Page 1

Preparing for Artificial Intelligence Page 8

Too Sick for School Page 7

Winter Break Camps Page 18

Holiday Cookies! Page 12

8th Annual

Holiday Gift Guide

Stocking Stuffers

Games & Toys

STEM & Tech

Page 22

Mom’s Gifts

O R E G O N F A M I LY. C O M • D E C E M B E R 2 0 1 9


Plenty of sleep, healthy food and fresh air will help keep germs at bay. But winter does bring its share of sniffles, sore throats and other illness. If you or yours are feeling under the weather, we’re here to help. Can’t wait? Call or walk in to our NOW Immediate Care clinics or make an appointment at our convenient After Hours Clinic on Crescent. After Hours on Crescent / NOW Immediate Care Clinic: 541-686-9000 NOW Immediate Care Clinic on Willamette: 541-465-2380

10 Locations | Care for the Whole Family 541-242-4444 • 2

D E C E M B E R 2 0 1 9 • O R E G O N F A M I LY. C O M

Reduce, Reuse & Recycle for the Holidays:

Parent-child through grade 8 since 1980




Gift Boxes

Use cereal, shoe or other boxes instead of buying new.

Flatten gift boxes Recyclable curbside & at neatly for easy storage Lane County recycling & reuse. stations.

Ribbons & Bows

Reuse last year’s bows, or create them from yarn, dried flowers, video/audio tape, and more. Get creative!

Purchase used from MECCA. Right next door to the Eugene Train Station.

Not recyclable. Reduce & reuse in year ’round gift giving. Save ribbons & bows in a sturdy box for reuse next year.

Wrapping Use comics, maps, Paper posters & cloth wrapping. If you purchase wrapping paper, chooses recycled content.

Purchase used from MECCA. Use reusable gift bags & boxes. Open gifts with reuse in mind.

Recyclable curbside & at Lane County recycling stations. Foil & plastic coated papers & gift bags are NOT recyclable.

Greeting Cards

Reuse greeting Recyclable curbside & at cards as next year’s Lane County recycling postcard greetings, gift stations. No plastic or foil. tags or use them for ornaments & crafts.

Use postcards or email greetings. If you purchase, be sure to buy post-consumer recycled content cards. Or shop at MECCA 541-344-6532


Save More than Money! Shop at MECCA

1st and 8th grade buddies at the pumpkin patch.

Now Enrolling for 2019/2020 We help friendships grow! Small class sizes Emphasis on social and emotional learning as well as academic excellence Holistic, arts-integrated, hands-on

Right next door to the Eugene Train Station Brought to you by Lane County Waste Management Division 541-683-6951 1350 McLean Blvd.


(Creamy Garlic Sauce, Chicken, Roma Tomatoes, Green Onions, Herb & Cheese Blend)

Phone ahead.

We’ll have it ready. EUGENE/W 11TH AVE 2911 W 11th Ave 541-431-6882 EUGENE/WILLAMETTE 1711 Willamette Street 541-344-5189 EUGENE/COBURG RD 1508 Coburg Rd/ Sheldon Plaza 541-686-6615 SPRINGFIELD/MAIN 5727 Main St 541-744-2475

No coupon necessary. Limited Time offer. No Limit.

SPRINGFIELD/OLYMPIC 1810 Olympic St 541-741-8886

O R E G O N F A M I LY. C O M • D E C E M B E R 2 0 1 9


december IN THIS ISSUE


FAMILY HEALTH When is “too sick” for school?


TECH NEWS YOU CAN USE Preparing for an Artificial Intelligence-driven world.


CAR SEAT SAFETY Car seat inspections save lives!

2019 O R E G O N FA M I LY


Gift Guide



COOKIES!! How to host a holiday cookie exchange.


CALENDAR OF EVENTS Holiday Happenings and more!



DAD’S EYE VIEW A father’s humorous perspective on parenting.


8TH ANNUAL HOLIDAY GIFT GUIDE Don’t miss these hand-picked gift recommendations!


FAMILY MOVIE REVIEWS For kids: Playing with Fire For adults: Ford vs. Ferrari


THE SCIENCE OF SOLSTICE Winter solstice explained.


PET RESCUE SPOTLIGHT This month’s adoptable pets looking for furever homes.


D E C E M B E R 2 0 1 9 • O R E G O N F A M I LY. C O M



In times of sickness and wellness, we are with you every step of the way.

Karen Ortiz, M.D., F.A.A.P., brings genuineness and compassion to each patient visit and strives to help children and their families be well, physically and emotionally. Proficient in medical Spanish, Dr. Ortiz recognizes that each family is unique and focuses on building lasting relationships, from birth through young adulthood.

To schedule an appointment, call 541-HUG-KIDS. 995 Willagillespie Road, Suite 100 • 541-484-5437 • O R E G O N F A M I LY. C O M • D E C E M B E R 2 0 1 9


Buy One Get One FREE!

LOCALLY OWNED & OPERATED SOUTH EUGENE & UO 30 W. 29th Ave (at Willamette)

541-484-7272 N. EUGENE/FERRY ST BRIDGE 54 Division (just off River Rd)

Buy ANY sized pizza at regular menu price and get one of equal or lesser value FREE! Cannot be combined with any other offer or special.

Carry-Out Special

ANY Large pizza @ $11 or Extra Large @ $13 … Valid for in-store purchase STRONG only. Cannot be combined with any other offer or special.


Ask about our NEW Garlic Parmesan Crust!

541-461-7272 Order online at Open Lunch & Late Night


Coupon required. Not to be combined with other Coupons or Discounts. Delivery Fee extra. Expires 12/31/19.

Oregon Family Magazine is distributed through Eugene, Springfield, Veneta, Elmira, Creswell and Junction City elementary and middle schools, most area private schools, and over 275 high-traffic commercial locations throughout Lane County. PUBLISHER Pacific Parents Publishing EDITOR Sandy Kauten CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Kimberly Blaker Emily Dalton, M.D., F.A.A.P. Rick Epstein Bonnie L. Harris Christa Melnyk Hines Kelli Matthews Andrea Willingham GRAPHIC DESIGN/LAYOUT Springer Design & Illustration ADVERTISING Christi Kessler • 541.484.0434

Shop this holiday at the

Sandy Kauten • 541.683.7452 OREGON FAMILY MAGAZINE P.O. Box 21732 Eugene, OR 97402 541.683.7452 Email: Web: Facebook:

50% OFF a single item 685 E. Broadway Eugene (541) 344-1029

Our mission: To provide vocational opportunities to individuals with barriers to employment.


D E C E M B E R 2 0 1 9 • O R E G O N F A M I LY. C O M

© 2019 Pacific Parents Publishing. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be copied or reproduced without prior expressed written permission from Pacific Parents Publishing. ORF Dec. 2019

Expires January 31st, 2020. Cash value 1/20th of 1 cent. One coupon per person, per visit. Reproductions not accepted. Valid only at Goodwill Boutique on Broadway.

FOUNDED IN 1993 Opinions expressed by contributors or advertisers are not necessarily the opinions of this publication.

When is Your Child

Too Sick for School? by Emily Dalton, M.D., F.A.A.P. Eugene Pediatric Associates


uring cold and flu season, children are frequently exposed to germs that cause illness, and it can be difficult for parents to know when to keep their child home from school. The American Academy of Pediatrics’ (AAP) guidelines for school exclusion are based more on a child’s behaviors than on specific symptoms. The main criteria for exclusion include not being able to participate in activities, being so sick that the child requires more attention than staff can provide or spreading a harmful illness. Should you keep your child home if they have…? • Fever: YES, if the fever is above 100.4. Children should stay home until they are

fever-free, without fever-reducing medicine. • Common cold: NO. Exclusion is not recommended unless the child has a fever, significant behavior changes, looks or acts very ill, has difficulty breathing, has a severe cough, or has a blood-red or purple rash. • Mild cough: NO, unless it is severe, accompanied by rapid or difficult breathing, wheezing, or the child has a known respiratory illness, such as whooping cough. • Mild Diarrhea: NO, unless it causes the child to have accidents. Encourage handwashing. • Vomiting: YES, if your child has thrown up two or more times in the previous 24 hours—unless it’s been determined that their

vomiting was caused by a non-communicable/ non-infectious condition, and your child is not in danger of dehydration. Keeping them home for 48 hours is preferred. • Abdominal pain: YES, if it continues for more than two hours or they are experiencing intermittent pain associated with fever or other signs or symptoms. • Rash: YES, if accompanied by fever. If a child’s rash is caused by allergies, he or she can attend school. To help lessen the spread of illness, ensure that your kids are up to date on their vaccinations and are immunized against influenza. Get more germ-prevention strategies at

O R E G O N F A M I LY. C O M • D E C E M B E R 2 0 1 9



D E C E M B E R 2 0 1 9 • O R E G O N F A M I LY. C O M

Prepare Your Kids for Careers in an AI-Driven Future World by Kimberly Blaker


any parents today never experienced a world where computers weren’t a standard household fixture, let alone a world without the Internet. When the World Wide Web first became available to the public in 1991, it was archaic compared to today. Yet at the time, it was quite the phenomenon. But the rapid speed of technological progress over the past couple of decades will resemble the crawl of a tortoise in another decade or two as technology continues to advance at an exponential rate. According to Ray Kurzweil, a world-renowned inventor, thinker, and futurist, “We won’t experience 100 years of progress in the 21st century – it will be more like 20,000 years of progress (at today’s rate).” If you have any doubt, Kurzweil has a remarkable thirty-year track record of making accurate predictions.

O R E G O N F A M I LY. C O M • D E C E M B E R 2 0 1 9



his means the rapid change in recent years is nothing compared to what’s to come. The world in which tomorrow’s young adults will enter will be startlingly different from the one in which we live today. That’s because our world is increasingly dependent on robotics, technology, and now artificial intelligence (AI). But what is AI? It’s machines or programs with the capabilities of human intelligence. AI capabilities include learning, presenting knowledge, reasoning, problem-solving, planning, perception, manipulation, and motion. Right now, AI is in its infancy, and much of what’s purported to be AI is actually pseudo-AI. Whether imitation or the real thing, there are several current AI technologies: chatbots, Tesla, Siri and Alexa, Facebook feed, and Pandora, to name a few – and AI is on the brink of changing the world as we know it. But with all good things come drawbacks. Within the next 20 years, AI will result in a loss of anywhere between 9 and 47 percent of jobs, according to various studies by Oxford University and other institutions. So kids must be fully prepared for our vastly changing world and careers of the future. How To Prepare Kids For The Future Job Market Bolster interest and enthusiasm in STEM. Science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) skills are one of the gateways to job opportunities in a world dependent on AI. But to many kids, ‘science’ and ‘math’ spell boring with a capital “B.” This is in large part because kids can’t always see how these disciplines apply to life. So unless your child already expresses genuine interest in one or more of these disciplines, discussing STEM may be met with resistance. The trick is to provide kids with everyday experiences that put the fun in learning or provide kids experiences that are a natural part of life. Once you’ve gained their interest, then explain its relationship to STEM. That way, your child has a positive perspective on the discipline and recognizes its purpose and value.


