January Photo Prompts

Time to say good-bye to 2020 and welcome 2021! Are you looking for fun things to do in the new year? How about taking photos? Don’t worry. You do not need an expensive camera; your cell phone will work. Check out the following January photo prompts for inspiration.

Photo Prompts for January

  1. Welcome 2021-New Selfie
  2. Snow
  3. Ice
  4. On Your Right
  5. Sunrise
  6. Warm Beverage
  7. Cozy
  8. Shapes
  9. Mid-Day
  10. Black and White
  11. Street Art
  12. Backroads
  13. Out Your Window
  14. Winter
  15. On your Left
  16. Birds
  17. Signs
  18. New
  19. Old
  20. Skyline
  21. Tree
  22. Middle
  23. Down Low
  24. Clouds
  25. Blue
  26. Shiny
  27. Glass
  28. Water
  29. Favorite
  30. Food
  31. Patterns

Have fun with your photo prompts. Print out your photos, make scrapbooks, or share on social media.

 

 

Self-Care Ideas for January

Self-care is essential for your physical and mental health. The winter months, social distancing, and other stressors make self-care a priority. Check out the following list of self-care ideas for January.

  1. New Year’s Day! Time to relax and count your blessings.
  2. Take a long nap or sleep in.
  3. Stay hydrated. Winter months are a perfect time to try herbal teas or other hot beverages.
  4. Indulge with a long hot shower or a bubble bath.
  5. Go on a nature walk.
  6. Write in a journal.
  7. Call a friend or your grandma.
  8. Write letters or thank you notes for holiday gifts.
  9. Go for a drive.
  10. Listen to loud music.
  11. Start or return to your exercise routine.
  12. Organize a portion of your living space.
  13. Meditate or pray.
  14. Get crafty.
  15. Spend an afternoon with a good book.
  16. Bring out your inner child and color in coloring books. Some of the adult versions are very interesting.
  17. Build a snowman.
  18. Go outdoors and take photos.
  19. Splurge and order pizza to go.
  20. Unplug from your electronic devices for an hour, an afternoon, or the entire day.
  21. Do a random act of kindness.
  22. Try a new recipe.
  23. Eat your favorite food.
  24. Buy yourself something. Warm, fuzzy socks are perfect for cold winter days.
  25. Make a playlist for quiet moments or bedtime listening.
  26. Binge-watch your favorite series.
  27. Drink hot cocoa with lots of marshmallows or whipped cream.
  28. Pamper yourself with an in-home spa day.
  29. Make a fruit smoothie.
  30. Create a vision board.
  31. Watch the sunrise or sunset.

Journal Writing Prompts for January

Is one of your New Year’s resolution to keep a daily journal? Are you uncertain about how to begin? Or do you just need a little inspiration? Check out the following journal writing prompts for January.

  1. Happy New Year’s Day! How did you spend New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day? Did your celebrations go as planned?
  2. Did you make any New Year’s resolutions? Why or why not?
  3. Write 5 things about the holiday season that you do not want to forget. Go into detail.
  4. Write a good-bye letter to 2020.
  5. What did 2020 teach you about yourself, family, friends, community, and the world?
  6. Write 10 major goals for 2021.
  7. Write 3 minor goals for January.
  8. What are your hopes for 2021 for yourself, family, friends, community, and the world? Provide details.
  9. What is your favorite quote? Why does this quote bring you inspiration? Do you have a new quote for 2021?
  10. What is your favorite time of day? Why?
  11. Free write for 15 minutes. Don’t forget to set a timer.
  12. What made you laugh today? Why was this moment funny?
  13. Create a blessing or gratitude list. Try to list at least 10 things.
  14. What small acts can you do in 2021 to make the world a better place?
  15. What new thing would you like to try in 2021?
  16. In what ways would you like to improve your life in 2021?
  17. Create a local bucket list. For example, visiting small businesses or order take out from individually owned establishments can be part of your list.
  18. Using 5 words, describe yourself. Be positive. Be kind to yourself. Why did you pick these 5 words?
  19. Pick one word to describe 2020. Now pick another word to describe 2021. Why did you pick these two words?
  20. Pick a book title for your life. Yes, this can be a totally made-up title. Why did you pick this title?
  21. What songs bring you inspiration? Why?
  22. Write about a loved one who has passed.
  23. Describe your neighbors in detail.
  24. If you could own a business, what would you do? Why?
  25. List 3 of your favorite television shows. Why do you like these programs?
  26. Describe your day in detail.
  27. What is the most stressful thing in your life right now? What are you doing to combat the stress? Can you change the situation?
  28. Write a letter to your future self. Describe how you think 2021 will go for you and your family. Seal the letter. Read at the end of the year.
  29. Write a book review.
  30. What you like to change about yourself? Be realistic.
  31. What were the high and low points of January 2021?

