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Tuesday

Snow day magic: 21 ways to bring on a school snow day




Try these marvelous magic tricks for snow day success.

“It’s a snow day!  No school today!”

Who doesn’t jump for joy at these welcome winter words? Obviously, education is important, but the occasional sudden snow day off from school can be a rare gift indeed.

Across the Northern half of the United States (and in many other areas as well), youngsters for years have practiced marvels and mystical techniques for conjuring up snow days. Countless teachers (and even parents and school principals) have participated in snow day magic tricks as well.

One might even jokingly call these snow day tricks white magic. Would you like to know these wintry wonders for causing school closures for snow?

Adapted from public domain photo.


First, what makes a snow day so marvelous?

A snow day is a surprise gift, an unexpected respite.

At the first sign of snow, students and teachers awaken early to stare at the news-flash tickers at the bases of their television screens, watching county after county list their school closures. Others click eagerly on cell phones and computers, checking online listings for snow-closed schools.

Prayers are uttered, fingers are crossed and wishes are made.

“Please! Please! Please! List our school,” kids of all ages cry out.

Finally, as the desired schools are listed among the snow day school closures, youngsters and educators may rejoice, even as working parents begin pounding the phones to arrange emergency child care for the day.

A snow day is an unplanned vacation day.

No one seems to mind that too many snow day school closures may extend the end of the school year or cause the omission of certain teacher workshop days during the spring semester. In fact, no one seems to mind an occasional snow day school closure at all.

Students who have completed their homework and teachers who have finished their classroom preparations the night before may be delighted to have the day off – with no agendas or obligations. Those who may have fallen behind on their assignments may see a snow day as a rescue, offering them a one-day extension to finish their projects.

For all of these reasons – and perhaps more – students and teachers have practiced snow day magic tricks for generations, hoping to tip the scales and mystically make meteorological matters work in their favor. According to most kids, of course, the snow day magic tricks only work with maximum (or unanimous) participation at any particular school.

Certain students have been blamed for failing to perform snow day magic tricks – when the snow day magic has not resulted in days off from school.

Whether these snow day marvels work or not may be difficult to prove or disprove, but folks swear by these legends. 

What are the snow day magic tricks?

Snow day magic includes a myriad of steps. To optimize results, students and teachers may perform each and every snow day magic trick – at the first sign of snow. Here are 21 of the most popular snow day magic tricks:

NOTE: Written by this author, this copyrighted material originally appeared on another publisher’s site. That site no longer exists. This author (LAN/Practically at Home) holds all rights to this content. No republication is allowed without permission.

  1. Do all your homework.
  2. Draw a white chalk outline all the way around your bedroom doorframe.
  3. Drop a snowball in the toilet.
  4. Hide a frozen white crayon under your bed.
  5. Line your bedroom doorway with white crayons.
  6. Place a white plastic spoon on your bedroom windowsill.
  7. Plan a couple of extra appointments for the day.
  8. Put a white crayon in the freezer.
  9. Run five times around the kitchen table in each direction, while wearing pajamas.
  10. Set a white stuffed animal toy on your windowsill.
  11. Sleep backwards in your bed (head to foot).
  12. Sleep in pajamas, but while wearing them backwards.
  13. Spin around ten times in each direction, wearing pajamas.
  14. Sprinkle several ice cubes in the toilet.
  15. Stand on your head, and sing “Frosty the Snowman.”
  16. Stash a soup spoon under your pillow.
  17. Stick something silver under your pillow.
  18. Store a snowball in the freezer.
  19. Throw ice cubes at a tree outside.
  20. Tuck a wooden spoon under your pillow.
  21. Wear pajamas inside out.

Of course, after completing all of these snow day magic tricks, folks may find themselves so tuckered out that they actually need a day off.

Do snow day magic tricks work?

Whether the weather is affected by snow day magic tricks may be debatable, but snow-loving folks seem to enjoy the process.

No one seems to know the origins (or meanings) of these snow day magic tricks. But snow day magic tricks sure are fun … and you can take that to the (snow) bank.


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Saturday

9 ways to repurpose old Christmas cards




Don’t toss all last year’s holiday greetings! Turn them into a gold mine of creative ideas.

Lovely Christmas and holiday cards delight, as they appear in pretty red and green envelopes in mailboxes each year. It’s fun to open the festive cards, look at the family photos, read the newsy holiday letters, and rejoice over cheery greetings. Most recipients display Christmas and holiday cards each year by placing them in baskets or bowls, hanging them up in card garlands, arranging them on fireplace mantels, or lining staircase railings with them.

Adapted by this user from public domain artwork.


After New Year’s has passed, however, what can be done with the past year’s Christmas and holiday greeting cards?