Stimulate spatial awareness. This is an integral part of STEM learning and provides kids the ability to visualize their end product, says David Lubinski, a psychology professor at Vanderbilt University. He is the lead author of a study published in Psychological Science journal, July 15, 2013. Researchers found spatial ability is a predictor of the development of knowledge and innovation in STEM fields.

Encourage free play and out-of-thebox thinking. Play fosters imagination, creativity, and resilience to deal with challenges. These traits will be necessary to succeed in an ever-advancing world of AI. When kids play freely, they experiment, explore, and dismantle (things, scenarios, and concepts) to understand how the world works. So play is one of the best ways for kids to learn and develop skills. Develop kids’ ability to deal with the real world. Dave and Helen Edwards, cofounders of, an AI research firm, point out there will still be careers in the future that are dependent on human capabilities. In “The skills your kids should cultivate to be competitive in the age of automation,” the Edwards explain humans will still be needed for jobs that require: interpersonal skills, applying math to business problems, management of our physical world (environmental science and engineering), as well as health care jobs. People will remain ahead of robots in these areas for some time. Foster social skills and teamwork. These will be valuable assets in the future workforce. Collaboration requires a combination of skills

D E C E M B E R 2 0 1 9 • O R E G O N F A M I LY. C O M

and traits: emotional intelligence, humility, communication, listening, conflict resolution, goal setting, prioritizing, decision making, and framing problems. Emotional intelligence is particularly crucial to the development of excellent social skills and teamwork. Both interpersonal and intrapersonal skills are the framework for emotional intelligence. Interpersonal skills include social awareness and relationship management, while intrapersonal skills include self-awareness and self-regulation. Cultivate entrepreneurial characteristics and skills. Even though automation and technology will reduce the need for laborers, people will always be needed to develop and manage companies. Add to this, the growing trend toward companies outsourcing and hiring independent professionals for a broad range of needs is likely to continue and become more common. Some essential entrepreneurial skills kids should develop are financial literacy, goal setting, problem-solving, creativity, and good work habits. Promote tech skills. Greg Satell says the tech skills of tomorrow will be vastly different from today, in his article, “These Are the Skills That Your Kids Will Need for the Future (Hint: It’s Not Coding).” By the time kids grow up, computer programming will no longer be based on current coding languages. It’ll be based “more on quantum laws and the human brain,” he explains. But because the future of computer programming is unknown, there’s no way to teach it to kids. So Satell recommends kids learn more about quantum dynamics, the logic of code, and genetics, on which future systems will be based. Still, learning to code has its benefits. It’s true learning a coding language of today will unlikely be of any use in the future. But learning how to learn a code can make learning future codes easier. Coding also helps kids develop problem-solving skills. Finally, it’s an excellent way for kids to discover a career path and boost their self-confidence in a STEM discipline. Kimberly Blaker is the author of the kid’s STEM book Horoscopes: Reality or Trickery? She also writes a blog, Modern FamilyStyle at

Car Seat Safety All Parents Can Benefit from Car Seat Inspections by Parenting Now!


uring a recent car seat inspection at St. Luke’s Children’s Hospital in Boise, Idaho, two Certified Car Seat Technicians identified several brand new car seats that were missing crucial safety features. The parents, who bought their car seats new via online vendors, were shocked. With online shopping as popular as ever, how can parents be sure that they are purchasing a safety tested, certified car seat for their baby? One option is to take advantage of your local Car Seat Clinics! Car Seat Clinics Benefit Everyone It’s never too early or too late to attend a car seat clinic. If you have a baby on the way, you can bring you car seat to a clinic and a technician will help you properly install it, as well as check for any defects, recalls, or other safety issues. A technician will also talk to you about proper positioning of baby, where the straps should be placed, etc. If you have a toddler or young child in a booster seat, be sure to bring them along to a car seat clinic. Just as with infant seats, a technician will be able to double check your child’s car seat for safety features, defects, or recalls. A technician can also advise you on whether your toddler should be rear-facing or forward facing, as well as when it’s time to move them from a convertible car seat to a high-back with a 5-point harness.

Become a Smart Consumer After a little digging, the two Idaho Car Seat Technicians discovered that counterfeit and knock-off brand car seats are being sold on third-party sites such as Amazon and With the staggering number of online shopping sites, you have to take extra precautions when purchasing safety equipment for your child. Keep in mind that no car seat brand is the “best” or the “safest,” states the American Academy of Pediatrics. The best seat is the one that fits your child’s size, fits well in your vehicle, and can be used properly every time your drive. Here are some other points to consider: • Buy a new car seat whenever possible. • Expensive does not always equal better quality. • If you purchase a used car seat: avoid expired or recalled seats, or one that has been in a car accident. The car seat must have all its parts and readable labels and instructions. • To check for recalls, check the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration website at: • If at all possible, purchase your car seat directly from the manufacturer.

Where To Go and Who To Call If you have any questions or concerns about your child’s car seats, don’t hesitate to call or Parenting Now! to make an appointment with one of our own Car Seat Technicians. You can also attend one of Parenting Now!’s drop-in, free monthly car seat clinics listed at In partnership with Safe Kids West Oregon, PeaceHealth Sacred Heart Medical Center, and the Eugene Springfield Fire Station No. 2 host free car seat clinics. More information about those clinics can be found at:

Parenting Now!, formerly Birth To Three, is a private, non-profit organization that provides parenting education and support to families with young children.

O R E G O N F A M I LY. C O M • D E C E M B E R 2 0 1 9


Holiday Cookie H O W TO H O S T A

23 Ways to Package Cookies for Gifting • Mason jar • Decorative glass jar • Cleaned and wrapped Pringles containers • Homemade paper envelopes • Lunch sized paper bags • Decorative take-out boxes • Cellophane wrapped bowls • Miniature loaf pans • Cookie tins • Rectangular cake pan • Repurposed wine bag • Ribbon-tied cellophane bag • Holiday paper plate wrapped with cellophane • Baskets • Tissue paper • Gift boxes • Mail tubes • Cardboard jewelry boxes • Aluminum baking trays • Cookie jars • Scrapbook paper rolled into cones, wrapped in cellophane • Repurposed cans • Decorative plates 12

by Christa Melnyk Hines

“Friends are the most important ingredient in this recipe called life.” ~ Unknown


ookie exchanges are inherently rewarding. Not only do you have a chance to share one of your family favorites, a cookie swap is a festive way to feed your guests’ spirits with sweet cheer. Nothing beats the lovely afterglow of time spent with friends and a plate brimming with homemade goodies to gift to each other’s families. A t f irst g l ance a co ok ie exchange may seem complicated-I certainly thought so--but with this handy how-to, you’ll pull it off without a hitch, just like I did. Cookie swaps can range from a strict set of rules (no storebought chocolate chip cookies) to anything goes (simple is super if that’s your style). Go with whatever you think will appeal to your friends without causing them stress. Set the date. Holiday calendars fill up fast. At least four to six weeks before the event, send out your invitations. Choose an evite or a print invitation, whichever makes the most sense for your budget, audience and time. Timing. During the hectic holiday season, a non-traditional time of the day might work better with your friends’ schedules. For

D E C E M B E R 2 0 1 9 • O R E G O N F A M I LY. C O M

example, instead of an evening gathering, schedule an afternoon tea party. Decide on the number of guests. Better by the dozen? The more guests, the more cookies each guest will need to bring. Typically around two-thirds of invitees will accept an event invitation. If you invite 20, plan for between 12 and 15 guests. Check Yes or No. Request that guests respond a week ahead of time in order to give participants time to plan how many cookies to bake. Send a gentle follow-up to any unconfirmed guests the day of your RSVP deadline. Crunch the numbers. Let’s say you have 12 guests. Ask each participant to prepare four dozen cookies. This ensures every

person gets to take at least four cookies from each batch, and each guest returns home with a total of 48 different types of cookies. If this sounds like too many cookies for each person, either decrease the number to three dozen or have guests donate extras. (More on that later.) Gather the recipes. Ask each of your friends to bring copies of her recipe to share or if you aguests email their recipe ahead of time, preferably when they RSVP. Gather the recipes into a clipped cookbook for each guest to take home as a party favor. Prep your guests. Participants should arrive with a tray of cookies for sampling and instructions about how they’ll take their treats home. For example, they

Additional Resources • Cookies and Cocktails: Inby Julia M. Usher spire Your Own Holiday Cook- • The Great Christmas Cookie ie Party by Sherrie Wilkolaski Swap Cookbook by Good • Cookie Exchange: Hosting Housekeeping the Perfect Party by Melissa • The Cookie Party Cookbook: Harvey The Ultimate Guide to Hosting • Cookie Swap: Creative Treats to Share Throughout the Year

a Cookie Exchange by Robin L. Olson

Exchange Ideas for Compiling Recipes • Print recipes on 4x6 holiday paper and clip with a looseleaf metal ring. • Retype recipes in different fonts and print off on half sheets of paper. Make a decorative cover out of card stock and staple or clip together. can bring their own container or as the host, you can provide them with decorated boxes or tins to put treats in. If your friends rally around creativity, challenge them to pre-package their treats as individual giveaways to each guest. Serve simple appetizers and beverages. To complement the sweet, serve savory appetizers that you can prepare ahead of time, like cheese and crackers, mixed nuts, dips, chips and fresh veggies. Beverages might include apple cider, soda, wine, iced tea, sparkling wines, beer, coffee or hot chocolate. Share stories. Go around in a

circle and ask each of your guests to share a story about the treat that they brought. Listening to my friends recount their family traditions, baking disasters, and childhood memories spent rolling out dough in their grandmother’s kitchens made us laugh, empathize and wax nostalgic. We grew closer hearing these stories and the treats took on a life of their own. Give prizes. While this step is optional, it can add extra cheer to the festivities. Ask your guests to vote: Which cookie was the most unusual? Who shared an unforgettable story associated with their treat? Who had the

most creative packaging? Whose cookie was almost too beautiful to eat? Hand out simple prizes like plastic tiaras, tin holiday cookie cutters, a box of tea, a holiday mug, or ornaments. Spread the joy. Offer your friends the option of preparing extra cookies that you can box up and deliver to a local nursing home, police or fire station or women’s shelter. Freelance journalist Christa Melnyk Hines is the author of Confidently Connected: A Mom’s Guide to a Satisfying Social Life. Christa resides with her husband and their two sons, who eagerly anticipate the treats when she arrives home from a cookie exchange.