January Drawing Prompts

Drawing or doodling is a great creative outlet for all ages. If you are spending more time indoors due to social distancing or wintry weather, drawing can easily turn into a family activity. Do you need inspiration? Check out the following drawing prompts for January.

  1. 2021
  2. Shapes
  3. Snowflakes
  4. Eyes
  5. Love
  6. Sun
  7. Signs
  8. Snowman
  9. Tree
  10. Food
  11. Animal
  12. Clouds
  13. Water
  14. Mittens
  15. Snow Globe
  16. Penguin
  17. Self-Portrait
  18. Winter Boots
  19. Door, Lock, & Key
  20. Nature
  21. Building
  22. Winter Scene
  23. Friends
  24. Patterns
  25. Upside Down
  26. Big
  27. Small
  28. 3 Similiar Items
  29. 3 Different Items
  30. Spirals
  31. Windows

Try experimenting with different drawing instruments. Markers, crayons, pencils, colored pencils, chalk, charcoal, or paint pens yield diverse results. But remember, above all, have fun.

 

How to Make New Year’s Eve Family Night

Who is ready for 2021? Last year at this time, no one knew how 2020 would play out. The year has been full of challenges. Now, 2021 is almost here. The obstacles are still present, but hope and vision for a better year are on the horizon.

Like most of the year, staying home with your family is your plan for New Year’s Eve.  Use the evening for quality time, host a family fun night. Make ringing in 2021 a celebration for your whole family to enjoy.

Ways to Enjoy New Year’s Eve With Your Family

Your New Year’s Eve celebration does not need to be elaborate. With a little planning, you can easily turn your evening into a long-lasting memory.

Party Food

Food for your New Year’s Eve should be your family’s favorites. The holiday only comes once a year. So, time to have some fun. Do you need some food ideas? Check out the following list to help you plan for your New Year’s Eve family night.

    • Pizza: Who doesn’t love pizza at parties? Order your favorite pizza. Or make homemade pizzas together to fit everyone’s exact tastes.
    • Finger Food: Make finger sandwiches. Even peanut butter and jelly sandwiches cut into fours are an excellent treat for New Year’s Eve.
    • Sweets: Serve special treats for your New Year’s Eve family night. Bake cookies, brownies, or other family favorites.
    • Celebration Cake: Buy or make a 2021 cake. The cake does not need to be fancy. A simple cake with white frosting and 2021 written in bright-colored frosting is perfect.
    • Ice Cream: Buy your favorite gallon of ice cream or two. Create a sundae bar with different topping choices, including whipped cream, syrups, nuts, candy sprinkles, marshmallows, and cherries. Allow everyone to create their own sundae masterpiece.

Drinks

Serve different family-friendly drinks for the evening activities. Of course, water should always be on the menu. But consider sparkling cider or punch for a midnight toast. Homemade hot cocoa is another delicious idea to add to the celebration.

Activities

Plan various family fun activities leading up to midnight.

  • Games: Play board or card games. Sitting together and talking is great for quality family time.
  • Video Games: Multi-player games are perfect for a New Year’s Eve family fun night.
  • Do Crafts: Make paper crowns or silly hats out of construction paper for your New Year’s Eve celebration. Create themed decorations to display.
  • Movies: Binge-watch your favorite movie or series until midnight.
  • Scavenger Hunt: Hide clues throughout your home to lead to a final treasure. Plain white envelopes work well for this activity. Place a note with enough information to lead your searchers from one clue to the next. The final treasure can be a special treat, coupons for future activities, or, depending on your children’s age, cash.

