1. Stargaze. December offered three nights of meteor showers, according to the Jet Propulsion Laboratory at California Institute of Technology. First up was the Geminids Meteor Shower, or Winter’s Fireworks, with Dec. 13-14 (well, we missed this one!) the best time for viewing. According to Telescopes.com, on Dec. 22, the Ursids Meteor Shower happens as Earth moves through Comet 8P Tuttle’s dust trail. With patience, you could see five to 10 meteors per hour if you’re looking closely at Ursa Minor, aka the Little Dipper.
2. List the good stuff. What made your family smile? Laugh? What will you always remember about 2013?
3. Grab a camera and snap photos of your kids sleeping. If they’re like my daughter, it’s one of the few times they’re still and peaceful.
4. Make a playlist of your family’s Top 10. For us, it would be One Direction’s “Best Song Ever,” Taylor Swift’s “I Knew You Were Trouble,” New Kids On the Block’s “Remix (I Like),” and “What Does the Fox Say.”
5. Screen your favorite tween/teen flicks with your kids. We’ve watched “The Karate Kid,” “Grease,” and we are working our way to “Sixteen Candles.”
6. Let your kid cook. It can be as simple as grilled cheeses or cookies. Of course, you’ll need to be around to supervise younger children and help older ones, just in case.
7. Volunteer or donate together. Each season, my daughter and I gather up too-small clothing and donate it to a home for abused children. Most libraries take book donations. Or you can volunteer to serve meals to the needy. Drive your elderly neighbor to the grocery store. Do some good.
8. Create a memory album. Take the list you made earlier and find photos to match to make a 2013 scrapbook. Make it as simple or as fancy as you’d like.
9. Bundle up and walk outside. Alone or with your family, a bracing stroll around the block can wake you up, help you think or just decompress.
10. Drink a warm beverage while sitting outside. Hot chocolate, coffee or hot tea (with or without a little extra) will warm your insides while you get some fresh air.
11. Catch a play. We saw our local children’s theater production of “A Christmas Carol” this year as is our tradition. You might prefer a non-holiday show. Check to see what’s on stage and support the arts.
12. Head to the drive-in. The next best thing to watching a movie at home in your pajamas is catching one at the drive-in in your pajamas, well, pjs for the the kids anyway. No drive-ins around? Head to the dollar movie theater for cheaper fun.
13. Grab a book. Relax in the tub. Enjoy the quiet while you can. Soon it will be 2014 and the fun will start again.
What do you plan to do before the year ends?