• Decorate a cardboard recipe box and place recipes inside. • Paste recipes into a small spiral notebook and decorate the cover. • Slide recipes into a miniature soft-cover photo album. • Ask each guest to bring extra copies of her recipe to put next to their cookie platter for friends to take. • Have each guest include a copy of her recipe in each of her giveaway containers.

O R E G O N F A M I LY. C O M • D E C E M B E R 2 0 1 9




Story Times Springfield Library story times. Baby and Toddler Story time (ages 0-2), Preschool Storytime (ages 3-6) Weds 10:00-10:30am, Chapter Book Storytime (preschool-grade 2) Mon 6:30-7:15pm. Cuentos Bilingual Storytime (all ages) and Family Storytime (all ages) alternating Sat 11am-12pm. Springfield Public Library, FREE! Ph 541.726.3766 Barnes & Noble weekly story time. Whimsical Weds 7:00pm. Toddler-Time, Weds 11:00am. Saturdays at 11:00am. Call for weekly themes. Ph 541.687.0356 Creswell Library Story times. (ages 0-36 months): Board/Picture books, songs, lap bounces, and rhymes. Toddler Storytime (ages 3-5): picture Books, storytelling, songs, rhymes, early literacy activities and crafts. Ph 541.895.3053 Fern Ridge Library Storytimes (recurring weekly). Pre-K Storytimes (ages 3-5) Wed 11-11:30am followed by craft time. Baby & Toddler Storytimes (ages 0-3) Friday 11-11:30am followed by play group. FREE! Ph 541.393.1046

Dog Tale Story Time. Kids have fun and build skills in short one-on-one sessions reading to trained dogs and handlers’ courtesy of PAAWS. Every Sat, Dntwn Eugene Library, 2-3:30pm, FREE! Ph 541.682.8316 Downtown Eugene Library storytimes. Toddler Storytime, Tues 10:15am and 11:00am. Pajama Storytime, Tues 6:30pm. Preschool Storytime, Wed 10:15am and 11:00am. Music & Movement Storytime, Thurs 10:15am and 11:00am. Baby Storytime, Fri 10:15am and 11:15am. Sheldon and Bethel Branches: Family Storytime, Fri 10:15am. FREE! Ph 541.682.8316

Kids Minecrafters. Play together, share tips, and get creative with building challenges on Eugene Library computers. Ages 6 - 12. Limited space, pre-reg required. Dntwn Eugene Library, Mon and Tues @ 4-5pm, FREE! Ph 541.682.8316

Pre-K Planetarium Show: Stories in the Stars. Designed with our younger visitors in mind, this live, interactive planetarium show is a wonderful introduction to the planetarium. 25 minutes. Fri and Sat, 10:30am, Eugene Science Center, Ph 541.682.7888

Table Tennis for Kids. Tues and Thurs 5:15-6:15 and Saturdays 1:30-2:30. All sessions are free. Equipment and coaching provided. $40 annual Boys & Girls Club membership required. Ph 541.345.9939

Playtime for Parents and Child. Join us in the Parenting Now! playroom for fun and socialization. For families with children up to 4 years old. Parenting Now! Mondays from10am-noon, nominal fee, Ph 541.484.5316

Playtime for Parents and Children. Every Monday 10am – 12pm at Parenting Now! Fun and socialization for your little ones 4 and under. Outdoor and indoor play space has baby dolls, trucks, soft dough, and more! Nominal fee, Ph 541.484.5316

1 SUNDAY Beauty and the Beast. A tale as old as time wowed audiences first as an animated film in 1991, then as a Broadway Musical in 1994 where it ran for thirteen years! Just in time for the holidays, a heartwarming and engaging show. Dinner Shows Available. Actors Cabaret, 2:00pm, $16-52.95, Ph 541.683.4368

Reading with Cats. Designed to help younger supporters give back to animals while developing reading skills and compassion. Also promotes animal-savvy behavior and gives cats get positive, calm time with children. Children ages 6 - 12. Days: Mon 12pm & 3:30pm, Tues 1pm & 4pm. Greenhill Humane Society, FREE! Ph 541.689.1503

Saturday Market Holiday Market. Thousands of locally handcrafted gifts from hundreds of local artisans, an international food court, and live entertainment all day long. Find unique gifts from exquisitely designed ceramics to unique metal and leather work to functional fiber arts that keep your holiday dollars in Eugene. Lane Events Center, 10am-6pm, FREE! Ph 541.686.8885

Public Skate @ The Ice Center. Call for skate times. Ph 541.682.3615

Adventure! Story Time. A rotation of awesome storytellers will read, tell felt board stories, make craft projects, chat with puppets, and generally bring the fun every Friday from 11:05-11:25am. Adventure! Children’s Museum, FREE! Ph 541.653.9629

Saturday Market/Farmers Market. The oldest, open-air market in the US. Offers great food, local crafts, and live entertainment. Every Saturday, Park blocks, rain or shine. 10:00am – 5pm, Ph 686-8885, FREE!

On-Going Year-Round

“2PM Talks.” A docent-led talk every Tues thru Sun at the Museum of Natural and Cultural History, included with price of admission. Ph 541.346.3024

Saturday Kids Workshops at MECCA. From magnetic puzzles to robots to sock creatures. No need to pre-reg. All materials are included. Kids under 10 accompanied by an adult. Each week features a different

something for everyone! Explore science topics, astronomy, mechanics, optics, water quality, and nanotechnology. See website for features, admission, dates, and times. Ph 541.682.7888

Cirque Dreams Holidaze. Hailed by the New York Daily News as “A delicious confection of charm, sparkle and talent by the sleigh load.” A “The perfect holiday gift and show everyone will enjoy.” Appropriate for all ages. Hult Center, 6:30pm, $43-116.75, Ph 541.682.5000

Eugene Science Center. Our everchanging exhibits and Planetarium feature PHOTO: MELANIE GRIFFIN

Early STEM Storytime! Join our educators as we read a story and lead a hands-on activity designed for early learners. Each storytime is a unique expansion of Tot

Discovery Day from the first Friday of the month. Eugene Science Center, 2nd 3rd and 4th Friday of each month, ages 0-5, 11-11:30am, Ph 541.682.7887

creative reuse project. MECCA, 11am – 3pm, $3-5, Ph 541.302.1810

Snow White and the Seven Dancing Dwarfs. The ballet incorporates all levels of OBA students. The colorful sets, charming costumes, comical dwarfs, and beautiful music will delight audiences of all ages. Lane Community College Theater, 2pm, $12-15, Tix at oregonballetacademy. com, Ph 541.338.7800 Gingerbread Workshop. Craft a traditional yet unique centerpiece for this year’s holiday table without the hassle of candy chaos cleanup. Pre-order your building style from three choices – Classic Cottage, Country Church or Covered Bridge. Your hand crafted gingerbread building will be waiting for you ready to decorate! Cottage Events Venue, 2-4pm, $30, Ph 541.942.6888 Soaking at McCredie Hot Springs


D E C E M B E R 2 0 1 9 • O R E G O N F A M I L Y. C O M / C A L E N D A R


She Loves Me Starts Friday, December 6th

Festival of Trees. A holiday tradition showcasing more than 50 decorated trees, beautiful wreaths, a candy cane forest, Dickensian and gingerbread villages and entertainment. Valley River Inn, 9am-5pm, $3-7, Ph 541.228.3040

4 WEDNESDAY Middle School Lounge. After School Holiday Movie. Grades 6-8, Fern Ridge Library, 4-5:30pm, FREE! Ph 541.935.7512 Manheim Steamroller Christmas by Chip Davis. Hear the entire album that started it all, LIVE! Hult Center, 7:30pm, $38-88.50, Ph 541.682.5000 Ideas on Tap. Quench your thirst for knowledge at the Museum of Natural and Cultural History’s monthly pub talk. This month: Delve into mainstream representations of Native people, discussing hazards that can arise when stories about Native communities are shaped by non-Native voices. Free/ space limited. 6-7pm, Arrive early to secure a seat. Viking Braggot Company’s Southtowne Pub. 541.515.6314

5 THURSDAY S.T.E.A.M. Punks! Legos! Grades K-5, Fern Ridge Library, 3:30-4:30pm, FREE! Ph 541.935.7512

6 FRIDAY Second Friday Art Walk. Starts at Springfield City Hall, 5:00pm, FREE!

Tot Discovery Day. Sid the Science Kid. Sid is a kid who loves science. During this Tot Day we encourage discovery using experiments and activities inspired by stories from his television show. Get inventive, silly, and curious with us and Sid! Eugene Science Center, 9am-12pm, $5-6, Ph 541.682.7888

She Loves Me. Considered by many to be the most charming musical ever written—a warm romantic comedy with an endearing innocence and a touch of old world elegance, set back in the 1930’s. The Shedd Institute, 7:30pm, $19-39, Ph 541.434.7000

continued on next page…

The Shedd Institute

A Jazz Kings Christmas 2019 - 541.434.7000

Private Lessons

Mon-Sat 9 am - 8 pm

Shedd Theatricals 2019

presents the heartwarming 1963 musical comedy

A Holly Jolly Christmas Dec 12 & 15 The Shedd Dec 16 LaSells, Corvallis Dec 17 Jacoby, Roseburg

The Music Box! Wednesdays at 4 pm

Music & World Cultures

The Shedd Choral Society

Sun, Dec 8 - 7:30 pm

Gustav Holst: Holiday Songs

School & home school learning concerts

Mat Kearney T D OU L

The John G. Shedd Institute for the Arts

Community Music School Classes & private lessons for all ages Contact the registrar today! 541.434.7000 /

