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Hold onto your hats, this has been a busy week at SantaRosaMom.com. Here's a recap of all that's happened this week:

<a href="http://www.santarosamom.com/forum/topics/cheap-gift-ideas" target="_blank"><strong>Cheap Gift Ideas</strong> </a>

The holidays are in no way cheap. But the gifts you give don't have to cost a lot. Here are a few ideas for inexpensive gifts. Feel free to add your own!

<em>P.S. Keep your eyes open for a Press Democrat article by Meg McConahey that will run in the Sonoma Living section this Sunday, offering reader suggestions for even more ideas for inexpensive gift giving.</em> <em>You can also get a preview of it <a href="http://707.pressdemocrat.com/2012-12-06/featured/gifts" target="_blank">HERE</a>.</em>

<a href="http://www.santarosamom.com/forum/topics/what-to-do-during-winter-break" target="_blank"><strong>What to do during Winter Break </strong> </a>

It's a few weeks away, but it's definitely not too early to start planning for those two weeks the kids are out of school. Check out some of the things that can be done close to home to chase away those boredom blues.

<a href="http://village.blogs.pressdemocrat.com/10764/elf-on-the-shelf-gets-mischievous/" target="_blank"><strong>Elf on the Shelf</strong> </a>

Possibly one of my favorite reader participation posts, several moms shared the mischief their house elf is getting into in the days before Santa arrives. Check out the fun photos, and share your own story in the comments.

<a href="http://www.santarosamom.com/forum/topics/are-kids-hurt-by-the-word-fat" target="_blank"><strong>Is "Fat" a dirty word? </strong> </a>

After several articles were printed this week on students' physical test scores and where they rank health-wise, a battle was waged in the comments about whether labeling a child obese or fat was hurtful or harmful. What do you think?

<span style="text-decoration: underline;"><strong>The Village</strong></span>

<a href="http://village.blogs.pressdemocrat.com/10753/make-most-out-of-naptime/" target="_blank"><strong>Make the most out of naptime </strong> </a>

A few moms and I offer some suggestions on what can be done during your child's naptime...besides napping, of course.

<a href="http://village.blogs.pressdemocrat.com/10758/dooce-does-divorce-privately/" target="_blank"><strong>Divorcing publicly, in private. </strong> </a>

Popular mom blogger, Heather Armstrong at Dooce.com, announced her divorce, as well as stating she would be keeping the details private - a surprising announcement from a blogger who usually airs the events of her life publicly. It raises the question - where is the blogging line drawn between what's ok for the public and what's best kept secret?

<span style="text-decoration: underline;"><strong>Family Events</strong></span>


<strong>Girlfriends Night Out:</strong> Peruse several different shops on 5th Street, Santa Rosa for deals, fun, and holiday shopping. 5-8 p.m. <a href="http://707.pressdemocrat.com/2012-12-03/featured/girlfriends-night-out-2" target="_blank">CLICK HERE</a> for more information.

Friday, Dec. 7

<strong>First Friday Night Sky: </strong> Grab a free show at the SRJC planetarium as they present the current night sky with an emphasis on stars, constellations, planets, and more. Arrive early enough to get a free parking pass. Donations much appreciated. 7 p.m & 8:30 p.m. 1501 Mendocino Ave., Santa Rosa

Saturday, Dec. 8

<strong>Petaluma Downtown celebration: </strong> During the day enjoy holiday entertainment and sales at participating downtown shops. Then at 6 p.m., catch the parade of lit up boats gliding into the Turning Basin. Kentucky & 4th Street, Petaluma. <a href="http://petalumadowntown.com/" target="_blank">petalumadowntown.com</a>

Saturday, Dec 8

Coffey Park Chronicles

Read more stories about Coffey Park’s recovery here

Read all of the PD's fire coverage here

<strong>A Brave fundraiser:</strong> The Sebastiani Theatre in Sonoma is hosting a showing of Pixar's Brave. Your only admission is an unwrapped toy that will be donated to needy children through Toys for Tots. 4 p.m. 476 First St. E, Sonoma. <a href="http://sebastianitheatre.com/" target="_blank">sebastianitheatre.com</a>

<strong>Guide to the holidays:</strong>

<em>Check out these posts to keep you up to date on what's going on this holiday season</em>

<a href="http://707.pressdemocrat.com/2012-11-30/featured/christmas-tree-farms" target="_blank">Christmas Tree Guide </a>

<a href="http://707.pressdemocrat.com/2012-11-19/featured/where-to-find-santas-helpers" target="_blank">Where to Find Santa </a>

<a href="http://707.pressdemocrat.com/2012-11-02/featured/draft-craft-fairs" target="_blank">Holiday Craft Fairs </a>

<a href="http://707.pressdemocrat.com/2012-11-14/featured/holiday?all=1" target="_blank">Guide to the Nutcracker, holiday theater, and more </a>

<em>See more holiday stories at <a href="http://707.pressdemocrat.com/holidays" target="_blank">707.pressdemocrat.com/holidays</a></em>

Have a happy weekend, and I'll see you on the forums!

Crissi Langwell


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