santa has a bumper sticker that says “My Other Sleigh Is a Chopper”? That’s right. Santa likes to mix it up a bit, and pre-Christmas, fly into town in a helicopter. You can see him and the Mrs. in his flying machine at the free Santa Fly-In on December 8, 10 a.m.–2 p.m. (Santa arrives at 11 a.m.), at the Pacific Coast Air Museum in Santa Rosa. There will also be a bouncy house and air slide, treat bags, and photo-ops with the man in red. Check out for more information. ¶

32 SonomaFamilyLife


un FBlast! Weekend





Get Mom’s Attention! YOUR AD HERE Classifieds Work Call 586-9562

December 2018

Classified Marketplace After-School



Got Art? We Do!!!

License #490110699

Painting • Drawing Cartooning Mask Making Glass Staining Silk Painting Wood Burning Mosaic • Clay


We can help! 


Open 7:30am to 5:30pm M-F Part-Days (up to 6 hours/day) Full-Days (6-10 hours/day)

Part Time2590 /Full Time Care PINER RD. Flexible Plans Part TimeAvailable /Full Time Care Flexible Plans Available Serving 2-5 year olds

SANTA ROSA 2590 PINER RD. Serving 2-5 year olds


1551 Montgomery Drive • Santa Rosa Part Time /Full Time Care PROGRAM OBJECTIVES: PROGRAM OBJECTIVES: Health & Flexible Nutrition, Motor Skills, Plans Available Program of First United Methodist Church Health & Nutrition, Relationships, Motor Skills,Self Interpersonal Serving 2-5 year olds Interpersonal Relationships, Self Confidence, and Cognitive & Academic Skills. & Confidence, and Cognitive PRICING & Academic Skills. REGISTRATION:

 Paternity and Child Support  Order Establishment   Payment Collection Services   Payment Tracking and     Accounting   Child Support Modification   



707.544.1829 & Health & Nutrition, Motor Skil REGISTRATION: Interpersonal Relationships, S YMCA Program Office The Y isConfidence, a non-profit community based organization. and Cognitive 707.544.1829 Financial Assistance is available.

Academic Skills.



Sonoma County   Child Support Services  3725 Westwind Blvd., Ste 200  Santa Rosa, CA 95403  

YMCA Program Office in your 707.544.1829

Donations of toys and treats for dogs & cats needed


Drop off at the Rohnert Park Animal Shelter Wed 1-6:30pm • Thurs–Sat 1-5:30pm Sun 1-4:30pm 707-584-1582 •

Learn to play piano in a small group








Check out our online directories at

Piano Classes 4 You (707) 397-5291




An Old Style Circus Based On The French Tradition Of The 1920’S

DECEMBER 1, 2, 8, 9, 15, 16

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Preschool • Kindergarten Parent-Toddler Class Ages 18 months to 6 years

Montessori Education Inspires ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

Joy of Learning Order & Detail Concentration Grace & Courtesy

Rhio’s Casa dei Bambini

Piano technique • Music theory Ear training • Sight reading Improvisation, & fun


child’s future!

The Y is a non-profit community based organization. Financial Assistance is available.


Rohnert Park Animal Services



The Y is a non-profit community based organization. Financial Assistance is available.


Are You Ready for a Musical Adventure?



Children ages 2-5 years (+Pre-K)

Classes • Camps Birthday Parties!

(707) 536-9523


Preschool & Child Care Center

Preschool & Child Care

Celebrating 27 years

5435 Snyder Lane, Rohnert Park • 285-2002



#1 local for 25 years resource for local families magazine • web • email • events

December 2018

Montessori School Since 1981

2427 Professional Dr. • Santa Rosa Near Steele Lane & Hwy 101


The Bridge School. Located in Central Santa Rosa, 1625 Franklin Ave. Year-round full/half–day. Rich nurturing environment. Center based program for ages 3–5 with separate 2’s program. Caring, qualified teachers. Julie & Andrew Day; owners. Lic.#493005697. 575-7959.

Playtime Daycare/Preschool Join our loving family. Spacious playroom, large yard, meals provided. CPR & first aid certified. M-F. Infants & up. Call Wendy 539-7524. Lic. #04746.

SonomaFamilyLife 33

Humor Break

To Sleep in Peace Gifts Mom Really Wants

By LJ Kunkel


hat do moms want for their holiday gifts?

