MAKE Present Perfect
Thursday is Make a Gift Day; a welcome nudge to create handmade presents. Home-crafted gifts are thrifty, bring joy to those who receive them, and making them together is a wonderful way to spend December evenings. Choosing scents and pouring soy candles is fun for older children, and younger ones might like to lend a hand and make the labels. Alternatively, fill your house with seasonal scents and create gifts by making this stovetop pot pourri.
Alternatively, succulents always make welcome gifts. Create your own weird and wonderful cactus pots from old plastic dinosaurs, eggshells, or books.
DO and EVENTS Walk into Winter
We might not be able to celebrate Christmas at large-scale events this year, but there are still ways to feel community spirit and good cheer. Many places have created self-guided festive trails to follow. Find Christmassy displays at Hereford Castle, elves in Wakefield or gingerbread houses in Belfast. For a more rural adventure, search the Wildlife Trusts’ events pages for a festive trail near you; Northumberlandia’s quiz will be fun or write and post a letter to Santa in Moss Bank Park in Bolton. Or find a ticketed, bright-and-shiny full-blown wintery lights trail near you here.
EVENT Friendly Notes
This year’s LSO’s Family Concert series has been an inspirational, fun way to spend time together as a family. The free classical music shows are interactive, irreverent, and steeped in deep knowledge. In this episode Rachel Leach finds out what happens when an orchestra – like the rest of us – has to keep its distance. She explores the separation of sounds, how music travels around an orchestra, and what you can hear between the notes. Find out more here
EVENT Protect and Conserve
Friday is World Wildlife Conservation Day. Environmental news and campaigns have, understandably, slipped off the agenda this year. But our planet still needs to be saved. And you can help! Today, the WWF highlight wildlife crime, and how the demand for illegal animal parts and products fuels a black market in animal trafficking. Perhaps you might take the Wildlife Conservation Day Pledge and spread the word, learn more about conserving nature, or make a donation to the WWF.
EVENT Light and Bright
Need some festive cheer? Tate Britain’s winter commission, by Chila Kumari Singh Burman has transformed the front of the building into a free, blazing feast of lights that combine mediations on colonialism and feminism, the retro thrills of the Blackpool illuminations, and a celebration of the power of Diwali. See Britannia transform into Kali, and pick out deities, shapes and words. Small children will love its joy and brightness, older kids will dive more deeply into the meaning behind the imagery, but everyone will take away its central message of good over evil and light over darkness. A healthy, much-needed shot of optimism for all Londoners! Until late January. More here
What we’ve been reading this week:
Miscarriage is still taboo – which is why Meghan’s words are so powerful “Over the past 15 years, as part of my research into different experiences of reproduction, I have interviewed countless women who endured their miscarriages in silence, forced to negotiate the chasm between their devastating emotional experience and the social expectation to carry on as normal.” Read more here