Valentine's Day Traditions

Traditions are special things that we do each and every year that are unique to our family. Traditions that we learn in childhood can be passed on to our own children when we become adults. What are your Valentine’s Day traditions? If you don’t have any, this year is the perfect time to start.

Take a family portrait. Remember each Valentine’s Day with a picture to commemorate the moment. Choose to wear clothes that reflect the day. Everyone’s outfit can include red, white, and pink in some fashion. Each year you will see how the family grows and changes from the year before. Also each year, family members can take turns finding the perfect picture frame to hold the photo.

What about a story? Valentine’s Day is named after
St. Valentine. No one knows for sure if he was real or a work of fiction, but it is fun to tell the variations of the story to lend meaning to the day. Whether real or imagined, St. Valentine championed the cause of love. The story of Cupid comes from Roman mythology as he was the son of Aphrodite who was the goddess of love.

Give your kids something that is real - the story of your love. Parents can retell the story of how they met and fell in love. There is nothing more intriguing than a story of true love. Other family members can share their stories of love as well. This is a way of passing stories down through the generations - an ancient practice that started before there were written records.

Watch a touching movie. The movies don’t have to be sappy chick flicks. Once the kids become teenagers, especially the boys, they will want out of this tradition, especially if the movies are too mushy. The movie can have aspects of love whether it is friendship, family bonds, or the boy-girl kind of love. Stories of love give kids a strong sense of its meaning so that they are prepared to show and receive love from others as they grow up.

Play a game that tells what each person in the family loves about each of the other family members? Each person will get a chance to write down on a piece of paper what they love about one another. Anonymously, every family member writes their thoughts on a separate slip for mom, dad, brother, sister, and so on. The papers are put in a basket or a small box that is owned by each person. Family members take turns reading aloud what has been written about them. It’ll feel good to know that you are loved and respected by your family.

Valentine’s Day traditions help us teach our kids about love. We grow closer as a family and learn to depend on each other no matter what when we create Valentine’s Day traditions such as the ones mentioned here.


Groundhog Day Party Games - Marking the Occasion With a Celebration

By Gail Leino

Groundhog Day is a celebration that is steeped in tradition - is the Ground Hog going to see his shadow? Start the season with games to suit the theme can be really enjoyable, and make for a great party.

“Groundhog Hunt” Groundhog Day Party Game

This is a fun Groundhog Day party game that is best played outside. Prior to the party, cut several copies of the letters from ‘Groundhog’ out of cardboard and hide them around the playing area. Players pair up, and must search for the letters; the first pair to find all the letters from the word ‘Groundhog’ wins a small prize.

“Groundhog Tag” Groundhog Day Party Game

This active Groundhog Day party game is best played in a large, open area with a large group of children. All that’s required for the game is a small stuffed toy to act as the “groundhog”. Players gather together and split into 2 even groups. One group forms a large circle around the other group – joining hands isn’t necessary as the circle needs to be large. The children in the circle receive the “groundhog”, and have throw it and try to hit the children running around inside the circle. As soon as someone on the inside gets hit, they must join the circle and try to tag the other children with the groundhog. When all the children have been tagged, the teams swap places and start over. The last player standing for each team receives a small prize for winning this Groundhog Day party game.

Mrs. Party... Gail Leino takes a common sense approach to planning and organizing events, celebrations and holiday parties with unique ideas for Groundhog Day party supplies and fun free educational party games. She explains proper etiquette and living a healthy life while also teaching organizational skills and fun facts. The Party Supplies Shop has lots of party ideas with hundreds of free holiday printable games and free birthday party activities. Over 100 adorable Theme Parties to fit your birthday celebration, holiday event, or "just because" parties is at the Party Theme Shop. Party themes include cartoon characters, sports, movie, TV shows, luau, western, holidays, and unique crazy fun theme ideas.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Gail_Leino

Groundhog Day - Will Punxsutawney Phil See His Shadow?

Groundhog Day or Groundhog's Day is a traditional holiday which is celebrated in the United States and Canada on February 2nd of each year, four days before the cross-quarter day between the Winter Solstice and the Spring Equinox.

History tells us that as far back as the fifth century the European Celts believed that certain animals had super-natural powers on the special day's half-way between the Winter Solstice and the Spring Equinox. They believed that if bears and groundhogs came out of their winter dens too early that they were frightened by their own shadow and went back into their dens for four to six more weeks of hibernation.