That’s easy. Every mom’s automatic response is something along the lines of Oh, I don’t need anything for me. I just want my family to be healthy and happy! Although that’s very true, we’re kinda lying through our teeth. That may be all we need to satisfy the basics. But let’s be real—if we were to reveal our deepest desires, these would make the list. I would like: 1. To sleep in. Although waking up at 5 a.m. with excited little loudlings jumping on my unprepared gut is thrilling, I really would like another hour of sweet oblivion before I need to think about cleaning up all the wrapping paper off the floor. 2. Energy. Can anybody get me some kind of magic boost to negate the effects of sleep deprivation, hormones, and unending laundry? No? Okay. A pot of coffee will do then. 3. For the Scotch tape to stop disappearing. I would also like the magnets to stay on the refrigerator for an entire day. 34 SonomaFamilyLife

4. For the toys to put themselves away. And stay there for more than five minutes, please. 5. A delicious warm meal. Not prepared (or cleaned up) by me. 6. The dishes done. I don’t care if it’s a kid, a husband, an elf, or a reindeer who does them. If the sink is empty and everything is clean, dry, and (preferably unbroken) in the cabinets, that will add a lot of joy to the world!

Can anyone get me a magic boost to negate the effects of sleep deprivation? 7. A nap. A real one. Not half-dozing while holding a baby and trying to tune out the older kids attacking each other. 8. A massage. Oh yes. Preferably immediately preceding number 7. I’d like it all-out, with soothing oil, aromatherapy, darkness, and silence. Lots of silence. 9. To know where the heck all the missing socks went. I need closure!

10. Alone time. If you’re an introvert, you understand how hard it is to recharge when you are never alone. C’mon, guys, can I at least pee in peace today without someone pounding on the door? 11. Peace on Earth. Or at least in this house. No fighting over who got the better presents. 12. No pee on the floor. Whether from the dog, the potty-training toddler, or any male’s bad aim. 13. Chocolate. If you want to actually buy me something, this is a great option—minus the little moochers asking for a bite. You could get me some wine, too, while you’re at it. And if you could include some kind of spell to keep all the calories off my thighs, that would be super! 14. Hugs and kisses. Yes, I do mean from the fam, not Hershey (although I’ll take those, too). ¶ Adapted from original on, permission to reprint. LJ Kunkel is a fitness trainer and coffee addict who spends most of her time chasing 3 boys and 20 chickens. See more from her at

December 2018

give Extended Holiday Shopping Hours Monday - Saturday 10am to 8pm • Sunday 10am to 6pm Beginning December 15: Monday - Saturday 9am to 9pm • Sunday 9am to 6pm Christmas Eve - 9am to 5pm • Christmas Day - Closed


Wednesday, December 26 - 9am to 6pm


Santa and Mrs. Claus


Now through Sunday, December 16, Santa and Mrs. Claus will be in their Photo Studio in Village Terrace every weekend from 11am to 3pm. All proceeds benefit local non-profit organizations.


Chanukah Festival

Sunday, December 2 • 4 pm in Village Court The Chabad Jewish Center invites you to Celebrate Chanukah. Join us for a Menorah Lighting Celebration. Hot Latkes, Live Music, Dreidels, Gelt, Prizes and More. For information, call 707.577.0277.


Light Up A Life

give gifts

enjoy play

Thursday, December 6 • 5pm to 6:30pm Please join us at Santa’s Village in Village Terrace for the Heartland Hospice Tree Lighting Ceremony and help to light up lives, cherish memories and celebrate our community.

The Secret Santa Marathon

Wednesday, December 19 - Thursday, December 20 • Village Court While wrapping up your holiday shopping and enjoying the strolling entertainment, help us fulfill every last Secret Santa wish from our neighbors in need. For more information about Secret Santa, call 707.573.3399.

The Gift of Endless Choices

Montgomery Village Gift Certificates are redeemable at all stores and restaurants in the Village. Plus if you purchase $100 or more in Gift Certificates at the Village’s Management Office you will receive a See’s Candies Certificate (good for 1 pound of See’s Candies, while supplies last). For details or to pre-order, call 707.545.3844.

give gifts





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The power to pay attention (better!) starts here. The power to pay attention better starts here...and now! Mention this ad and get started with a Cognitive Skills assessment for just $175 – that’s $75 off the regular price! LearningRx Santa Rosa

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In the Copper Dome Building 100 Brush Creek Road, Suite 102 (707) 890-3200

In the Adobe Creek Shopping Center at Lakeville Hwy. & McDowell Blvd. (707) 781-7373

Sonoma Family Life December 2018  
Sonoma Family Life December 2018