OrFam-Shedd 2019-12.indd 1

D ecem be r 6- 22

SO Dec 10

Coming up next at The Shedd (select)… 12.10 12.31 1.9 1.16 1.19

Mat Kearney (sold out) Eugene Opera! Benefit Blues Harmonica Blowout Big Head Todd & Monsters microphilharmonic

1.23 Afro-Cuban All Stars 1.25 John Pizzarelli 2.6-9 The Emerald City Jazz Kings It’s All Right With Me 2.27 Lyle Lovett - Acoustic Group 11/20/2019 7:08:09 AM

O R E G O N F A M I L Y. C O M / C A L E N D A R • D E C E M B E R 2 0 1 9


A Holly Jolly Christmas Starts Thursday, December 12th float with over 28,000 lights. This year’s parade theme is “Christmas at Our House.” Downtown Junction City, 7-8:30pm, FREE! Ph 541.998.6154

7 SATURDAY Family Music Time. Live music for kids of all ages, with their caregivers. This week, bilingual Family Music Time with Bryan Reed. Dwntn Eugene Library, 10:15am, FREE! Ph 541.682.8316

Build It. Drop-in for building fun on this no-school day. Play and experiment with a variety of materials like LEGO, Duplos, Keva Planks, Strawbees, and Brain Flakes, plus everyday items such as toothpicks and gumdrops. Bethel Library, 11am-5pm, FREE! Ph 541.682.8316 FREE First Friday at the Museum. Investigate Oregon’s amazing fossils and ecosystems and delve into its cultural history. Also, get 20% a oneyear membership on Duck home game weekends. Museum of Natural History, 11am-5pm, Ph 541.346.3024

First Friday Artwalk. In Kesey Square, Wordcrafters in Eugene presents “Fill the Square with Poetry!” Join us for poetry and spoken word performances, interactive poetry games and more. 5:30-8pm, FREE! Ph 541.485.2278 Teens: Watch Wall-E with Robots. Enjoy the fave robot movie and play with the Library’s Cosmo robots. Ages 13 – 19. Downtown Eugene Library, 3pm, FREE! Ph 541.682.8316 Parade of Lights. A wide variety of entries from a bicycles and horses to a

School Holiday Bazaar. Holiday Jewelry, wreaths, holiday decor, vintage treasures, tree ornaments, jewelry (new and vintage), lots of homemade items including exquisite table runners and place mats. Proceed for field trips and classroom supplies. Howard Elementary School, 9am-2pm, FREE! She Loves Me. See the 6th MECCA Saturday Kids Crafting. Magnetic puzzles to robots to sock creatures, there’s always a fun, all-ages craft project for kids and families. All materials included. Material Exchange Center, 11am-3pm, $3-5/pp, Ph 541.302.1810 Saturday Market Holiday Market. See the 1st Springfield Christmas Parade. The oldest and coldest Christmas parade in its 67th year will follow the same parade route as the past – 21st St and Olympic St, down Mohawk Blvd to Main St. and Santa Claus has promised to visit. FREE! Ph 520.310.7434

8 SUNDAY Saturday Market Holiday Market. See the 1st Nature Quest: Treemendous Forest Fun! Get to know the tall trees in Hendricks Park on a family-friendly forest treasures scavenger hunt. Build an animated group

She Loves Me. 3pm, See the 6th Family Fun: Get Moving. Join Health Moves for fitness fun with hula hoops, jump ropes, dancing, and more. Eugene Dwntn Branch library, 2pm, FREE! 541.682.8316 Coburg Parade of Lights. Activities include horse and carriage rides and festivities, a light parade, free chili dinner and a bonfire courtesy of the Coburg Grange. Partake in a community sing-along and tree lighting celebration. Downtown Coburg, FREE! Ph 541.912.8291

9 MONDAY Shasta Middle School 30th Annual Winter Concert. A perfect way to start the Holiday Season! Hult Center, 7pm, $10.5013, Ph 541.682.5000

10 TUESDAY Teens @ 4:30. Hour of Code: Perler Bead Code Jewelry. Teens ages 12+ Springfield Library, 4:30-5:30pm, FREE! Ph 541.726.3766 Mat Kearney, City of Black and White Acoustic Tour. The Shedd Institute, 7:309:30pm, $35-47, Ph 541.434.7000 Family Night. Winter Fun. Enjoy stories and songs, plus make a mobile with snowflakes, moons, and stars! Bethel Branch library, 6:30pm, FREE! 541.682.8316 Green Start Play Day: Cozy Critters. Enjoy outdoor nature play in our Learnscape, plus toddler and pre-school activities and stories. This month: How

Winter Center of Excellence

DECEMBER 20–22, 2019 | Hult Center TICKETS $25 – $60, College/Youth Discounts subject to availability


C L U B | 541-682-5000 | Hult Center Box Office


Gustav Holst. Holiday Songs presented by The Shedd Choral Society. The Shedd Institute, 7:30-8:15pm, FREE! Ph 541.484.7000

M - W 5-6pm Bob Keefer Sports Center 6 week program Age 4-10 • Cost $110

with Orchestra Next


Free Admission Day at the Science Center! Includes 1 free planetarium show. Eugene Science Center, 10am-5pm, FREE! Ph 541.682.7888

Little Timbers Winter Indoor Skills Academy


tree and play a fun Find Your Tree game! Hendricks Park Shelter, Summit Ave & Skyline Blvd, 1pm-3pm, $0-5, Reg Online or call Ph 541.687.9699



D E C E M B E R 2 0 1 9 • O R E G O N F A M I L Y. C O M / C A L E N D A R

Saturdays 10am to Noon Bob Keefer Sports Center 7 sessions • Age 8-16 $150 or $30 per session

Winter Skills & Speed Camp


Jan. 2-3, 2020 • 11am-2pm Age 7-15 • Kick City $40/day, or $75 for 2 days

critters stay warm in winter. Rain or shine! Kids 5 and under only, with an adult. Alton Baker Park, 10-11:30am, $0-5, Ph 541.687.9699

11 WEDNESDAY The Nutcracker: Short & Suite. The Eugene Youth Ballet performs a child-size version of the classic Nutcracker. Travel the globe with these dancers and dream of sugarplums all night! Perfect for kids and family. Dwntn Eugene Branch library, 4:00pm & 6:00pm, FREE! 541.682.8316

12 THURSDAY S.T.E.A.M. Elf on a Bookshelf! Grades K-5, Fern Ridge Library, 3:30-4:30pm, FREE! Ph 541.935.7512 Preschool Art and Science Storytime. Designer for precocious preschoolers. Teaches about science and art in harmony. Springfield Library, 10:30-11:15am, FREE! Ph 541.726.3766 A Holly Jolly Christmas. A warm, festive show featuring all of your favorite Christmas standards, as well as some new surprises… “White Christmas”, “Sleigh Ride”, “Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas”, “I’ll Be Home For Christmas” and many more! Spruce up your singing chops to join in on some good old fashioned sing-a-longs! An evening for the entire family not to be missed! Jaqua Concert Hall, 7:30-9:30, $12-34, Ph 541.434.7000 A Fairy Tale Christmas Carol, The Musical. A don’t miss, family-friendly show full of holiday spirit! All your favorite fairy tale characters take on new roles to retell this adaptation of A Christmas Carol that’s surprisingly true to the original, yet unlike you’ve ever seen before! Wildish Community Theatre, 7-9pm,


Second Saturday’s at the Museum. This month: The Science of Solstice. Through hands-on experiments, you’ll explore what causes the winter solstice, plus a whole galaxy of other exciting celestial events. Dig into activities that will spark your child’s curiosity about our past, present, and future. Museum of Natural History, 11am-3pm, FREE! Ph 541.346.3024 Saturday Market Holiday Market. See the 1st Family Music Time. Live music for kids of all ages, with their caregivers. This week, Jodie St. Clair. Dwntn Eugene Library, 10:15am, FREE! Ph 541.682.8316 Ballet Fantastique: Babes in Toyland. See the 13th A Fairy Tale Christmas Carol, The Musical. 1-3pm & 7-9pm, See the 12th Adventures in Narnia. A holiday ballet for all ages based on The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe. LCC Ragozzino Performance Hall, 1pm & 6pm, $15-20 She Loves Me. 3pm, See the 6th

15 SUNDAY Saturday Market Holiday Market. See the 1st Eugene Concert Choir & Orchestra: Christmas Classic. Great classics of Christmas choral repertoire, including excerpts from Handel’s Messiah and the Bach Christmas Oratorio, plus festive carols of the season. Hult Center, 2:30pm, $25-59, Ph 541.682.5000 Ballet Fantastique: Babes in Toyland. 2:30pm, see the 13th A Fairy Tale Christmas Carol, The Musical. 1-3pm, See the 12th A Holly Jolly Christmas. 3pm, see the 12th Adventures of Narnia. 4:00pm, see the 14th

17 TUESDAY Teens @ 4:30. Make a Gift Drop In. Teens ages 12+ Springfield Library, 4:305:30pm, FREE! Ph 541.726.3766 Pajama Storytime: Stuffies Sleepover. bring your plush friends to enjoy stories, songs, and more at a special Pajama Storytime. Plus: stuffed friends can be

Village Green Christmas Market. More than half a million lights, a vendor market, live music, traditional German food and drinks, pictures with Santa, cozy fire pits and more – all based on a traditional German Christmas Market!! Open most days in December (excluding 12/2, 3, 9, 10, 24 & 25). Village Green Cottage Grove, 5pm – 9pm, $5-8, Ph 541.942.2491 McKenzie River Christmas Bazaar. Enjoy unique crafts, Santa’s workshop, delicious food and a raffle! Dec 7th Walterville Community Center, 9am-4pm, FREE! Choose and Cut Christmas Trees. Take a tractor hayride to the Christmas tree fields to choose from a variety of cultured firs and pines. Cut your own tree or choose from pre-cut trees. Stop in the store to warm up with hot drinks and browse through an array of holiday ornaments and wreaths. Northern Lights Christmas Tree Farm, 10am-5pm, Dec 1 – 24th Ph 541.746.5161

A Fairy Tale Christmas Carol, The Musical. See the 12th

Westfir Office Bridge Lighting Festival. Live music, real reindeer, props for selfies, cookies, hot drinks and of course, pictures with Santa and Mrs. Claus. The beautiful Office Covered Bridge is the longest covered bridge in Oregon. December 7th , 6-8pm, FREE!