Certainly, it feels a bit wasteful to toss such lovely images out. By recycling these resources, however, one can save on future holiday decorating and gift wrapping expenses, while helping to preserve valuable natural resources.

Christmas and holiday cards can be quite lovely and useful for several recycled purposes, if one simply use a little imagination and sense of practicality. Here are nine creative applications for used Christmas and holiday cards. None of these require any craft flair or artistic abilities at all.


NOTE: Written by this author, this copyrighted material originally appeared on another publisher’s site. That site no longer exists. This author holds all rights to this content. No republication is allowed without permission.


1. Festive gift sacks

An ordinary economical brown paper lunch sack can be instantly transformed into an adorable gift bag. Simply cut the front off of an old Christmas card. Trim the edges neatly (or use pinking shears or deckle-edged craft scissors). Place a Christmas or holiday gift inside the paper sack. Fold the top down neatly, and staple the Christmas card to the front, holding the top closed.

This holiday greeting card recycling idea works very well for creating goody bags for seasonal parties.


Don’t toss those handled paper shopping bags from grocery stores or retail shops. Cover their emblems with the fronts of pretty greeting cards instead. Craft glue or staples will do the trick. Reusable cloth shopping bags can work just as well, particularly if their pre-printed emblems are small enough to mask with holiday cards.

3. Glitzy gift boxes

Skip the wrapping paper by dressing up unadorned boxes (or even brown corrugated cardboard cartons) with the addition of a few old Christmas cards. Simply cut the front images from a few favorite old Christmas or holiday cards. Paste them on the box. This is an excellent way to camouflage package labeling, product pictures, and brand names, particularly on larger, unwieldy items. Add a pretty holiday ribbon, if desired.

4. Great gift tags

Save money on holiday gift wrapping supplies by making package gift tags from old Christmas or holiday cards. Cut pretty pictures and graphics from several old Christmas greetings.

For added interest, try tracing holiday shapes (with Christmas cookie cutters, and cutting those out as well. Old Christmas or holiday cards work well, as do colored construction papers. Hand-write “to” and “from” information on each gift tag. Use a hole punch to perforate each tag, and tie it to a Christmas or holiday gift with string or ribbon.

5. Fun photo frames

Christmas or holiday cards often sport pretty graphic borders. By cutting these out carefully with a ruler and a razor or a craft knife, one can make lovely photographic frames. Simply affix a special photograph to a cut-out frame by taping the picture from the back. Why not dress up those annual school pictures for gift-giving?

6. Pretty place cards

Make Christmas dinner table more festive by creating holiday place cards from old Christmas cards. Choose several cards, and cut out small squares. Fold each square in half to make a place card, and write a dinner attendee’s name on the front. Try to position the cutting to leave a pretty holiday accent on the front of each place card, while allowing sufficient blank space to write a name on it.

7. Spiffy snow globes

Small Christmas and holiday card artwork can produce lovely snow globe images. Around Christmas time, many craft shops and discount stores offer do-it-yourself snow globe kits. These little plastic domes snap together quite easily. Cut an old Christmas or holiday card to fit the snow globe, using the pattern provided in the kit. Slip the image inside the snow globe, and snap the base on securely. Christmas or holiday snow globes make super teacher gifts.

8. Terrific Christmas tree ornaments

Some Christmas and holiday cards feature darling seasonal images, such as angels, nativity scenes, Santas, snowmen, or wreaths. Cut out these pictures, using manicure scissors, to make pretty Christmas tree ornaments. Punch a small hole in the top of each cut-out (with a simple hole puncher), and string it to the tree with yarn or ribbon.

9. Whimsical wreath

Old Christmas cards (particularly vintage holiday cards) can produce a stunning holiday wreath to display at home or present as a gift. Create a wreath form by cutting a large circle from a sheet of cardboard or poster board. Cut a smaller circle from the center. Trim the fronts from several old Christmas or holiday cards. Arrange the card fronts on the wreath form. Mix shapes and colors, as desired. Paste cards in place.

Why not recycle greeting cards all year?

Lovely greeting cards may arrive all year long. Birthdays, Easter, Valentine’s Day and other occasions often lead to collections of elegant and adorable greetings. Try these recycled card solutions any time of year to realize seasonal cost savings and save paper for holiday decorating and greetings.


Feel free to follow on Google Plus and Twitter. Like this blog?  Check out Practically at Home on Facebook. You are invited to visit my author page on Amazon.com.

Monday

My SW Daybook – December 2016 edition




Whoa. Christmas is almost here, and I’m just getting to this! Here’s my November/December entry for the Simple Woman’s Daybook. (I can surely see why our SWDB blog circle hostess merged the two months!)


