A resource for families in Santa Cruz County
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Insight from The Snowy Day
Between Thanksgiving and New Years, we seek the warmth of our homes and return to our roots as we reach into our heritage and forge a blend of our childhood and new traditons. We create a festive, magical spirit of Christmas, Hanukkah, Solstice and the relatively new Kwanzaa celebration or perhaps a mix.

Out of curiosity, and thinking I would just check it out for a few minutes, I clicked on The Snowy Day, an Amazon animated version of Ezra Jack Keats' popular story. The short film was delightful! I stayed with it all 37 minutes. It reminded me that my favorite ways of teaching tolerance, kindness, empathy, compassion, respect for differences, handicaps, talents, others' ideas etc. are through exposure to quality literature and modeling behavior. The best parents and teachers know this. The children are watching us!

Here's a little food for thought! The 10 Most Significant Education Studies of 2020. I like number 6.
Meet Eric! "Eric along with the Golden State Toy Train Operators brought the beloved annual pop-up exhibit Toy Trains to the MAH back in 2005. Opening for the 14th year, we chugged through questions for you to get to know one of the volunteers who has been laying the tracks and creating the magic of Toy Trains every year." Read more about Eric and friends who LOVE toy trains in a MAH interview!

Almost everywhere we shop, we can find gingerbread house kits. Some of you are keeping the children occupied with creating entire villages! Local Moms recommend the best tamale sources and where to find the toys.

Lastly, despite the Stay-At-Home Order beginning Thursday, December 17th at 11:59pm ((details at end of this newsletter), please support retailers, restaurants and classes. Their owners and employees are your neighbors; they ARE essential!

Enjoy your preparations and make sure to get outside for walks, hikes and biking! Parmalee
Family-to-Family Class
Please help us to spread the word about our upcoming Family-to-Family class. This is a free, 8-session education program for loved ones of those with mental health challenges. Family members, friends, and caretakers who are supporting someone who is diagnosed with, or experiencing warning signs of, a mental health condition are en-to-Family couraged to join.

Topics in the class include up-to-date information on various mental health conditions, helpful communication and problem solving skills, working with and finding providers, family impact, crisis management, and much more. 

Our winter class begins Tuesday, January 5th from 6:00 - 8:30 p.m. and will run for 8 consecutive weeks. This will be a virtual class offered via Zoom.

For more information, please go to www.namiscc.org/family-to-family.html. For any questions, and to enroll, please contact our Family-to-Family Coordinator, Fay Rector at 831-254-8587 or rectorf@yahoo.com,
It's Controversial!
So... become an Information Detective!
How am I to know who is right and what is best for my family?!

Daily, those of us who insist on seeking facts so we can make informed decisions, find conflicting messages. How are we to guide our children through this age of information, disinformation, lies, truth, controversy, censorship, coverups?

  • "The science backs up this decision." or "There is no scientific data to back up this decision."
  • Wearing masks protects us and others." or "Wearing masks makes no difference."
  • "Most children and teachers are safest in school." or "It's too dangerous to open the schools."
  • "Tests for Covid-19 are reliable." or " Tests for Covid-19 show too many false positives and you cannot rely on them."
  • "The earth is warming." or "We are entering a little ice age."
  • "Politician A is honest." or "Politician A is a crook."
  • "Science says restaurants are dangerous" or "Science does not back up the idea that restaurants are dangerous."

