NW Kids Magazine December 2020 Digital Edition

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magazine

L I V E • PLAY • DO

Celebrating the Holidays at Home Holiday Events Celebrations in a Pandemic, Part 3 Holiday Gift Picks

DECEMBER 2020 - DIGITAL EDITION nwkidsmagazine.com


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BITS & BYTES As the days get shorter and the nights get colder, nothing sounds better than cozying up with a good book. Here are a few we’ve been enjoying!

The True Story of Santa Claus: The History, The Traditions, The Magic by Janet Giovanelli

The True Story of Santa Claus is a beautifully illustrated book celebrating all things Santa, ranging from the much-loved poem “The Night Before Christmas” to the songs, movies, images, and stories that are loved by both young and old. With classic stories of Santa, Mrs. Claus, the elves and his beloved reindeer and even the secret of how Santa has time to visit every house around the world in just one night (a mathematician explains how it’s physically possible), this is a book you’ll keep on your coffee table beyond the holiday season. Centennial Books, All ages. $19.99

Music

by Nicholas O’Neill & Susan Hayes Illustrated by Ruby Taylor Follow this unique 8-foot long fold-out graphic timeline through a celebration of the history of music all around the world from 60,000 years ago to the present day! Learn about how different genres started–including classical, folk, jazz, gospel, rock ‘n’ roll, country, punk, grunge and pop. Explore the histories of music linked to particular cultures or regions–including Indigineous American, Asian, and African music; Son Cubano and Caribbean styles; and Australian bush music. What on Earth Books, Ages 10-14. $19.99

Meditation Station

by Susan B. Katz Illustrated by Anait Semirdzhyan Through rhyming prose, Meditation Station teaches readers about body and mind awareness—how to manage their thoughts and reactions and stay focused on their breath in order to be more calm. While Meditation Station is intended for a young audience, adults will also gain a measure of inner peace as they read the book aloud to their child. The measured rhythm and soft colors combine to create a place where it’s possible to be at peace and let racing thoughts and fears disappear down the railroad tracks. Bala Kids, Ages 4-8. $16.90

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Editor’s Note When the pandemic began, none of us could have imagined that 10 months later we would be heading into the holiday season amidst a statewide “freeze” and with no clear end in sight to the multifaceted devastation that it has caused. Life has changed in ways that continue to unfold as we move through 2020. So, what will the holidays look like this year? Though many events and performances have been canceled, there is still festive fun to be found (head to page 7 for a list!). In my neighborhood, many people started decorating their homes for the holidays well before Thanksgiving and the lights and cheer are quite the welcome reprieve from the news! However your December pans out, we wish you health, happiness and love as we close the book on 2020. The photo on our back cover, from Heidi Timmons Photography, sums it up pretty well. Stay safe, friends. We’ll see you in 2021!

Mary

Front and Back Cover photography by HEIDI TIMMONS PHOTOGRAPHY

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Contents

DECEMBER 2020 3 Bits & Bytes 7 Holiday Events 10 Old Traditions, New Visions: Part 3 13 Celebrating Hanukkah at Home 14 Christmas at Home with Teens & Tweens 18 PJA Perspectives 19 Holiday Gift Picks

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Listings All Families Surrogacy...................................16 Bennett Suzuki................................................. 2 Heidi Timmons Photography.........................16 Language Learning Connections...................17

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Little Fruit Farm................................................ 2 OES................................................................... 2 Play Fit Fun.....................................................17 Xstream Learning Center................................. 2


HOLIDAY EVENTS: What’s Open? What’s Canceled? What’s Changed? It’s a holiday season like no other in our lifetimes. Many of our beloved local traditions have been unable to take place in 2020 while many others have been moved to a virtual or socially-distanced format, but there is still festive fun to be had! Please check with individual websites as plans are changing rapidly.

LIGHTS Candy Cane Lane Holiday Drive-Thru in West Linn While the annual tree lighting has been canceled, The City of West Linn has created a drive-through experience that will feature a drive through the “seven layers of the candy cane forest and past the sea of twirly-swirly gumdrops.” Festive apparel is encouraged as are canned food donations for the West Linn Food Pantry. 6-7:30 p.m. Friday & Saturday, Dec. 4-5, West Linn Adult Community Center, free westlinnoregon.gov/parksrec/candycane-lane-holiday-drive-thru

Christmas Ships A tradition since 1954, the Christmas Ships will sail! Check their website for updates on Columbia and Willamette River schedules. They are requesting that all guests respect the social distancing mandates. For 2020, the dock in St. Helens will not be open for the public to view the boats up close. Times vary, Dec. 4-22, various locations, free (see site for donation info) christmasships.org