Make Unforgettable Memories

The best part about spending New Year’s Eve at home is making memories.

  • Photo Booth: Create a photo area. Use a blanket, sheet, shower curtain, or large piece of material for a backdrop. Place different props out, including hats, crowns, beads, scarves, and cardboard cut-outs. The accessories can be homemade, or go to your local dollar store to find items. Make a point to take pictures every hour leading up to midnight. The sillier the photo, the better; remember to print your photos to place into a 2021 scrapbook.
  • Time Capsule: Create a time capsule. Ask your family or friends questions. For example, what do you want to do when you grow up? The question is simple. But when opening the time capsule the following year or two, you may find the answer amusing or inspiring. Place photos, stories, or other memorabilia into your time capsule. Yes, a shoebox works as a time capsule.
  • Make Memory Cards: Index cards work well for this type of activity. Ask each of your family members to write out favorite moments in 2020. You may need to help younger children. Encourage drawing. Each card is a perfect addition to a scrapbook or photo album.

Regardless of how you celebrate, enjoy the evening with your family. You only get to ring in 2021 once in your lifetime.

21 Inspirational Quotes for the New Year

Do you need some inspiration to ring in the New Year? 2020 will definitely be a year to remember—time to move forward with some inspiring words.

  1. “It is never too late to be what you might have been.”-George Eliot.
  2. “The best is yet to come.”-Frank Sinatra.
  3. “You’ll never get bored when you try something new. There’s really no limit to what you can do.”-Dr. Suess
  4. “Celebrate endings—for they precede new beginnings.” —Jonathan Lockwood Huie.
  5. “Ring out the old, ring in the new,
    Ring, happy bells, across the snow:
    The year is going, let him go;
    Ring out the false, ring in the true.” —Alfred Lord Tennyson
  6. “Every moment is a fresh beginning.” —T.S. Eliot
  7. “Be at war with your vices, at peace with your neighbors, and let every new year find you a better man.” —Benjamin Franklin.
  8. “You are never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream.”-C.S. Lewis.
  9. “Every moment is a fresh beginning.” —T.S. Eliot
  10. “If you’re brave enough to say goodbye, life will reward you with a new hello.” —Paulo Coehlo.
  11. “It’s never too late to become who you want to be. I hope you live a life that you’re proud of, and if you find that you’re not, I hope you have the strength to start over.” —F. Scott Fitzgerald
  12. “The secret of change is to focus all of your energy, not on fighting the old, but on building the new.” —Socrates.
  13. “It takes courage to grow up and become who you really are.” —E.E. Cummings.
  14. “I don’t know where I’m going from here, but I promise it won’t be boring.” —David Bowie.
  15. “The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams.” —Eleanor Roosevelt.
  16. “New year—a new chapter, new verse, or just the same old story? Ultimately we write it. The choice is ours.”-Alex Morritt.
  17.  “Whatever it is you’re scared of doing, do it. Make your mistakes, next year and forever.” —Neil Gaiman.
  18. “Every single year, we’re a different person. I don’t think we’re the same person all of our lives.”-Steven Spielberg.
  19. “Tomorrow is the first blank page of a 365-page book. Write a good one.”-Brad Paisley.
  20. “Write it on your heart that every day is the best day in the year.”-Ralph Waldo Emerson.
  21. “Celebrate endings—for they precede new beginnings.” —Jonathan Lockwood Huie

 

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Simple Ways to Celebrate the Winter Solstice

It’s here! Today marks the first official day of winter in the northern hemisphere. Knowing as the longest night of the year, the Winter Solstice marks the return of the light. Slowly the days will grow longer and the night shorter.

How to Celebrate the Winter Solstice

People around the globe celebrate the Winter Solstice in many ways. If you are looking for simple ways to celebrate the start of the winter season with your family, consider the following ideas.

Go for a Nature Walk

Even if the sun is starting to set, go outdoors. Tonight, after sunset, look just above the horizon to view Jupiter and Saturn’s rare alignment. The lining up of the two planets will create a rare appearance of light, also known as the Christmas star. Here are a few tips for your nature walk after dark. 