The traditional weather lore says that if a groundhog comes out of his burrow on Groundhog Day and can not see his shadow, because of cloudy weather, then winter will soon end. However, if the groundhog is able to see his shadow, due to clear sunny weather, he will be frightened by the bright light and run back into his den, meaning that winter will continue for six more weeks.

The earliest known American reference to Groundhog Day is February 4, 1841 and took place in Morgantown, Pennsylvania. In storekeeper James Morris' diary he wrote; "Last Tuesday, the 2nd, was Candlemas Day, the day on which, according to the Germans, the Groundhog peeps out of his winter quarters and if he sees his shadow he pops back for another six weeks nap, but if the day be cloudy he remains out, as the weather is to be moderate."

In the United States, the tradition of Groundhog Day comes from a famous Scottish poem:

As the light grows longer
The cold grows stronger
If Candlemas be fair and bright
Winter will have another fight
If Candlemas be cloud and snow
Winter will be gone and not come again
A farmer should on Candlemas Day
Have half his corn and half his hay
On Candlemas Day if thorns hang a drop
You can be sure of a good pea crop.

The celebration of Groundhog Day began in Pennsylvania and the town of Punxsutawney held its first Groundhog Day in the 1800s. It was begun out of humor and has continued to this day. Every year on February 2nd, their groundhog, known as Punxsutawney Phil comes out of his den and predicts the weather. If Phil can see his shadow then winter will be six weeks longer, however if he is unable to see his shadow then spring will begin.

It is said that the weather predictions of Phil are more than 50% accurate, though the residents of Punxsutawney say that he is 100% accurate, of course.

While Groundhog Day seems like a rather weird holiday to many, it is simply a fun and quirky way to look at weather. Many school children have fun with the day and get to learn about weather and even groundhogs themselves at the same time. They often learn about hibernation as well as the Winter Solstice and the Spring Equinox.

So, while the holiday is a bit odd, it is built from strong tradition and meant to educate and entertain at the same time.

Where to Find Groundhog Day Trivia and Jokes Online

Groundhog Day Trivia:

Groundhog Day - Groundhogs Day Holiday Website

Groundhog Day 2008, Punxsutawney Phil Facts, History & Trivia

Groundhog Day - Origins, Facts & Groundhog Day Fun - Punxsutawney Phil

Groundhog Day Trivia - January & February Quiz

Holiday Quiz.com - Groundhog Day - History Trive Quiz Game

Groundhog Day Jokes for Kids:

Groundhog Day Humor - Punxsutawney Phil Fun

Groundhog Day Jokes

Jokes About Groundhog Day Funny Jokes Home

Groundhog Day Links

Where to Find Groundhog Day Coloring Pages and Crafts Online

Groundhog Day Coloring pages for kids:

Groundhogs Coloring Book Pages

Groundhog's Day Coloring Pages - Fun interactive coloring book ...

The ChildFun Family Website - Groundhog Day Theme

Coloring Pages for Groundhog Day: Print out this free coloring ...

Ground Hog Day Coloring Sheet

Groundhog Day Crafts for kids:

Groundhog Day Crafts

Groundhog Day Crafts, Worksheets and Printable Books ...

Groundhog's Day Craft Projects

Happy Groundhog's Day

Groundhog Day Fun - Groundhog Day Crafts, Games, Activities & Books

Groundhog Day Is A Fun Day For Kids Of All Ages...

...Especially When They Do Crafts For This Special Day

By Gail Leino

Everyone looks forward to Groundhog Day because this will mean that winter is almost over. So celebrating this special day is something that kids love to do. One great way for them to celebrate is to let them make crafts for this holiday. They will have fun and the crafts are easy to do.

One fun and easy craft they can do is the pop-up groundhog puppet. You will need to have the kids cut out a circle from brown construction paper to use for the head. Then they need to cut out a small oval for the body from the brown construction paper. Have the kids draw the mouth and eyes onto the head or you can use googly eyes. Glue the head and body of the groundhog onto a craft stick or popsicle stick. Using a paper or Styrofoam cup you want to cut a small slit in the bottom. Decorate the paper cup with markers or paint. These make very adorable groundhog puppets that kids can have hours of fun with.

A second craft that they will enjoy is the groundhog mask. Have the kids paint the back of a paper plate brown. Then they will need to draw the face of the groundhog onto the plate. They will need big eyes and a mouth. Then cut out the eyes and mouth. They will need to cut two small ears that are curved from the brown construction paper. Then glue the ears to the top of the plate. You can use a little pink circle made from paper for the nose and then glue it on. The whiskers will need to be glued on also. You can use string or pipe cleaners. Put holes in both sides of the mask and tie some string to it so that it will stay on the kids head. These two crafts will make Groundhog Day even more fun for any kid.