She Loves Me. See the 6th

14 SATURDAY MECCA Saturday Kids Crafting. See the 7th

Family Night. Winter Fun. Enjoy stories and songs, plus make a mobile with snowflakes, moons, and stars! Sheldon Branch library, 6:30pm, FREE! 541.682.8316

18 WEDNESDAY Middle School Lounge. Gift Making. Grades 6-8, Fern Ridge Library, 4-5pm, FREE! Ph 541.935.7512 Dog Tale Time. Kids have fun and build skills in short one-on-one reading sessions with supervised dogs from Greenhill. Sheldon and Bethel Branch library, 2:00-3:30pm, FREE! 541.682.8316

19 THURSDAY S.T.E.A.M. Punks! Read to a Dog! Grades K-5, Fern Ridge Library, 3:30-4:30pm, FREE! Ph 541.935.7512

continued on next page…

Santa Sightings

Ballet Fantastique: Babes in Toyland. Reimagine a lost holiday classic with retro-glam choreography, vivacious style, and the company’s contagiously magical wit and whimsy. A new ballet for the young and the young at heart. Live music: Swing Shift Orchestra plays Duke Ellington’s Nutcracker. Hult Center, 7:30pm, $2886.25, Ph 541.682.5000

Lego Club. Build with Lego, Duplo, and Mega blocks. We’ll supply everything, just bring your creativity. Display your creations in the library until the next Lego Club day. Springfield Library, 2-4pm, FREE! Ph 541.726.3766

left to spend the night at the library, then picked up later with photos of their fun “sleepover.” Dwntn Branch library, 6:30pm, FREE! 541.682.8316

Santa at 5th Street Market. Come visit Santa at 5th Street Public Market! Santa will be located on the second floor of the Market in the Public Market Eateries. Photo packages

available for purchase. Dates/Times: 12/1 (12-4pm), Pet Portraits 12/1 (4-6pm), 12/6 (4-6pm), 12/7 (2-6pm), 12/8 (12-4pm), 12/13 (4-6pm), 12/14 (2-6pm), 12/15 (12-4pm), 12/20 (4-6pm), 12/21 (2-6pm), 12/22 (12-4pm). Santa’s Smorgasbord. Come see Santa, enjoy holiday music and the bling of holiday decorations. It’s a holiday breakfast! All ages young and old are welcome! Pancakes, scrambled eggs, sausage, fruit, milk, juice & coffee. Donations accepted. Dec 14th at River Road Park, 8:30am-11am, Ph 541.688.4052 Photos with Santa. Daily at Valley River Center. Special Time reserved for Pet Photos on Dec 2nd and 9th from 5-8pm. Packages available for purchase. Hours vary.

Village Green Christmas Market

O R E G O N F A M I L Y. C O M / C A L E N D A R • D E C E M B E R 2 0 1 9


Little Family Yoga with Brynne Blevins. Springfield Library, 10:30am, FREE! Ph 541.726.3766

20 FRIDAY Eugene Ballet: The Nutcracker. Share a holiday tradition with your family as you celebrate the season and make memories at The Nutcracker with Orchestra Next. The Sugar Plum Fairy transports all to the Snow Kingdom and the Land of the Sweets. You’ll cheer and boo at the battle with the not-so-scary Mouse King and his Pirate Henchmice, as Clara and The Nutcracker win the day. Hult Center, 7:30pm, $25-68, Ph 541.682.5000 She Loves Me. See the 6th Little Wonders: Stories and Activities for Pre-K. This month: Ready for Winter - we’ll explore the many ways animals prepare themselves for the cold weather ahead. We’ll read a story, make crafts, and get up-close to animal furs that help critters stay warm during the winter. Museum of Natural and Cultural History, ages 3-5, 10:30 – 11:30am, $3-10, Ph 541.346.3024

Radio Redux Christmas Special. 1940s-style radio-theater Christmas show that is guaranteed to put you in a merry mood. Expect a cool yule when Santa delivers a sleigh full of carols, poems and jokes, as well as a surprise classic old-time radio program. Hult Center, 7:30pm, $2326.25, Ph 541.682.5000

21 SATURDAY Eugene Ballet: The Nutcracker. 2pm & 7:30pm, See the 20th Kids: “Dog Man” Supa. Fun and show off your Reading Superpowers with fun activities inspired by Dav Pilkey’s books. Downtown Eugene Library, 1pm, FREE! Ph 541.682.8316 MECCA Saturday Kids Crafting. See the 7th Family Music Time. Live music for kids of all ages, with their caregivers. This week, Kris Olsen. Dwntn Eugene Library, 10:15am, FREE! Ph 541.682.8316 She Loves Me. See the 6th


Saturday Market Holiday Market. See the 1st

Saturday Market Holiday Market. See the 1st

22 SUNDAY She Loves Me. 3pm, See the 6th


Saturday Market Holiday Market. See the 1st

Saturday Market Holiday Market. Closes at 4pm, See the 1st

Family Fun: Lego® Lab. build and play with the Library’s large and varied collection. Eugene Dwntwn Branch library, 2pm, FREE! 541.682.8316


Gingerbread Workshop. See the 1st

MECCA Saturday Kids Crafting. See the 7th

Jingle Bells Run. Participants can pick up giant candy canes at special points along the course and redeem those at the finish for prizes! The courses travel along the Fern Ridge Bike Path next to Amazon Creek. Be sure to bring the littles for the Kids Rudolph Run at 11:45am and a visit with Santa Clause! Eclectic Edge Racing offices, 12-3pm, $25-30, Ph 541.484.9883 Eugene Ballet: The Nutcracker. 2pm, See the 20th


Family Music Time. Live music for kids of all ages, with their caregivers. This week, Michael Bradley. Dwntn Eugene Library, 10:15am, FREE! Ph 541.682.8316

29 SUNDAY Family Fun: Karaoke. Groove, sing, and celebrate together! Eugene Dwntn Branch library, 2pm, FREE! 541.682.8316


Radio Redux Christmas Special. 2pm, See the 20th

Radio Redux Christmas Special. 2pm, See the 20th

Happy Holidays!!

Happy New Year’s Eve!!

WINTER BREAK CAMPS Where Fitness is Fun and Confidence Grows! Making a positive difference in the lives of Lane County’s youth for 44 years

• Great Classes • Birthdays • Parents Night Out

Bounce Gymnastics



Eugene Science Center



National Academy of Gymnastics




D E C E M B E R 2 0 1 9 • O R E G O N F A M I L Y. C O M / C A L E N D A R

• • • • • • • •

• • • •

• •




Indoor Sports


Theater Arts

Field Trips




Arts & Crafts

1 2 0 5 o a k p atc h rd, e u g e n e, | 5 4 1 - 3 4 4 - 2 0 0 2 | w w w. n a a g - g y m n a s t i c s. o rg

Language Arts


National Academy of Artistic Gymnastics

Math & Science

Camp Dates: December 23, 26, 27, 30, 31 • January 2, 3, 6


541-343-4222 329 West 3rd Avenue

Camps! Fun & Affordable!

Outdoor Sports

Winter Break Gymnastics Camps!


Eugene’s Premiere Musical Theater Company Help Us Celebrate our 40th Season! The Ultimate Family-Friendly Musical!!

Education Resource Guide Music by Alan Menken - Lyrics by Howard Ashman & Tim Rice - Book by Linda Woolverton

Coming in January!

Opens November 22nd! Get your tickets NOW!! Tickets available at Call 541-683-4368

SECOND SATURDAYS at the museum Family Activities | Crafts | Exhibits 11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. Second Saturday of the month

Show your Oregon Trail card for an admission discount. 1680 East 15th Avenue, Eugene | 541-346-3024 |

Is it recyclable?

Call 541-683-7452 to Advertise

Ask the Garbage Guru

If in doubt, find out . . .or leave it out!


O R E G O N F A M I LY. C O M • D E C E M B E R 2 0 1 9


A Dad’s Eye View Humor by Rick Epstein

The Truth About Santa Claus A

wonderful thing about being a parent is associating with nutty little people who believe in magic. A not-so-wonderful thing about being a parent is wising them up. Day after day we straighten out funny misconceptions and cute mispronunciations, relentlessly transforming kids into useful citizens who will hold jobs and pay their bills. I guess that’s good. When my daughter Marie was 5, we were in the back yard looking up at the sky. She asked, “Where would clouds take you?” I replied, “Nowhere. They’re like fog; if you sat on one, you’d fall right through.” “Oh,” she said, disappointed. I felt like I’d reached up, grabbed her ankle and yanked her right out of the sky. Years later, her little sister Wendy asked me the same question. But that time I countered, “Where do YOU think they’d take you?” “To Dreamland. You could visit your dreams there,” she said. Mmmm, better. Wouldn’t it be wonderful to put off orientation and correction for as long as possible? If I had it to do over again, I’d keep a running list of each foolish notion in a notebook and then finally one evening I’d say, “Marie, we need to talk.” Sitting on her bed, I’d open the notebook. “First of all, there is no such word as ‘samoo.’ I know we’ve been using it ever since you first said it at age 2, but the word is ‘sandwich.’ Likewise, ‘jamoos’ are ‘pajamas’ to the rest of the English-speaking world.” “Oh,” she’d say. Moving down the list, I’d say, “Now, about your teachers: They don’t


D E C E M B E R 2 0 1 9 • O R E G O N F A M I LY. C O M

live at the school and they don’t serve you free of charge like your parents do. They may enjoy their work, but they do it for money. Also, the moon does not really follow us when we drive at night. That’s an optical illusion. Think about it: How could it simultaneously follow every car? And you know that picture we have in the living room of the dogs playing poker? Well, it isn’t a photograph taken in heaven like you’d thought. It’s just a painting by an obscure genius. Which reminds me: I was only joking when I told you that dogs are really bad boys who have been transformed as punishment. About flying: There is no secret of arm-flapping or telekinesis that will make you fly. People just can’t do it. Also, fairies, unicorns and leprechauns are all made up.” “But I’ve seen them on TV. There’s even a leprechaun who does cereal commercials,” Marie would protest, her face pale and eyes wide. “That leprechaun is a cartoon. Somebody drew him,” I’d say. “There’s more: Dinosaurs are real, but they are all dead.” “No!” she’d gasp. As a tear ran down her cheek, she’d ask, “Why are you telling me all this tonight?” “Well dear, I really didn’t want to tell you ever, so I put it off for as long as possible. I wanted you to have a magical childhood. But you’ll be starting high school tomorrow morning, and when you go to your first football game you’ll see the school mascot.” “Tuffy the Terrier?” she’d ask, “I’ve already seen him. He came to the middle school once. He walks on his hind legs and is almost as smart as a person.” “He IS a person – in a costume,” I’d say. “I wanted you to know that so you wouldn’t embarrass yourself. And since we’d be talking anyhow, I figured it’s time to tell you everything else.” “This is a lot to take in,” she’d say sadly. “Yes,” I’d say, “But the important things haven’t changed. Your mom and I still love you, and so do your sisters — although they are just humans and not enchanted beasts.” Marie would ask suddenly, “Hey! What about Santa Claus?” “Oh, he’s real, but seldom seen. He sends out representatives in red suits to ask kids what they want. They use high-powered smartphones to report back to him at the North Pole so he can coordinate toy production with his elves. And don’t let any upperclassmen tell you different, alright?” “OK, Dad. And thanks.” Do I seem inconsistent? I’m sorry, but it’s NEVER the right time to betray Santa. Rick Epstein can be reached at But take it easy; he’s feeling a bit frail just now.