  • Dress appropriately. Remember to wear layers to keep warm.
  • Carry your cell phone, but put the device on vibrate.
  • Use a flashlight if needed.
  • Remember to walk in a known location for safety. Walking on a familiar path is essential if the sun is setting.

Go to the Library

On your walk or car ride, go to your local library to check out books about the Winter Solstice. Some quick title suggestion includes:

Your local library, online shopping center, or bookstore has numerous books related to the Winter Solstice.

Eat 

Combine your Winter Solstice celebration with your dinner. Host a special family night meal.

  • A hearty Winter Solstice Soup to help you stay warm.
  • Swedish Saffron Buns or create bread in the shape of the sun to welcome back the light-filled days.
  • Mulled Wine, Hot Tea, or Eggnog
  • Winter Salad
  • Brussel Sprouts
  • Butternut Squash
  • Bake a cake in the shape of a Yule Log
  • Use nature and winter-themed items to decorate a cake.

Feed the Birds 

Long winter nights mean less available food for birds. Add extra seeds to your bird feeder. Or decorate a tree with edible food for the birds to enjoy.

Make Nature Crafts

Use items from your nature walk for crafting. Pine cones, small twigs, or acorns are perfect materials for wreaths and other nature-inspired crafts.

The Winter Solstice is a once a year event. Even if you just decide to curl up under a comforter with a good book, take a moment out of your busy work, school, or holiday schedule to celebrate the longest night.

 

How to Make a Christingle

Is this the first time hearing the word Christingle? Are you asking yourself, “what exactly is a Christingle?” Well, before you start searching, continue reading about the long-standing history of Christingle.

Christingle is a symbolic way to celebrate the Christian faith. Dating back to the mid-1700s, Christingle was part of a German worship service. Representing Jesus bringing light to the world,  John de Watteville, a minister, gave each child a lighted candle with a red ribbon.

In the late 1960s, Christingles became popular in England. Generally, Christingle services are held the week before or part of Christmas Eve services. Due to the pandemic, Christmas 2020 is going to be different. But you and your family can try new things. Making a Christingle is a wonderful new tradition to begin.

How to Make a Christingle

Are you wondering how to make a Christingle? The activity is simple; however, each piece has a specific meaning.

List of Needed Items

I used the candy that I had on hand.
  • Orange: The base of the Christingle is an orange or tangerine representing the whole world.
  • White Candle: Standing tall and straight, the white candle represents God giving light to the world.
  • Red Ribbon: Tying the ribbon around the orange represents the blood of Jesus and dying on the cross.
  • Four Skewers or Toothpicks: The four toothpicks represent North, South, East, and West. They also represent the four changing seasons. If you use skewers, you can fit more pieces of fruit and candy on to your stick.
  • Pieces of Dried Fruits: In addition to dried fruit, you can use nuts, miniature marshmallows, and sweets. The items represent the fruits of the Earth.

In addition to the list above, you will need tin foil. The tinfoil is a precautionary measure to prevent the dripping candle wax from getting into the orange’s interior.

Next, you start the task of creating your own Christingle. Younger children will need help with the first step. Slicing the top of your orange makes a hole large enough to fit your white candle’s base. Before pushing the candle down into the orange, cover the opening with foil.

When your base is complete, set aside. Now begin to place the dried fruits or other sweets onto the skewers. Repeat this step four times.

Place the candy, dried fruits, marshmallows, or nuts on to the skewers.

Now, push the four skewers into the orange. Place the skewers on each side to create a balanced appearance. Finally, wrap your piece of red ribbon around the orange and tie it into a bow. Congratulations on finishing your first Christingle.

I sat my Christingle on top of a Mason jar while I worked on it.

Staying close to home for the holidays is the time to do family crafts. Have fun making Christingles. Light the candles to take a photo in front of your tree on Christmas Eve. (Always practice safety procedures when using candles).

Make extras to give away. Just remember, do not cut the hole into the orange until you are ready to give your Christingle to the intended person.

Reference:

The History of Christingles.  https://www.whychristmas.com/customs/christingles.shtml

Ways to Celebrate Your Baby’s First Christmas

Are you celebrating your baby’s first Christmas this year? Due to the pandemic, numerous Christmas events are canceled, including visits with Santa Claus. But staying close to home doesn’t mean your precious little one’s first Christmas will be unmemorable.