Keizer Miracle of Christmas Lights Display This tradition, dating back to 1984 in the Gubser neighborhood, will go on with a few changes. Instead of food and cash donations, a QR code will be available at the donation tent for direct donations to the Marion Polk Food Share. 6-10 p.m. nightly, Dec. 4-26, Gubser neighborhood, free facebook.com/MiracleofChristmas

Lightopia - An Illuminated Journey This illuminated and festive 1/3 mile drive through Gordon Faber Recreation Complex in Hillsboro will include a free treat, a 30-minute drive through the route, and a concurrent audio program timed to the light display (must have a working FM car radio). 5-10pm, Nov 27Jan 3 (see site for registration, days and updated info on donations for toy and food drives), Gordon Faber Recreation Complex, free hillsboro-oregon.gov/our-city/ departments/parks-recreation/ recreation-fun/special-events/winterevents

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CHRISTMAS SHIPS NW Kids Magazine | 7


FAMILY EVENTS & PERFORMANCES Christmas Revels

PIR

Winter Wonderland at PIR While this has always been a drivethrough event, there are some changes this year. Tickets must be purchased in advance online. In addition, there will be no dog or bike night and donations for Sunshine Division will be online only. 5:30-9:30 p.m. Sunday-Thursday, 5-11 p.m. Friday-Saturday, Nov 27-Jan. 2, Portland International Raceway, $24-$32 winterwonderlandportland.com

While Portland Revels will not be doing any in-person performances this year and the children’s show has been canceled, there will be three webcasts of their annual welcome to the Winter Solstice, Dec 20 at 2pm, Dec 18 & 24 at 7:30pm. It will then be available to stream on-demand from Dec 25-Jan 6. Tickets will not be sold, but donations of what you would normally spend on tickets are appreciated. portlandrevels.org/the2020-christmas-revels

Pioneer Courthouse Square Tree Lighting While there will be a tree donated by Stimson Lumber and decorated by Portland Parks & Recreation staff, this lighting and sing-along with Pink Martini will be virtual. The event will be pre-recorded and aired on KGW at 6:30 pm, Nov 27. thesquarepdx.org

Safeway Providence Festival of Trees ZOOLIGHTS DRIVE

ZooLights Drive ZooLights is on! The holiday season in Portland would not be complete without a trip to ZooLights. For 2020, this will be a drive-through event. Tickets must be bought in advance and are available 7 days in advance. Please see Oregon Zoo’s website for specific rules. Various times, Nov 23-Jan 10 (see site for exceptions), $40-$65/car (25% member discount) oregonzoo.org/zoolights

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The 38th annual fundraising event will go on, but online only. Check their website for updates on the virtual gala auction and livestream event. providencefoundations.org/events/safewayprovidence-festival-of-trees-portland

Singing Christmas Tree This 58th annual event, normally at Keller Auditorium, will be online this year. Tickets go on sale Nov 27th. singingchristmastree.org

The Cinnamon Bear Holiday Show While the Cinnamon Bear cruises have been canceled for this year, Portland Spirit and Oaks Park have teamed up for a socially-distanced event. Buy tickets online in advance and enjoy the show from your car, streamed through FM radio. 6-7:30 and 8-9:30pm, Thurs-Sun Nov 27-Dec 31, $49/vehicle oakspark.com


WHAT’S BEEN CANCELED? While many events and performances have been canceled for this season, please consider visiting the websites and social media pages of your favorites to see how we’re able to help them get through this year of lost income. If you’re able, donate!

Christmas in the Garden This annual event at The Oregon Garden in Silverton has been canceled, but there will be a limited light display for resort guests only.

SANTA Bridgeport Village Virtual visits with Santa, by reservation, are available daily from 11/27-Dec 24. bridgeport-village.com/event/ Virtual-Visits-With-Santa

Christmas at The Grotto The grounds of The Grotto are closed through at least Dec 16. The gift shop is open and mass will be held daily, both observing social distancing guidelines.

Christmas Fantasy Trail at Wenzel Farms

Clackamas Town Center

This event is canceled.

Virtual visits with Santa, by reservation, are available daily now through Jan 7. clackamastowncenter.com/ en/events/virtual-visits-withsanta-34794.html

Imago Theatre

Pioneer Place

Miracle of a Million Lights at Victorian Belle

Check their website for evolving plans. pioneerplace.com/en/events/ photos-with-santa-35003.html

Salem’s Riverfront Carousel While already sold out for visits with Santa at the Carousel, check their site for available Zoom visits and personalized messages. salemcarousel.wixsite.com/ salemcarousel

Washington Square Mall This year’s Photos with Santa event will be contactless. See their website for more information and to schedule your time. shopwashingtonsquare.com/ SantaPhotos

ZooZoo will not be performed.