Eugene Child Development Center • Registration open for winter break care from Dec. 23 - Jan. 6 between 7:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m. (most days) • School age child care available for KG - 5th grade


• Sign up for as few or as many days as you need (one day or every day!) • Enrollment includes breakfast, lunch & afternoon snack

Eugene CDC

Eugene CDC Eugene CDC Eugene Child Development Center

(formerly EWEB Child Development Center) Eugene Child Development Center • 541-345-8887 • 888 Goodpasture Island Rd, Eugene

Eugene Child Development Center

H O L I D AY G I F T S P E C I A L ! A private lesson, free uniform, and a month of classes for $49.95 Confidence, Self-Discipline, Self-Defense and Fitness for ages 5 and up.

4404 Main St. • Springfield

747-3181 •


• Challenging Curriculum • Self-Directed Learning • Multi-Age Classrooms • No Tuition Information Sessions: January 11, 10:00am January 23, 6:30pm


Application Deadline for 2020-21 School Year: January 31, 2020

(541) 600 - 8224

For Details Call 541-681-9662 or visit

OR Fami

Eugene’s World Class Neighborhood Grocer Local • Natural • Organic Produce Groceries Supplements Wine & Beer Deli & Meats Juice Bar

Holiday Hours

Tu Dec 24th: 8am-6pm (Xmas Eve)

W Dec 25th: Closed (Xmas Day)

Tu Dec 31st: 8am-8pm W Jan 1: 10am-8pm

8am-10pm • 541.345.1014 2489 Willamette • Eugene

Joshua Hirschstein, Director



One-On-One Tutoring: • Friendly, Certified Teachers • All Subjects, K-12 • We Travel to Your Home

College Prep Services: • SAT/ACT Prep • College Admissions: Family Workshop & Private Coaching • Essay Coaching

541-484-4133 Trusted locally since 1990.

O R E G O N F A M I LY. C O M • D E C E M B E R 2 0 1 9


Inspire, Delight by Kelli Matthews

For our eighth annual holiday gift guide, our toy testers were inspired, delighted and entertained by the selections. Whether your child is into building or fishing or crafting, we have ideas to share! My own kids (boys, ages seven and 13) were the primary guinea pigs this year, and we also looped in friends’ kids, nieces and nephews of all ages.

Engineering some STEM fun My seven-year-old was most excited about trying OSMO’s Creative Starter Kit. The kit includes three games that encourage drawing, creativity and problem solving. Kids draw their own creations on the Creative Board that magically (through a camera mirror) become part of the story on the screen. (Additional kits & apps also available from, Amazon. com, Target, Best Buy)

The OSMO Creative Starter Kit encourages drawing, creativity and problem-solving. The KIBO robot kit, from KinderLab Robotics is a unique robot toy that engages kids ages four to seven to create, design, decorate and bring their own robot to life! Kids plan a coding sequence using the programmable wooden


building blocks, scan their sequence with KIBO, press its button and watch their creation go! Be prepared to explore this robot’s features alongside your kiddo to get it started. Once they’ve got the hang of it, the KIBO is a sturdy toy and will provide hours of entertainment. (Available on Amazon) Building toys are a favorite in our house. LEGOs are a staple, and both Brackitz and Plus-Plus were a hit. With Brackitz planks and connecting hubs, it’s easy to connect pieces anywhere, at any angle. No barriers. No limitations. The inventions and simple machines kids can make are durable and portable. Plus-Plus comes in one shape with endless possibilities and hours of fun. Each piece easily connects to the next. Both toys require focus, creativity and imagination. (Available at and

D E C E M B E R 2 0 1 9 • O R E G O N F A M I LY. C O M

The E-Blox Circuit Blox Lights N’ Motion kit was a big “wow” for our kid reviewer. Once we followed the directions (not always a strong suit when stuff comes right out of the box!), thanks to a super basic motor, we were able to build and create shapes that lit up and even spun around. Even a simple tower takes on a new vibe when its flashing and spinning. (Available at Add a little physics to the mix with a Stomp Rocket. The Stomp Rocket X-Treme has a pair of rockets that will soar up to 400 feet. Change the angle, the force of the stomp and the position of the rockets and watch the way it changes the trajectory. Can you stomp and then catch the rocket before it hits the ground? The Stomp Rocket is 100% kid-powered and easy for the under 10 crowd to set up. (Available at Target) Plus-Plus offers endless possibilities of creativity and imaginative play.

and Entertain! 2019 O R E G O N FA M I LY


Gift Guide

The E-Punk Electric Mini Bike is our favorite gift idea this year! See page 24.

O R E G O N F A M I LY. C O M • D E C E M B E R 2 0 1 9


Get Outdoors! If your kid is an adventurer and explorer and would rather be outside, we found several great gift ideas.

and interact with each other in real life, in real time and in the great outdoors. We tried both Capture the Flag and Glow Battle (a light-up, sword-fighting game) at a slumber party and the kids had a ball. (Available at

My kids are just getting into fishing and one of the most clever ideas we saw was the GoFish Cam. This wireless underwater HD video camera sits on your fishing line and reveals all the underwater action. We loved it to check out the underwater environment and can’t wait to grab and share images of the fish we catch with friends and family. (Available at

While we may be a couple of months away from peak camping season, we’re Oregonians! Two campsite gift ideas to enhance winter camping activities will also take you into spring and summer. Morrison Outdoors’ Little Mo Baby Sleeping Bags are the first 20- and 40-degree sleeping bags designed for babies and toddlers age 6-24 months. Our toddler toy tester loves cruising the neighborhood in his stroller, all warm and snuggled in his Little Mo. (Available at or REI)

One benefit to the early winter sunsets? More time to play with the Starlux while lighting up the backyard. The engaging glow-in-the-dark games motivate kids to put aside their screens

Bring along the Motorola Talkabout T600 H20 two-way radios for outdoor adventures when out of cell phone range. Two-way radios are important for communication and safety…

Catch all of the underwater action with the GoFish Cam.

and there’s nothing like an endless game of CB radio catch phrases with your kids. These two-way radios are more than just fun — get NOAA weather updates and alerts in this completely waterproof model that even floats so there’s no need to worry if it accidentally falls off the boat when dad is fishing. (Available at Target, Walmart and Best Buy) Have fun while staying safe and connected! And what kid doesn’t love lounging in a hammock? The Tentsile T-Mini Hammock is a perfect portable two-person number. It’s lightweight and compact, ideal for families. If you don’t have an adventure planned just yet, you’ll soon be planning time to lounge in the garden or the park on a sunny day. (Available at

Express Yourself! Is your kid more of a crafter? The StoryBricks Letter Board takes a hot trend and makes it a kid (and teen) friendly version. There’s a huge selection of 285 StoryBrick letters, numbers and grammatical signs with a storage bag, two removal tools for easy letter changes and a collapsible easel for tabletop display. Plus, the board is LEGO compatible and features a magnetic backing — perfect for the side of the fridge. My kid’s first message was “I <3 Mom,” so I’m sold. (Available at or Amazon). One of my favorite things to do with the kids is working on craft projects. The We Craft box is a perfect mom-kid activity to do together. The box comes as a monthly kids craft kit delivered to the home for kids ages 3-9. Each box has a themed story, at least three coordinating crafts, easy to follow photo directions, includes all the pieces you need and there are enough materials for two kids to share. Psst! There’s also a grown-up version. (Available at


StoryBricks Letter Board puts a kid and teen-friendly spin on a hot trend. The Chalk of the Town t-shirts are an opportunity for your kids to express themselves in a creative, fun way! These T-shirts are ideal gifts for artists, fashionistas, wordsmiths and even sports fans. Decorate the blank slate with water-based chalk markers, wipe clean and start all over. (Available at Amazon or

D E C E M B E R 2 0 1 9 • O R E G O N F A M I LY. C O M

The Tentsile T-Mini Hammock is perfect for family down time. Getting outside doesn’t have to be a grand adventure. The Razor electric scooters and mini bikes keep my kids outside until the street lights come on. The E-Punk Electric Mini Bike is our favorite gift idea this year. Super compact and totally portable, it doesn’t go too fast and is a ton of fun. Pair it with the Razor Turbo A Electric Scooter for double the fun. (Available at and Target)

Fun for the Wee Ones

Games Galore

For the wee ones on your gift list, we have some irresistibly cute ideas.