Have fun! Enjoy! Your baby’s first Christmas is the perfect time to start new traditions or revisit old ones. Celebrate every moment. Check out the following list of ways to celebrate your baby’s first Christmas at home.

Write a Yearly Christmas Letter

Write a letter to your baby. Detail all your activities and feelings surrounding your baby’s first Christmas. Next, you can place the letter in an envelope to store in a shoebox or use a journal to make your entry.

Each year, add a letter or entry. When your child becomes an adult, give the letters or journal as part of Christmas gifts. The memories instantly turn into a lasting treasure.

Are you wondering what to write? Consider adding some of these details to your baby’s first Christmas letter.

  • Your baby’s age
  • Date of the letter
  • Favorite new toy
  • Reaction to the Christmas tree
  • Favorite Christmas song
  • Who was there on Christmas

Send a Christmas Card

Unless you want the post date, you do not technically need to send the Christmas card. Similar to the letter-writing activity, give your child a Christmas card each year. Write a small note inside the card.

Ask your friends or family to send your baby a Christmas card. Request your loved ones to write a small note, favorite Bible verse, Christmas tradition, or other activities.

Christmas Ornaments

Buy or make your baby’s first Christmas ornament. The new ornament does not need to be expensive. A plain ornament from your local dollar store is perfect. But remember to add a date. Buying an ornament for your child each year is a beautiful tradition. When your child is an adult, the decorations turn into a treasured gift.

Christmas Season Photos

Get camera happy! Taking lots of photos is one of the best ways to celebrate and remember your baby’s first Christmas.

  • Family Photo: Set your timer or do a selfie to take a family photo to celebrate your baby’s first Christmas. The picture can be casual or dress up in your good clothes for a more formal appearance.
  • Pajama Photo: Buy matching pajamas, strike a pose, and take fun photos.
  • Sibling Photo: Snap a photo of your new little one with older siblings. (Yes, your dog or cat can be part of the picture if your new baby is your first).
  • By the Tree: Hold your little one up to the Christmas tree to hang an ornament. (Depending on the age of your baby, you may have to perform the actual holding on to the ornament.) This simple task is a perfect picture to use your baby’s first ornament.

Make a Christmas Scrapbook

Print out all your photos from the holiday season, save the Christmas cards and other memorabilia to make a scrapbook. Add stickers, photo details, and other embellishments to make the scrapbook a long-lasting treasure.

Observing your baby’s first Christmas is a memorable event. Celebrate every moment of the holiday season with your new little one. Enjoy the Christmas season. Small activities can easily turn into long-lasting memories.

 

Handmade Christmas Wrapping Paper Craft

Are you looking to start a new Christmas tradition? How about making handmade Christmas wrapping paper for all of your gifts? Doing Christmas crafts as a family activity is a great way to celebrate the holiday season. Best of all, making homemade gift wrap is an easy project for all ages.

Materials Needed:

  • Sponges of any size and shape
  • Scissors
  • Butcher paper, newsprint, or other types of packing paper (You can purchase rolls of brown shipping paper at your local dollar store).
  • Paint
  • Containers for paint
  • Markers

Instructions:

  1. Cut sponges into various shapes, for example, Christmas trees, gift boxes, stars, candy canes, and ornaments. (Help younger children cut the sponges into shapes.)
  2. Spread your choice of paper on a flat surface.
  3. Squirt small amounts of paint in your container.
  4. Dip your cut sponge into the paint.
  5. Make certain the paint covers the entire sponge for a clear shape.
  6. Press sponge on to the paper. When you are finished, simply rinse the sponges of the entire paint residue. You can use the sponges more than once.
  7. Continue the process until you reach your desired design.
  8. Allow the paint shapes to dry.
  9. Use markers to add outlines, Christmas songs, Bible verses, names, or other designs to your gift wrap.
  10. Now, wrap your Christmas gifts and enjoy it.

Homemade gift wrap is an excellent way to provide a personalized touch to your presents. Use your imagination to create numerous sheets of wrapping paper. Set the mood for family fun by playing Christmas music, drinking hot chocolate, and eating snacks.