Looking out my window …

The sun is shining, at least for now, with its rays bouncing beautifully off the freshly fallen snow. It’s so bright outside that it’s hard to believe we are receiving extreme chill warnings. The actual temperature measures zero degrees (F) today, with the wind-chill coming in at about -15.

Public domain artwork
I am thinking …

How far off is spring? That sounds like a trick question, as winter itself doesn’t officially arrive for three more days (according to the calendar). Oh, boy.

I am thankful …

This year has been filled with what seems to have been an unusual amount of losses for friends. Dear ones have said goodbye to passing spouses, parents, and children. Others have lost beloved pets. All over, people appear to be bidding 2016 farewell more eagerly than I can remember in past years and pointing to 2017 as a time of promise.

Life is as unpredictable as any old saying may claim – perhaps even more so. I am reminded with gratitude of my many loved ones and the health they enjoy. I appreciate that this is an unusual and remarkable gift. And I remember fondly those who have gone on ahead.

Family photo/All rights reserved.
This was taken a few years ago, and two of these dear ones are no longer with us.
 
One of my favorite things …

Did I mention Christmas is almost here?

I am creating …

I am starting the process of collecting several poems topically, assembling them for another upcoming book

Public domain artwork
I am wearing …

Although I likely won’t run today (Remember the wind-chill advisory?), I am running around the house in Nike Pro Hyperwarm Running Tights, topped by an Under Armour Women's ColdGear Infrared Popover Hoodie. I have a pair of Smartwool Women's Charcoal Heather Socks on as well. And I’m shuffling around in a pair of moccasins.

OK, I’ll probably crank out a couple of miles on the elliptical. I’m doing a holiday mile challenge thing, for which I committed to do at least a mile a day from Thanksgiving to New Year’s.

I am watching …

On Netflix, I am about to begin watching The Crown. Friends recommend this highly – especially those who loved Downton Abbey.

 
Downton Abbey publicity still - fair use.

I am reading …

Actually, I’m about to order this title: How I Changed My Mind about Women in Leadership: Compelling Stories from Prominent Evangelicals. It’s a compilation of articles by several well-known evangelicals (Stuart and Jill Briscoe, Tony Campolo, Bill and Lynne Hybels, John and Nancy Ortberg, Ron Sider, and more), discussing women in leadership in Christian ministry. 

Book cover - fair use.
This is sort of a hot-button for me, particularly as we now attend a church that espouses hierarchical complementarianism. (I confess: I am bristling a bit at it, particularly after spending more than a decade in a church that willingly lit booster rockets under women who were gifted and willing to serve.)

I am listening to …

Right now, YouTube is playing continuous Christmas carols, as I type.

I am hoping …

Yikes! I am hoping to run 2,017 miles in 2017. That’s a tall order for me. It would average 5.5 miles a day, if I run every single day of the entire year. That’s not really feasible, especially in the Upper Midwest. That means I’ll have to do at least twice that on plenty of days. But I am trying to push myself a bit, to stay in shape, and to keep MS at bay (as much as possible).

So here we go!

Public domain artwork
I am learning …

Recently, I auditioned and joined a local chorus. This is already a lot of fun, and it has jettisoned me into learning some music theory. It’s been a long time since I sight-read sheet music! And my own ear has required something of a tune-up. But I love the challenge, and it is refreshing to be using my brain in a wholly different way.

Plus, this group of wonderful new friends has welcomed me so warmly. I find myself grinning, just at the thought of them.


LAN photo. All rights reserved.
In my kitchen …

Although I hosted a Christmas cookie swap less than a week ago, I am getting the itch to bake a few more kinds of holiday treats. We have a few family get-togethers coming up, and I haven’t yet made my perennial gingerbread horses. (Nope, I didn’t say “gingerbread houses.” It’s a horse-girl thing.)

In my garden …

What garden? It’s winter in Wisconsin!

Board room …

Here’s a pin for a fun Christmas party game/Holiday song quiz from my Christmas Creativity board on Pinterest. The actual game, titled “Christmas Carol Titles Undone,” can be found here at Delightfully Amiss: Berzerkians Gone Amok. The 32 holiday songs are all pretty familiar, but the clues are tricky!

Public domain artwork
Post Script …

Did you know that 2017 is the Year of the Rooster (in the Chinese New Year’s 12-year animal cycle)?

Shared Quote …

Maybe Christmas, the Grinch thought, doesn't come from a store.”

Adapted by this user from public domain art.
Closing Notes:

Thanks for stopping by at Practically at Home! Best wishes for a merry Christmas, a happy holiday season, and a wonderful new year.

Feel free to follow on Google Plus and Twitter. Like this blog?  Check out Practically at Home on Facebook. You are invited to visit my author page on Amazon.com.

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