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It is just so hard for me to believe that the holiday season is upon us! We only have a few weeks until Halloween & Día de los Muertos, followed closely by Thanksgiving, Las Posadas, and Christmas.
This year, one of the books we're using is A Child's Geography by Ann Voskamp. I love the lessons because in addition to teaching the kids about the world we live in, it calls on us to do acts of service for the people we love and those who live nearby. There is a lot of cooking, baking, and more going on over here as we prepare meals for friends and neighbors.
This week we're working on making pan de muerto for the first time ever, too, since I've partnered with our local library to do a class on Día de los Muertos and set up an ofrenda! We shopped all afternoon for supplies. And each year, our homeschool group usually gets together to decorate holiday cookies. It's one of our favorite events of the holiday season. So my kitchen is seeing a lot of action between now and the end of the year.
To prepare for all the activity, I've also been doing a lot of remodeling in my house over the last few months. It's nothing major, mostly taping & bedding, painting, and wallpapering. I'm in the middle of finishing a new pantry my husband built for me in our kitchen. It is SO great to have storage space for food, tools, and the appliances that I don't use everyday! All my cookie cutters (I have a LOT) finally have a place of their own where they wait patiently for December to roll around.
This year, I'm hoping to host the cookie decorating party at our house. My kids have been begging to have everyone over so they can decorate and eat and play and decorate some more. I'm also toying with the idea of hosting a posada at our house one day. I just can't decide if I'm ready to pull that one off, though, as no one here knows anything about it. So it might be a little hard to arrange without practice.
Needless to say, as part of my kitchen upgrade, I'm playing with the idea getting a mixer and a new stove. Best Buy has a Frigidaire FGIF3061NF that has one of those convection ovens that reduces your baking time, and a Whirlpool with a double over (my greatest dream!) so you can cook two dishes at different temperatures at the same time! Can you imagine how much time that would save?? That gives me more time to spend
At the same time, though, our local church has been feeding low-income residents once or twice a month. One thing that is really important to me is for our kids to see the needs in our communities and give support when they are able. I'd love for us to be able to cook and contribute food, or even buy an oven for their kitchen - which is horribly outdated and desperately needs improvements made to meet the needs of their program. I want to nurture my children's sense of compassion and doing social good.
If you are looking for ways to streamline your own party hosting, or are ready to upgrade your kitchen before the holidays hit, or even if you are looking to give back to your community by supporting your local non-profits - Best Buy has some great ideas. You can read more about them on their website Holiday Prep page.
Disclosure: I'm a Best Buy Ambassador, which allows me to share with you special deals and information like this. I was compensated for this post, but all opinions, thoughts, and stories are completely my own!