RECIPE AND MAKE LIGHT UP
It’s Hanukkah! The eight-day, Jewish festival of lights starts this weekend. It’s celebrated around the world with candle-lighting, gifts and good food. Traditionally, adults and children play a game involving a dreidel – a die with a Hebrew letter on each of the four side. Find out how to make one and play the game here. Or make some Hanukkah recipes; find latke, desserts and challah inspiration here and vegan alternatives here. In London? Celebrate this Sunday with JW3 at Brent Cross Shopping Centre for free. Expect crafts, giant dreidel games, menorah making and lots of lights!
MAKE A MONTH OF WONDER
Advent starts next week, marking the start of the countdown to Christmas. But, this year, rather than a calendar stuffed with plastic toys or sugary chocolate, why not try something different? Our Natural Advent Challenge will fill your days with wonder and respect for the world around us. Alternatively, give something back. Find our Kindness Advent Calendar here and be inspired by The Mad House’s selection of ideas for generous advent acts. Or why not start a reverse advent calendar and put aside a donation to a food bank every day – find a bank near you and what’s needed here.
EVENT FRUGAL FUN
There may be bargains to be had on Black Friday (you can save 10 per cent on digital subscriptions to The Green Parent in our Green Friday offer), but alternatively, this Saturday, you might celebrate Buy Nothing Day. Set up as a protest against consumerism, it’s a chance to pause and reflect, to question what you buy and why you buy it. Find our ideas to help reduce consumption here. read how to create a gift economy here, and ways to celebrate Christmas on a budget here.
EVENT GO WEST
Tate St Ives comes alive this weekend, as it holds its Winter Festival. See the new Winter Light Commission, Aviary by Sammy Lee which projects flocks of computer-generated birds onto the domed ceiling of the gallery and enjoy pop-up talks, performance, films and family activities, all for only £1 for adults, free for kids. Nowhere near Cornwall? Find out more about Kemeneth, a new work by artist Adam James, created in collaboration with St Ives communities. On Sunday, you can explore the virtual, interactive world he’s created via an online LARP (live action role play) session, badwrongfun. No experience required, free.
EVENT WOOD BE GOOD
National Tree Week runs from 27 November to December 5. It’s a chance for communities and individuals to celebrate the wonders of branch and bark, get their hands dirty, and join in events that contribute something positive to the local treescape. Find an event near you here. Take part in tree dressing ceremonies, storytelling, tree planting, or wintery walks across the country. Alternatively, why not visit your favourite tree, or find one and create a new family ritual – it’s a brilliant way of bonding. Visit the Woodland Trust site for inspiration and to find a new green spot near you. Find our ten reasons to hug a tree here and our ten ways for kids to enjoy trees here
WHAT WE’RE READING What Becoming a Parent Really Does to Your Happiness Few choices are more important than whether to have children, and psychologists and other social scientists have worked to figure out what having kids means for happiness. Some of the most prominent scholars in the field have argued that if you want to be happy, it’s best to be childless. Others have pushed back, pointing out that a lot depends on who you are and where you live. But a bigger question is also at play: What if the rewards of having children are different from, and deeper than, happiness? Read more here
WHAT WE’RE WATCHING Alice’s Adventures Under Ground Fun, furious, frantic, and utterly fantastic! The surreal world of Lewis Carroll’s Alice, both in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass, is given an extra twist in Gerald Barry’s operatic treatment, performed by the Royal Opera. At less than an hour for the whole performance, this short, sharp shot of mayhem is ideal as a family treat. £7 Watch here