Top Sensory Toy/Gift Award 2019. (Available at, Amazon or Michael’s)

The Mouse Loves Pig Car Play Mat Vroom Vroom Car Travel Toy is simply adorable. Their entire life, my kids have been captivated by playing with cars. This travel play mat has a tiny road, just about the width of a little lap, and small pockets for all the cars to easily fit. We love that the toys are made in the US from organic materials using fair labor. (Available at

Growing your imagination through play is so important. The award-winning My Little Farm is a beautifully simple toy and will provide acres of fun. It comes out of the box flat (and can be played that way) or magically (and easily) transforms into a reversible 3-dimensional playset. One side is a red barn and the other has both stables and pasture scenes. It has 32 soft, sticking felt pieces to put on both the inside and the outside. Every one of the pieces has a purpose and addresses early language concepts. (Available at

My four-year-old niece can’t get enough of taking care of baby dolls now that she has a little brother. Madame Alexander draws upon decades of dollmaking expertise, which makes these an instant classic. We chose the Splash and Play Mermaid — she is fully submersible and comes dressed in a mermaid swim set with a hooded towel ‘tail’. My niece was instantly in love with her new playmate. (Available at Amazon and Target) Bouncing around is a toddler’s modus operandi. The Hopping Unicorn makes it a little more magical. Covered with soft, removable/washable plush fabric, it is easy to use — just inflate with the included hand pump and off your toddler goes! Great for balance, coordination — and fun! (Available on Amazon) I’m not sure how anyone can resist a toy called Moosh Moosh. With an adorable line of super-soft plush creatures, these are ideal for kids of any age. We reviewed the flashlight version, one was a “mean” looking shark and the other a Corgi dog. You can also get big square unicorns, “piggy” banks and keychain size versions. Even better? Moosh Moosh was named Autism Live

We wanted to start early talking about volunteerism and giving back in our family. Tying this to something even the littlest philanthropists can understand is a brilliant idea. The Sierra Club’s Adopt a Wild Animal program has been a popular gift-giving choice for years! You can choose from more than a dozen endangered and threatened animals — and their corresponding cuddly plushes — to symbolically adopt for a loved one. My second grader picked a bald eagle but also loved the sea otter. The Bald Eagle set came with a super soft plush and a booklet about the animal for us to read together. (Available Adopt a Wild Animal is at store.sierraclub. a great way to foster com; use code awareness about the OFM15) environment.

Teen (Un)Angst If you have boys, you know they can be a little stinky. I’ve found my teen likes having his own products. The Prep U products aren’t heavily perfumed — they’re all-natural body wash, body spray and natural deodorant that are clean-smelling, chemical-free and effective. (Available on Amazon) Like it or not, screens are part of our teens’ lives and thus, so are portable chargers. The HubPlus HubPlus is the perfect all-in-one charging tool.

Universal Charger is great because you don’t have to track extra cords - it provides up to 4x extra battery life for devices and features builtin Apple Lightning and USB-C charging cords as well as built-in wall prongs on the back to directly recharge the unit. Perfect for keeping teens’ electronics charged-up. (Available on Amazon and at Best Buy) Finding unique gifts you know your kids will love can be tricky. This guide shares some great ideas for kids of all ages, abilities and interests. We’re sure you’ll find something great!

We love to play board and card games in our family. We reviewed three, all from ThinkFun, this year had a lot of variety. For the preschoolers, Friends of a Feather is fun and entertaining. It’s perfect for preschoolers, who were totally engaged. The best part is everyone feels like a winner. Invasion of the Cow Snatchers is a clever solitaire-style magnet logic game. Maneuver your way over and around farm obstacles while beaming up cows. With 60 puzzles, we found it was fun for everyone in the family.

We normally seek out the unusual and not-heard-of for this guide, but we couldn’t resist including the two recent expansions of Disney’s Villainous game - Wicked to the Core and Evil Comes Prepared. I’ve always loved the villains. Over the last few years, strategy card games have exploded in popularity. We loved these Villainous games because, while the characters and basic storylines are familiar, the gameplay lead to unexpected ends. (All games available at Target and

We loved Villainous because the gameplay led to unexpected endings.

O R E G O N F A M I LY. C O M • D E C E M B E R 2 0 1 9



Gift Guide


hether you are a mom or you’re shopping for a mom, this year’s mom gift guide has plenty of clever ideas — from good feeling to good smelling to good living.

Uniquely Mom Jewelry I don’t get sentimental about much, except my kids. The four mom-centric jewelry items I reviewed for this year’s guide all felt special and unique. The Moonglow Jewelry locket carries two small charms, each one shows the phase of the moon on the night each of my two kids were born. And the IsabelGraceJewelry Starlight Initial Charm Necklace keeps my two stars close to my heart. Exactly where they belong. When I say “I love you” to my seven-year-old, he says “I love you more.” So I couldn’t resist Mantraband’s thin, silver bangle with those words stamped in the metal. It makes a cute stack with Luca & Danni’s “Mama Bear” Mantraband and bangle, too. Luca & Danni go well together! Moonglow Jewelry: Isabel Grace Jewelry: Mantraband: Luca + Danni:


Feel Good (& Smell Good)

the stresses of mom life. In fact, my De-stress balm may need a refill. South of France: Bonblissity: Banish: Blendily: or 1532 NE Alberta in Portland, OR Scentered:

Planning & Dreaming Busy moms keep a lot of balls in the air and need support for staying organized. A great planner can be a lifesaver. But a planner decision is not one-size-fits all. My Infinite Agenda is a beautiful desk-size planner with room each month to set and review short and long term goals. You can vision board and still have the right structure for managing your time. Each page also has a place to note what you’re grateful for today (my favorite part). If you find a more common planner like Erin Condren or Happy Planners stifling, I’d consider this option.

Self-care can be as simple as soft skin. The moisturizing sugar polish from South of France comes in three lush scents and after exfoliating, leaves behind the perfect moisture. Bonblissity’s Sweet & Single Candy Scrubs look like wrapped candies, but after you squish them in your hands, scrub away the dead skin, your hands and arms are left soft and smell so good. Plus, they’re adorable. Winter skin is often cranky skin. The Banish face wash and pumpkin enzyme mask feel so good. The mask in particular smells like pumpkin and, once it goes on, tingles a bit. Rinse off to softer and healthier skin. Bonus: my teen son and I did this mask together and it definitely cleared his breakouts. My favorite find this season for mom is the facial oil from Portland-based Blendily. I tried Ruby Skies and Golden Hour and loved both, but Ruby Skies get the edge. I’ve used up my samples and this is going on my personal wish list this year. The products are also made in Portland. Finally, Scentered’s mini tin with 100 percent natural and portable aromatherapy balms feel like zen on the go. The five balms — Sleep-well, De-stress, Be-Happy, Focus and Escape — speak to

D E C E M B E R 2 0 1 9 • O R E G O N F A M I LY. C O M

The Infinite Planner has the right combination of space and structure. The Dreambook Planner is a little less about the day to day and more focused on self-reflection, dreaming big and creating rituals for more balance and living with intention. It’s a good portable size for a bag and perfect for my sister. She pored over the pages and I could see her artistic brain at work. The Balance Bound Planner ended up being my personal favorite. I need room to plan forward, but I’m mostly interested in how my days look. I use my planner to write everything down. The act of writing De-stress on the go, with Scentered’s portable aromatherapy kit.

helps me remember. So I need room on each day, a bit of structure, but not too much and space for the random notes and doodles that are the glue of life. If you’re more of a bullet journal fan, Ghost Paper Notebooks will be your new go-to. I don’t bullet journal, but I love great paper and always have a notebook with me. The paper in this book is lined, but the lines are invisible (they’re embossed and debossed). My Infinite Planer: Dreambook Planer: Balance Bound Planner Ghost Paper Notebooks:

Savoring Memories Time moves too darn fast. Motif is available on your Mac or can be found as an iPhone app that will help sort and select your best photos of good quality and makes it easy to order either hardcover or softcover books. I picked the camera roll album with photos from a weekend my teenager and I spent in San Francisco. The app grouped similar photos & selected the best 51 or about 160 choices. With a few clicks you can rearrange pages and order your photo book. Rather than just a Facebook album, I have a physical reminder of the great time we had together. A different spin on the photo book is the Image3D RetroViewer. Remember the old ViewMaster toy? You can go retro with your own favorite photos. The hardest part for me was narrowing down the images to use. But the process with easy! And the result is a clever twist with a little dash of nostalgia (plus, they’re based in Portland). We build strong connections to places — the town we grew up in, where we went to college and where we build our families. My Ever Map gives you a beautiful print of your favorite places. It’s elegant and simple, with a few choices of style and color, but really it’s all about the map. Our Ever Map is of Eugene - our home - in a deep teal color. Motif: Image 3D: EverMap:

Practically Fashionable

Girls Just Wanna Have Fun

First the practical: Grocery shopping can be a chore. All the plastic involved with buying fruits and veggies is such a waste! I’m impressed with Lotus Produce Bags. They’re durable, washable and reusable. Three color-coded sizes will fit anything on your list. And really, they look great. You could use them for many more applications than just veggies. I have a weakness for bags, purses, wristlets and totes of all sorts. Sea Bags, based in Maine, up-cycles old sails into beautiful, unique pieces. The wristlet is a perfect size for carrying a phone, ID, maybe a credit card and some lip gloss. I love the octopus print, but I’m also putting the one-of-a-kind totes on my wish list.

The hours we spent in school organizing our Trapper Keepers — and you’ll never forget the sound of the velcro closure, right? As a child of the 80s, the Trapper Keeper Game bring back so many memories. It’s silly, sure. But it’ll pair well with Zima and Boone’s Farm at your next girls night out. I also recommend bringing Caroline’s Cakes cake bites with you to girls game night. Famous for their seven-layer caramel cake, the company now has cake bites. You’ll find several varieties of cake bites available on the website, but do not be distracted, Go for the caramel cake bites. You’ll thank me for it. Trapper Keeper Game: Caroline’s Cakes:

Too Big for the Stocking Another must-have accessory is absolutely an infinity scarf. And as a University of Oregon Ducks fan, when I saw the Waypoint Goods Stadium Series travel infinity scarf in green and gold… well, I was in. Waypoint’s scarves have a built-in pocket — perfect for taking just the essentials to the stadium and avoiding having to carry a clear bag. Of course, Waypoint has dozens of other gorgeous styles, too, if for some reason you don’t feel compelled to wear UO colors.

We all know exercise is important. It helps our brains function better, releases “happy” hormones and improves focus - but it’s hard to find time and space, especially at work. My Cubii creates an easy way to move a little more during your day. The Cubii is a compact elliptical - get your legs moving while you sit with a book, watch a movie or click through your email inbox. It really is that simple, it takes up very little room and everyone in my family enjoys it. Cubii:

Two things are always tucked in my Waypoint scarf (or my Sea Bags wristlet) is FOUR: organic lip balm and my phone with a cute case from Casery. Why FOUR:? Because the lip balm made from just four ingredients: coconut oil, beeswax, jojoba oil and peppermint oil. Nothing else. It makes my lips happy. And why Casery? Elegant, fun, fashionable case styles that aren’t ridiculously expensive and are drop-tested. My phone is currently the light purple agate style, but I’ve also got my eye on the “Like a Bird” print. Lotus Veggie Bags: Sea Bags: Waypoint Goods: FOUR: Casery:

Cubil creates an easy way for you to move a little every day. As you plan your holiday gift giving (and getting), I hope the ideas in this year’s guide provide some inspiration!