Would you rather have too much information or even conflicting information than not enough information, or even no information? What about censorship --for you, me, the children, society? With the children of course we are vigilant. Let's make fact seeking a game. Help the children become Information Detectives. Make it a family mission to seek facts!
Toy Trains at the MAH!
Get whisked away into the whimsical world of Toy Trains and enjoy the 15th year of this beloved annual pop-up exhibit at the MAH.
Dec. 15-27
Members of the Golden State Toy Train Operators will be on hand to once again share their amazing collection of toy trains through the windows of the MAH’s atrium. Watch from outside in the Secret Garden as the trains chug through the festive beach town in this new “storefront display." This year will look a little different, but we’re excited to continue this holiday tradition safely for both you and the Train Operators.
Family Events
Check websites before you go!
Santa Cruz Parent Calendar
Reserve space for your favorite holiday events!
Tara Redwood School Appeals to Community - Tara Redwood School is expanding and seeks community support for its new building. Details
This year, Santa will be driving through Watsonville neighborhoods to spread some holiday cheer. Be on the lookout for him and his helpers as they pass through your neighborhood. Details
Ginger Bread House Contest - Boulder Creek United Methodist - Submit photos of your best gingerbread house to win prizes. Details
Roaring Camp Winter Wonderland - December 18-23,
Get in the holiday spirit by bringing family to ride the Redwood Forest Steam Train to Bear Mountain. After your trip head over to the Winter Wonderland walk through at Bret Harte Hall. Pass through festive decorated trees and Christmas scenes on your way to see Santa Claus. Greet Santa from a safe distance and pick up a cup of cocoa to warm up in our picnic areas on your way out. Details
Boardwalk Winter Activities - Nov 23 – Jan 3, 2021 - Get in the holiday spirit – celebrate the season at the beach! All festivities are outdoors with enhanced safety and health protocols in accordance with state and local guidelines. Details
Virtual Guided Tour of the Old City of Jerusalem and Bethlehem
Friday, December 18, 4–5:30pm, $20 Join a virtual guided tour as we explore the Holy City through each of its four quarters as well as the nearby city of Bethlehem. Details
Renegade Reindeer Run 2020 - Please join us for the 4th Annual Reindeer Run of Boulder Creek. This year the BCRD Foundation will host this fun family-friendly 5k through downtown BC and Irwin Way to raise funds for our non-profit. We have prepared the run for a series of days December 23-27th to space out attendance. Details
Christmas Trees Farms for those who want to make the selection of a locally grown tree a family outing. Details
Tech Talks: All About Photos (iPhone/iPad) - Dec 17, 11am - 12pm - Make the most of your camera and photos. Join us for discussion about storing and sharing photos on your Apple mobile device. We will cover the options on the Apple apps and look at other third party apps as well. Register Now!
Nutcracker the Movie, Agape Dance - December 18-19-20 5:30 & 7:30 - Bring the family to this beautiful Holiday Movie in the comfort and safety of your own car! Agape supports Jacob’s Heart! Boardwalk Drive-In, Tickets: AgapeDance.com Details
Nutcracker Movie Magic, Los Gatos Ballet, Dec 18-31 - We are excited to present the most beloved holiday classic directly to you through Movie Magic! Details
Clara’s Dream A Nutcracker Film, Santa Cruz Ballet Theatre, Filmed throughout Santa Cruz County. Stream the film from home starting Dec 13
Farley’s Christmas Wonderland - Dec 10-Jan 1, 5:30 - 8:30pm - A walk-in Christmas display - Christmas trees, garlands, sleighs, an elf village, a miniature village, and a log cabin that Santa uses, elves, fairies and... Details
Holiday Lights 2020, Santa Cruz County Fairgrounds, Reservations go on sale Nov. 2. Event is open Friday, Saturday, Sunday, Nov. 27-Dec. 27, 5:30-9:30pm. Details
Dungeons and Dragons, Tuesdays, 3:30-6:30pm, Attention tweens and teens — Adventure awaits! A friendly introduction to Dungeons & Dragons for players of all experience levels, led by an experienced player. Details

All the County Farmers Markets!
Tales to Tails - Mondays 3:30-4pm, Register! Santa Cruz Public Libraries Details

Covid - 19 Update

To learn more about the COVID-19 vaccine, visit: https://covid19.ca.gov/vaccines/

Public Health Department of Santa Cruz County
To protect critical ICU capacity and protect the health and safety of residents, Santa Cruz County and the remaining Bay Area region counties will implement the Regional Stay-At-Home Order beginning Thursday, December 17th at 11:59 p.m. Data released from the state shows that ICU capacity in the Bay Area region has fallen below 15 percent of capacity. The Regional-Stay-At-Home Order will be in place for a minimum of three weeks. For more information, visit: https://covid19.ca.gov/stay-home-except-for-essential-needs/

Santa Cruz County Office of Education - December 8th Letter from Superintendent