Mrs. Party... Gail Leino takes a common sense approach to planning and organizing events, celebrations and holiday parties with unique ideas for Groundhog Day party supplies and fun Groundhog Day party games She explains proper etiquette and living a healthy life while also teaching organizational skills and fun facts. The Party Supplies Hut has lots of party ideas with hundreds of free holiday printable games and free birthday party activities. Over 100 adorable Themes including Groundhog Day Party Supplies to fit your birthday celebration, holiday event, or "just because" parties. Party themes include cartoon characters, sports, movie, TV shows, luau, western, holidays, and unique crazy fun theme ideas.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Gail_Leino


Snow Fun Scrapbook Layout

by Rachel Paxton

Playing in the snow is a great time to take candid pictures of your family. Where we live we might only get one or two days of snow each year, if we're lucky, so this year we decided to drive to the snow! We found a state park only a couple of hours away where they had great sledding hills, and took the whole family along for an afternoon of sledding and snow fun.

We took lots of great pictures that day. It's not often you get pictures of grandma and grandpa sledding and playing in the snow. The hard part is choosing which pictures to put in my scrapbook!

Materials Needed:

Dark blue piece of 12x12 scrapbook paper
White piece of 12x12 scrapbook paper
Paper Cutter
Two photos

I was trying to come up with a "snow" theme for my scrapbook layout. I chose a 12x12 dark blue piece of paper for the background of my page. I decided to accent the blue with lots of white to represent the snow.

For the first white accent I decided to create snowflakes to be the mats for my photos. There was only enough room for two photos on the page, so I cut out two snowflake mats.

To make the snowflake mats, I cut out a piece of white cardstock to be the size my mat would normally be. Then I folded the piece of paper in half as many times as I could and cut the corners off and cut little triangles into each side of the shape to create my snowflake. You can have fun with this part, just think back to making snowflakes as a child! I also cut out a couple of small snowflakes for extra decoration.

To add some snow to the background of my page, I took a 12x12 piece of white card stock and tore a strip of it to glue at the bottom of the dark blue background page. This gives the page the appearance of a snowy background (see photo).

Next I cut out a freehand snowman to glue on the side of the page. It really doesn't have to look perfect, it's supposed to look homemade!

I then printed out the words "Winter Wonderland" on my computer to create the heading for the page. I didn't mat this piece of paper. I just cut it out and glued it at the top of the background page.

Last but not least, I glued two photos to my "snowflake" mats and arranged them in the center of the page with the extra snowflake for an added accent.

Easy, and very cute!

Photos of finished snow fun scrapbook layout:

Rachel Paxton is a freelance writer and mom of four. For scrapbooking, card making, gift-giving ideas, and more family memory-making activities, visit http://www.crafty-moms.com/.

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2008 Holidays - Free Printable List

New Year's Day: January 1

Martin Luther King Day: January 21

Groundhog Day: February 2

Ash Wednesday: February 6

Chinese New Year: February 7

Lincoln's Birthday: February 12

Valentine's Day: February 14

Canada Flag Day: February 15

President's Day: February 18

Washington's Birthday: February 22

Leap Year Day: February 29

Commonwealth Day – Canada: March 10

Palm Sunday: March 16

St. Patrick's Day: March 17

Purim: Sundown March 19

Good Friday: March 21

Easter: Sunday, March 23

April Fool's Day: April 1

Passover Begins: Sundown April 19

Earth Day: April 22

Eastern Orthodox Easter: April 27

Cinco de Mayo: May 5

Mother's Day: May 11

Victoria Day – Canada: May 19

Memorial Day: Monday, May 26

US Flag Day: June 14

Father's Day: June 15

Canada Day: July 1

US Independence Day: July 4

Provincial Day – Canada: August 4

Labor Day: September 1

Grandparents Day: September 7

Rosh Hashanah: Sundown September 29

Yom Kippur: Sundown October 8

Columbus Day: October 13

Thanksgiving Day – Canada: October 13

Halloween: October 31

All Saint's Day: November 1

All Soul's Day: November 2

Veterans Day – US: November 11

Remembrance Day – Canada: November 11

Thanksgiving Day – US: November 27

Hanukkah Begins: Sundown December 21

Christmas Day: December 25

Kwanzaa Begins: December 26

Boxing Day: December 26

New Year's Eve: December 31

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