O R E G O N F A M I LY. C O M • D E C E M B E R 2 0 1 9


Movie Time by Bonnie L. Harris

No Spark, No Fire Mayhem in the station.

Paramount Pictures Rated: PG Now in theatres


he stor y pitch probably sounded great: Four big tough fire jumpers are stranded in their mountain-top station with three mischievous kids until a storm blows over. But sadly, the movie doesn’t quite live up to the pitch. The lame humor is only surpassed by the screwball physical comedy that’s completely predictable, and it seems like every five minutes, someone gets blasted by a fire extinguisher. That must be the Nickelodeon influence. The adult

characters behave like clueless, oversized kids, which I must admit, a young audience finds hilarious. Thankfully, the kids themselves are smarter, cuter, and naturally funnier than the adults. After the children a re i n i t i a l l y rescued from a burning cabin in the woods, teenage Brynn, steals the station’s ATV and escapes with her younger brother, Will, and toddler, Zoey. The threesome are

rescued again by Superintendent Jake Carson, who learns that they ’re runaways from the foster care system. Despite the trouble they’ve already caused, he kinda likes having them around and he promises to let them stay through the weekend. Of course, that’s asking for trouble and the tiresome mayhem continues until Sunday when the Fire Chief pops in for a surprise inspection. The

FOR THE PARENTS The Perfect Lap Ford vs. Ferrari 20th Century Fox, Rated: PG-13 Now in theatres


know almost nothing about racing and I can barely tell the difference between a Mustang and a Malibu, but I do know a good movie when I see one and Ford v Ferrari is it. Immediately pulling its audience into the grand prix of racing, it’s a high octane thrill ride that doesn’t let up until the checkered flag. Along the way, Matt Damon and Christian Bale give stellar performances as two struggling Americans sponsored by the Ford Motor Company to take on luxury automaker, Ferrari, at Le Mans. For


kids and Jake’s crew are caught in the middle of Zoey’s zany birthday party and the Chief’s not happy. Neither is the Child Welfare officer who’s been on their trail and shows up to take the kids into custody. Jake must make the choice between helping the children and saving his big promotion, but Brynn doesn’t wait for his answer. She steals the Chief ’s Humvee and the kids are gone again with Jake on their heels. Another rescue and another group hug results in a truly schmaltzy ending. My advice: Wait and rent this one to entertain the kids on a rainy afternoon.

up close and personal with the extraordinary cinematography and special effects. But what the uninitiated like me, the historic race, the really matters are the two friends behind the fierce competition, the grandstanding, and dream. One is sidelined from racing because the constant danger on the racetrack gets of a heart condition, and the other is a top-notch driver, but a prickly, The dynamic duo of racing. cantankerous human being. Together they must placate the Ford businessmen to keep their sponsorship while trying to win the toughest auto race on the planet. They don’t always succeed, and sometimes fists fly, but every minute is like the Le Mans track: perfectly timed around the turns and a twohundred mile blast down the straightaway. Better buckle up!

D E C E M B E R 2 0 1 9 • O R E G O N F A M I LY. C O M

Discovery Box

by Andrea Willingham, the UO Museum of Natural and Cultural History


SCIENCE OF SOLSTICE W inter is coming. Have you noticed the changes? While the seasons can look very different depending on where you live on Earth, here in Oregon the days are getting shorter, the sun is sitting lower in the sky, and the air is growing colder. But what exactly is making this happen? To find the answer, let’s zoom out and take a look at Earth from space. As the Earth orbits around the sun, it also spins on an imaginary line that passes through the North and South Poles, known as the “axis of rotation.” This is what gives us daytime and nighttime. However, our planet doesn’t point straight up and down, spinning like a top—rather, it’s tilted slightly. The direction of that tilt stays the same as it orbits the sun, so certain times of year the North Pole is pointed toward the sun, and other times of year, the South Pole is pointed toward the sun. During the times when the north is pointed away from the sun, the northern latitudes spend more time in the dark, hence the longer nights and shorter days of winter. Winter solstice occurs when the sun is at its lowest point in the sky all year. This year,

that day will be December 21. The sun will appear to be at the same level at noon for several days before and after the solstice. In fact, this is where the term “solstice” comes from: the Latin word, solstitium, meaning “the sun stands still.” Because of the Earth’s curvature and axial tilt, the shortest day of the year will be shorter in some places than others. For example, people who live on the equator will have roughly 12 hours of daylight and 12 hours of darkness on the winter solstice. At the North Pole, there will be about 11 weeks of darkness—the sun will set in mid-November, and not rise again until mid-January. So, what about Oregon? Here, our winter solstice will have 8 hours, 42 minutes, and 10 seconds of daylight, because we are partway between the equator and the North Pole. With the change in the seasons, try to observe how your local ecosystem adapts. What do you notice about the plants and animals you see every day? You might see leaves turning brown and dropping off the trees, birds migrating south, and squirrels busily collecting food to store up for the winter ahead.

Think about the changes that humans go through during wintertime, too. How do you dress differently in winter versus summer? Do you eat different foods or participate in different activities? What seasonal holidays or traditions do you observe? Want to learn more about winter? Head to the Museum of Natural and Cultural History! Join us for Second Saturday on December 14, and explore a whole galaxy of celestial events through family-friendly crafts and experiments from 11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. Preschoolers and their adults can come learn about winter, too, at our monthly Little Wonders event on the third Friday, December 20, at 10:30 a.m. The Museum of Natural and Cultural History is located at 1680 E. 15th Avenue, on the UO campus. Museum hours are Tuesday through Sunday from 11:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. and Thursdays from 11:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Visit us online at

O R E G O N F A M I LY. C O M • D E C E M B E R 2 0 1 9


Rescue Spotlight


eet Sabrina Spellman, a beautiful rabbit with white fur and black spots. She is very quirky, curious and friendly. She prefers to not be picked up but enjoys being around people and getting pets. A volunteer described her as “A big, beautiful girl with the best velvety nose! She is very curious about everything and loves attention. She also adores her hay ball – it’s so cute to watch her eat from it.” Sabrina weighs 6.5 pounds and is litter box trained. She needs to live in an indoor only home. She is a wonderful rabbit that would love to join an affectionate family, especially with children. If you are interested in adopting some of our wonderful rabbits or just want to learn more about bunnies as family pets, please come out to Greenhill and pick up a free rabbit care packet today. Greenhill Humane Society is open for adoptions seven days a week, 11 am – 6 pm at 88530 Green Hill Rd in Eugene. For more information call (541) 689.1503 or visit


he Cat Rescue & Adoption Network presents Hazel, a gorgeous and petite brown tabby female who loves to play with humans, other cats and even by herself! Still a kitten at heart (and only 1 year young), Hazel loves to climb high on the cat tree, birdwatch from the window sill, wrestle with her cat buddies, and play with anything that rolls or can be batted about. She is so energetic and fun-loving, and once finally worn out, she will cuddle up next to you for a nap and happily accept your caresses and adoration. Hazel was found as a stray in an orchard, along with her kittens. She has flourished in the safety of her foster home and even became friends with the resident cat-loving dogs. Initially cautious, with a gentle introduction she warms up to new people of all ages. Hazel is spayed, up to date on vaccinations, microchipped, has been defleaed and dewormed, and is negative for Felv and FIV. Her sponsored adoption fee is $90, which allows us to continue to provide care for other kittens and cats in need. To meet Hazel, please call 541-225-4955 option 1 or send an email to

T R I P L E P : T H E P O S I T I V E PA R E N T I N G P R O G R A M

Top 10 Tips For Parents



Give your child lots of descriptive praise when they do something that you would like to see more of like saying, “Thank you for doing what I asked right away.”

L e a r n m o r e a n d s i g n u p a t L a n e T r i p l e P. o r g Triple P Online is free for Trilliu m (OHP) member s ! • Tr iple P es ta d is pon ible e n e s p a ño l .


D E C E M B E R 2 0 1 9 • O R E G O N F A M I LY. C O M

GIVE THE GIFT OF COZY This holiday season, give your family the warmth and comfort of a new heating system, gas fireplace / stove, or annual maintenance.

Call Marshall's or visit our showroom today! 541-747-7445 | MARSHALLSINC.COM |

CCB # 2 57 9 0

Marshall’s provides installation, maintenance and repair services for Home Heating Systems (Furnaces, Ductless Heat Pumps) Fireplaces and Stoves (Gas, Pellet, Wood) Home Insulation Boilers and Water Heaters Radiant Floor Heating Residential and Commercial Applications

O R E G O N F A M I LY. C O M • D E C E M B E R 2 0 1 9


School Based Health Center School Based Health Center Give us a call to schedule an appointment! Give us a for callphysicals to schedule appointment! Same-day appointments and an illness care are usually available! Same-day appointments for physicals and illness care are usually available! Services include: Services include: n School/Sports/Camp Physicals n n n n

School/Sports/Camp Physicals Immunizations Immunizations Sick visits Sick visits for other healthcare needs Follow-up Follow-up for other healthcare needs

Churchill Health Center Churchill High School Health Center 1850 BaileyHigh Hill Road, Eugene, OR 97405 Churchill School 1850 Bailey Hill n Road, Eugene, OR(fax) 97405 541-790-5227 541-790-5229 541-790-5227 n 541-790-5229 (fax) Open: Monday and Thursday 8:00 a.m. – 4:30 and p.m.Thursday Open: Monday 8:00 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.

n n n n n

Referrals for specialty care Referrals for specialty care Lab testing Lab testing Health Care Reproductive Reproductive Care and Visits Mental Health Health Assessments Mental Health Assessments and Visits

North Eugene Health Center North Eugene High School Health Center 200 Silver Lane,High Eugene, OR 97404 North Eugene School 200 Silver Lane,nEugene, OR 97404 541-790-4445 541-790-4446 (fax) 541-790-4445 n 541-790-4446 (fax) Open: Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday 8:00 a.m. – 4:30Wednesday p.m. Open: Tuesday, and Friday 8:00 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.


D E C E M B E R 2 0 1 9 • O R E G O N F A M I LY. C O M