The Lighting of Maddax Woods This event is canceled.

This event is canceled for 2020.

Peacock Lane This event is canceled.

Pittock Mansion Temporarily closed.

Portland Ballet Theater “The Nutcracker” will not be performed.

The Oregon Symphony The Symphony has canceled their Christmas performances.

Winter Village at Jerry Willey Plaza There will be no ice skating rink this year. NW Kids Magazine | 9


Old Traditions, New Visions:

Celebrating During a Pandemic PART 3

by MERRIAH FAIRCHILD, BRIDGETOWN BABY

As humans, we divide and define the year by its seasons and its celebrations. This year the COVID-19 pandemic raises the question: how will we re-envision our usual traditions to make them both safe and meaningful? The fall and winter seasons are chock full of beloved family celebrations and traditions, from Halloween to Thanksgiving, Diwali to Rosh Hashanah, Kwanzaa to Christmas, and all the baby showers and birthdays in between. This three-part series draws on the creativity of a diverse bunch of Portland families, who are meeting this challenge with gusto. Their stories and experiences offer examples and inspiration for updated celebrations in the COVID age.

Part 3: December Celebrations and Starting the New Year Hanukkah

December 10-December 18 “During normal years, Hanukkah is a wonderful holiday to celebrate. During a pandemic and other hard times, however, the Jewish Festival of Lights also helps remind us that we are stronger than we think and have more blessings than we typically count.

Photo courtesy of M. Fairchild

The ancient story of Hanukkah is about how an outnumbered and outmatched army of Jews successfully fought back against powerful occupiers to liberate their country and freely practice their traditions. At the conclusion of the conflict, the Jews discovered that one of their most treasured symbols - the everlasting oil lamp hanging over the Torah - had been extinguished by the occupiers, that only a day’s worth of oil remained, and that it would take eight days before the oil could be replenished. However, through a miracle, that one container of oil lasted eight days. In modern times, we celebrate Hanukkah over an eight day period by retelling the story, eating foods fried in oil, lighting a succession of eight candles on a special candelabra called a Menorah, and playing games with a wooden top called a Dreidel inscribed with an acronym reminding us that ‘A Great Miracle Happened There.’

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Like Christmas, Diwali and other winter festivals, Hanukkah likely came from ancient people who wanted to bring warmth, light and life to an otherwise dark and cold time of year. For this reason, Hanukkah is always happily received in my household. This year, the holiday will also help remind us of the many people who came before us, of all cultures and faiths, who displayed remarkable perseverance and resilience in the face of overwhelming challenges, and overcome differences to work together against a common threat.” - David Rosenfeld, father to Lyla (8) and Sarai (11)

Christmas Eve December 24

“One Christmas in another sad year, our appetites dulled by grief, my parents and I abandoned our usual fancy Christmas Eve meal for a simple meal of soup and homemade french bread. This meal became Christmas tradition. Now, more than 20 years later, and with my husband and kids in tow, it remains a way of connecting with each other and with those who are suffering on Christmas Eve. COVID makes this year the first in my kids’ lives that we won’t travel to celebrate together; so we Photo courtesy of B. Johnson will recreate the beloved meal in our home and gather over Zoom with the grandparents to open gifts of service and charity given in each others’ names (along with some toys and books, to be sure!). I think this year we will all be deeply grateful that we can connect across the distance while keeping each other safe and healthy.” - Brita, mother to Freja (11) and Espen (5)

Kwanzaa December 26

“I celebrate Kwanzaa because it’s a celebration of community, family, culture and creativity. This year I will be hosting a FREE virtual Kwanzaa Story hour sponsored by Multnomah County Library on December 19, 2020, from 10:30am -11:15am. We’ll be reading a book titled My First Kwanzaa by Karen Katz, followed by activities to learn about the colors of Kwanzaa (red, black & green).” - Nikki Brown, Black Literacy Advocate, and mother to 3 mostly grown children nikkibrownclown.com Zoom link: multco-us.zoom.us/meeting/register/tJYqdOutqjgvEtAekkEo06ErsMaU1Ce8xH2F continued on p.12

