Sure, November may have a reputation as that dreary month between Halloween and the start of holiday-party season. But that’s why it’s the perfect time to cozy up with the family before your calendar fills up.
Host a family movie marathon
The shorter days have us yearning to cocoon with blankets, movies and our favourite people. Dedicate a weekend afternoon to watching a couple classic family flicks from when you were a kid. You can even serve a dinner of everyone’s favourite finger foods—and popcorn, of course. Lots of popcorn.
To Anne of Green Gables at the Orpheus Theatre, from November 20–29
Why? Because the adventures of our favourite Canadian heroine, Anne Shirley, have been adapted for the stage with beautiful music and dancing that will enchant fans old and new. It’s a wonderful way to introduce your kids to the classic story.
The toys they’re most likely to ask Santa for
Nothing raises our holiday-shopping stress more than being unable to buy the hot toy they’ll be looking for under the tree. So if there’s any chance theirs could be the sell-out toy of the season (think: anything Shopkins or Star Wars: The Force Awakens), get it now. Most big retailers have good return policies in case your child changes their wish list before that letter to Santa is written.
Psych! Outwit Your Friends
Why? It’s perfect for road trips, game nights, and family gatherings, and it was developed by comedian Ellen DeGeneres—so you know it’s going to be hilarious. The interface and the concept are easy to understand: players make up fake answers to real trivia questions and compete against each other to guess the correct answers among the group’s outrageous fakes.
Unfinished Business: Women Men Work Family by Anne-Marie Slaughter
This new book is by the woman whose article in The Atlantic, ‘Why women still can’t have it all,’ got the world talking about why it remains difficult for moms to have high-powered careers. Anne-Marie Slaughter was the first female director of policy planning in the U.S. State Department in 2009, but citing parenting needs, left that job for a more flexible career in academia. Her thought-provoking book will have people talking on the party circuit this holiday season.
Why? Because this app was created by respected Canadian psychotherapist, parent educator and mom of two Andrea Nair. She was inspired to make the app after a couple of her articles listing phrases to use when toddlers melt down went viral. Readers and clients would say things like, ‘I wish I could tattoo these on my arm.’ Since that sounded drastic, Andrea decided to put them in parents’ back pockets instead. The advice is neatly organized by situation, including ‘Getting Out The Door’ and—everybody’s favourite—’Biting/Throwing.’
By hitting a consignment store for holiday clothes
Why? We know how it goes with those cute outfits you buy the kids for the holiday season—they wear them to one or two parties, then outgrow them by the time the season rolls around again. Save yourself the cash and keep a few items out of the landfill by getting holiday garb second-hand this month while the stores, or sites, are still well stocked.
Remembrance Day Cupcake Liner Poppies
Why? Because this sweet, simple craft is a nice way to spark conversation about what November 11th is all about. Plus, you’ll have fun making them together on a rainy morning this month.
Save the lives of sick and injured kids by going to the 3rd Annual Save State One Game-a-Thon for Extra Life on Saturday, November 7 at 9 am at Algonquin College
Why? Extra Life is a 24-hour gaming marathon in support of Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals. There will be freeplay, tournaments and and multiplayer console stations. Players can register in advance, make a team and fundraise, or simply make a donation at the door.