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New Years Eve December 31

“ Now that home is the hot ticket every night, our standing New Year’s plans can be your plans, too. We decide when the ball drops, countdown from 10, then shout “Happy New Year!” and bang all our pots and pans together. Sometimes we choose another place in the world to celebrate with (it’s midnight in Portugal at 4pm, and 8pm West Coast time is midnight in Buenos Aires). Or just countdown whenever the mood strikes with the Countdown Collection on Netflix. Our kids are now teenagers and sleep too late to join us, but our annual New Year’s Day tradition when they were little was to head out in the morning to spot bald eagles, then come home for hot chocolate.” - Sarah, mother to Jack (14) and Oliver (12) We are wishing you connection and joy as you find new ways to celebrate this year and we hope you’ll keep us posted on the ways you’ve updated the traditions you share with your littles and other loved ones! Tag us at instagram.com/bridgetownbaby or facebook.com/bridgetownbaby. Merriah Fairchild is a Certified Postpartum Doula, IBCLC and Founder of Bridgetown Baby. She lives and parents in SE Portland. During the pandemic, Merriah learned that she enjoys painting houses (her own) even more than homeschooling her two daughters, 7 and 10, but enjoys caring for new and growing families most of all. Bridgetown Baby is Portland’s premier postpartum doula group, providing comprehensive postpartum and feeding support to help families grow with strength & confidence. During the pandemic, Bridgetown Baby is doing everything possible to minimize risk to families and doulas while providing the support families need now more than ever. To learn more go to: bridgetownbaby.com 12 | NW Kids Magazine


Celebrating Hanukkah at Home 2020 has been a year of change and of creating new traditions. This year, PJ Library has teamed up with Manischewitz to bring some family fun right to your door. The Manischewitz Chanukah House Cookie Decorating Kit includes all that you need, from prebaked vanilla flavored cookies to the frosting and sprinkles, to create a yummy and festive holiday craft that even the littlest kids can help with. PJ Library, the nonprofit organization delivering more than 225,000 children’s books every month to families raising Jewish children across North America, is partnering with Manischewitz to continue delivering Jewish culture to your door throughout the year. Each Chanukah House will include a PJ Library subscription card so that families raising children with Jewish values and traditions can sign up to receive a free book every month. The program is perfect for kids age 12 and under. And while the kit is designed for Jewish families, any parent looking to enrich their children’s cultural experiences will find this to be a fun and educational discussion starter. The Manischewitz Chanukah House Cookie Decorating Kit is widely available now and throughout the holiday season.

PJ Library is updating their Hanukkah Hub for 2020 and is chockfull of crafts, recipes and ideas to make the season special. It includes videos and audio recordings of faith-based stories, printable activity cards, book lists and a lot more. pjlibrary.org/hanukkah For local Hanukkah events, as well as events throughout the year, Jewish Federation of Greater Portland has a robust online calendar. They’ve also added a separate calendar for virtual events. Check back throughout the month as updates are added regularly. jewishportland.org/events NW Kids Magazine | 13


Christmas at Home With Teens & Tweens

With additional Covid-19 stay-at-home orders looming across the nation, this is a very different holiday season. If you have teens or tweens at home, you are certainly feeling the pressure of all of this togetherness! The McCall family has a few ideas to keep things interesting!

Matching Pajamas The onesie phenomenon is far from over! While there were some eye-rolls when these arrived in the mail, Max and Jackson have not wanted to take these off. Distance learning in reindeer pajamas? Yes, please! These ones are available in sizes from newborn to a men’s XXL. PatPat, $14.99-$27.99 us.patpat.com

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Rummikub Premium Edition $39.99 (list price)

Games Longtime fans of the classic tile game Rummikub, they’ve added a couple more games to their lineup. The same people that created TENZI, the award-winning dice game, have added a building game! BUILDZI is designed for ages 6 and up and is fun and fast! You flip a card and the first person to complete the block tower that’s pictured is the winner.

TENZI Party Pack Dice Game $24.95 (list price)

BUILDZI $24.95 (list price)

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Relaxation When the big kids do eventually retreat to their room, some relaxation is in order. Sharper Image has created a number of products to help. The BodyScan Seat Topper is literally a Shiatsu massage in a box. It attaches to most chairs and has optional heat settings. For the tween, who has lost more than a couple pairs of very expensive earbuds, these highly-rated alternatives are a lifesaver.

Soundhaven Wireless Earbuds $39.99 (list price)

BodyScan Seat Topper $179.99 (list price)

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Jewish Academy (pjaproud.org) provides a rich ThePortland PJA Perspective academic and cultural learning experience for kids from early childhood through 8th grade. We’ve invited budding writers from the middle school Humanities classes and writing exploratory to join our team for a series that gives you a glimpse into thoughts and life - from their perspective.

The First Draft. by Hannah This is only my first draft. We have a lot in common, we are messy and sloppy, all over the place and full of potential. But it’s okay. Because we will learn and grow. Revise and rethink. Until we become perfect. But not perfect perfect, Perfectly us. Perfectly me. Perfectly hannah. After all, this is only my first draft.

Hi! I am Hannah. I am in sixth grade and have gone to school at PJA my whole life. In addition to writing, I like to read and paint with my mom. Another thing I like to do is write stories with my friends.

My Happy Place by Leah

Leah is a current sixth-grader at PJA. In addition to writing, she enjoys sports, running, and volunteering at any homeless and animal shelters.

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The soccer field Outdoors in the brisk daylight I dash and dart down the field to help the goalie Back and forth Back and forth Back and forth Time for halftime The whistle blows It’s time to start the next half Yellow card Or red card Both are bad We like to play rough but not too rough Try not to get your team a card The soccer field is my happy place


2020 Holiday Gift Picks Loog Acoustic Guitar These 3-string guitars, with sizes for ages 3+, 8+ and 12+, aren’t just cute. They’re so well made and fun, you’ll find adults picking them up to play as well. Bonus: They’re also crafted from responsibly sourced wood! Loog is also launching an electric guitar this winter, but the acoustic is ready for gifting! $79-$149, loogguitars.com

Yoto Player If you haven’t heard of the Yoto Player yet, now is the time! It’s a unique audio player that is designed just for kids ages 3-8. With no ads or unwanted additional access to media, your child can choose what they’d like to listen to; from audiobooks and podcasts to music and soothing sound effects. There are also blank cards which can be customized with your own music or even Grandma reading them their favorite story. $99+ for the player and $5.99+ for the cards, us.yotoplay.com

CreateOn Magna-Tile Gingerbread Houses Magna-Tiles have been a huge hit with our 9-year-old since he was in preschool and they continue to create more ways to play. The original tiles are a variety of magnetic shapes that can be used to create endless 3 dimensional designs. These Hanukkah and Candy Cabin sets are compatible with other sets and are a fun additional to a kiddo’s holiday building. $35.99, createon.com continued on p. 20 NW Kids Magazine | 19


Plus-Plus GO! Great for limitless building and fine motor skill development, Plus-Plus has added some new options to the mix for this year. The GO! collection includes a hot rod, a crazy cart, a fire truck and a street racing set. $17.99-$49.99, plusplususa.com

NAUSENI Felted Wool Slippers Handcrafted by female artisans in Nepal, these eco-friendly slippers mold to the wearers foot and are absolutely luxurious. Available in 7 gorgeous colors and for toddlers-adults, you will make a lucky recipient very happy with these! $55-$75, nauseni.org

Think Tank Scholar Flash Cards With sets for sight words and for math concepts, these award-winning flash cards are thoughtfully designed and actually quite fun! The Math bundle includes 681 cards and will be used from kindergarten through 6th grade. There are also single packs that focus on one concept. $25.99-$89.99, thinktankscholar.com 20 | NW Kids Magazine


Shopping Local!

Global Grub DIY Cooking Kits Designed for older kiddos and teens (or younger with assistance!) these are unique cooking kits that focus on different international cuisines. Each kit includes a recipe, the shelf stable ingredients, tips and any essential tools that wouldn’t normally be found in a home kitchen (think mochi ice cream molds!). From fortune cookies to ravioli, why not start your kids off on a lifetime of culinary adventure while we’re home for the holidays? $27.99-$82.99, globalgrub.com

During this very difficult season for retailers, please remember to support your local small businesses as much as possible. Many of your favorite spots for holiday gifts are open and have pickup or delivery options to keep us all as safe as we can be. Check out their websites for the most up-to-date information and see what you can cross off your lists in your own neighborhood!

Finnegan’s Toys & Gifts finneganstoys.com

Grasshopper

grasshopperstore.com

Hammer & Jacks hammerandjacks.com

iSpark Toys isparktoys.com

Kids at Heart

kidsathearttoys.com

Made You Look

madeyoulookpdx.com

Mudpuddles Toys & Books mudpuddlestoys.com

Piccolo Mondo Toys piccolomondotoys.com

Presents of Mind Boppy Multi-Use Total Body Pillow Any expecting mamas on your list? While this is designed as a pregnancy pillow, this will be in use well after baby has arrived. From finding better sleep positions during pregnancy and postpartum to supporting your back and wrapping it around to create a safe and comfortable spot for a laptop, this is not your average pregnancy pillow! It also comes with a washable slipcover. $50, boppy.com

presentsofmind.tv

Spielwerk Toys spielwerktoys.com

Thinker Toys

thinkertoysoregon.com

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