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Activity Directors - The World's Most Memorable Christmas Character! - Activity Director Certification Classes Start Dec 1st, Now Enrolling - Activitydirector.org

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In honor of diversity, I wish to introduce you to one of the world's most memorable Christmas characters, Caga Tio (pronounce Cacka-tee-oh). Caga Tio hails from Spain and carries Christmas cheer with him...that is until he poops it out on Christmas! Let me explain. Tio means uncle or log and Caga means poo. So, Caga Tio is essentially a Poo-Log! Kids in Spain begin caring for their Caga Tio December 8th (the day of the immaculate conception) by covering him with a blanket each night and feeding him orange peel and tarron. The better they take care of him and feed him, the more presents he will poop out for Christmas. The fun doesn't stop there either. On Christmas eve the children get sticks and beat Caga Tio while singing the Caga Tio song. Afterwards they run away and hide while their parents hide presents under Caga Tio's blanket. When the kids return they find what Caga Tio has pooped out for them! You just can't make this stuff up, but you can have residents make their very on Caga Tio to send to their grandchildren with a small explanation of how to care for him.

How to Create Your Own Caga Tio:
Find a small log and glue two twigs on the front to act as front legs. Place a red Christmas style hat (known as a Red Barretina cap) on his head and add eyes, a nose that sticks out and a beaming smile. You can add other elements if you wish, such a a pipe. In Spain, parents generally make several of them in ascending size to replace when the children are asleep to show how big Caga Tio is getting from being cared for. The better care that is taken, the bigger Caga Tio gets and the more presents he can eventually poop!

Source: https://corinnabsworld.com/2017/12/christmas-catalonia-caga-tio.html
Many of our facilities are full of diversity, culture and various traditions important to each resident. Christmas is no different. While many cultures may utilize a Christmas tree in their celebrations, the decorations and even size of the tree itself, varies based on location. How about setting up different tress, decorated according to country, around your facility to help celebrate our diversity? If you have residents from other pats of the world, enlist their help in setting up the tee that represents their country. This is a beautiful way to help bring residents and staff together at a time when we all desperately need one another for a little moral support. Below is a summary of Christmas Tree protocol from around the world. Click the button below the article to read the full article.

In most Mexican homes the principal holiday adornment is el Nacimiento (Nativity scene). However, a decorated Christmas tree may be incorporated in the Nacimiento or set up elsewhere in the home. As purchase of a natural pine represents a luxury commodity to most Mexican families, the typical arbolito (little tree) is often an artificial one, a bare branch cut from a copal tree (Bursera microphylla) or some type of shrub collected from the countryside.

Christmas trees are imported, as no trees live this far north. They are decorated with candles and bright ornaments.

Although Christmas falls during the summer in Brazil, sometimes pine trees are decorated with little pieces of cotton that represent falling snow.

Evergreen trees are decorated with stars, sunbursts, and snowflakes made from straw. Other decorations include colorful wooden animals and straw centerpieces.

When Christmas Eve arrives, there is the decorating of the tree, usually done by the parents behind the closed doors of the living room, while the children wait with excitement outside. A Norwegian ritual known as “circling the Christmas tree” follows, where everyone joins hands to form a ring around the tree and then walk around it singing carols. Afterwards, gifts are distributed.

A popular Christmas custom is Catalonia, a lucky strike game. A tree trunk is filled with goodies and children hit at the trunk trying to knock out the hazel nuts, almonds, toffee, and other treats.

In Italy, the presepio (manger or crib) represents in miniature the Holy Family in the stable and is the center of Christmas for families. Guests kneel before it and musicians sing before it. The presepio figures are usually hand-carved and very detailed in features and dress. The scene is often set out in the shape of a triangle. It provides the base of a pyramid-like structure called the ceppo. This is a wooden frame arranged to make a pyramid several feet high. Several tiers of thin shelves are supported by this frame. It is entirely decorated with colored paper, gilt pine cones, and miniature colored pennants. Small candles are fastened to the tapering sides. A star or small doll is hung at the apex of the triangular sides. The shelves above the manger scene have small gifts of fruit, candy, and presents. The ceppo is in the old Tree of Light tradition which became the Christmas tree in other countries. Some houses even have a ceppo for each child in the family.

Many Christmas traditions practiced around the world today started in Germany...legend says that in the early 16th century, people in Germany combined two customs that had been practiced in different countries around the globe. The Paradise tree (a fir tree decorated with apples) represented the Tree of Knowledge in the Garden of Eden. The Christmas Light, a small, pyramid-like frame, usually decorated with glass balls, tinsel and a candle on top, was a symbol of the birth of Christ as the Light of the World. Changing the tree’s apples to tinsel balls and cookies and combining this new tree with the light placed on top, the Germans created the tree that many of us know today.

Modern Tannenbaum (Christmas trees) are traditionally decorated in secret with lights, tinsel and ornaments by parents and then lit and revealed on Christmas Eve with cookies, nuts and gifts under its branches.

South Africa
Christmas is a summer holiday in South Africa. Although Christmas trees are not common, windows are often draped with sparkling cotton wool and tinsel.

Saudi Arabia
Christian Americans, Europeans, Indians, Filipinos, and others living here have to celebrate Christmas privately in their homes. Christmas lights are generally not tolerated. Most families place their Christmas trees somewhere inconspicuous.

Fresh pine trees are too expensive for many Filipinos, so handmade trees in an array of colors and sizes are often used. Star lanterns, or parol, appear everywhere in December. They are made from bamboo sticks, covered with brightly colored rice paper or cellophane, and usually feature a tassel on each point. There is usually one in every window, each representing the Star of Bethlehem.

Of the small percentage of Chinese who do celebrate Christmas, most erect artificial trees decorated with spangles and paper chains, flowers, and lanterns. Christmas trees are called “trees of light.”

For most of the Japanese who celebrate Christmas, it’s purely a secular holiday devoted to the love of their children. Christmas trees are decorated with small toys, dolls, paper ornaments, gold paper fans and lanterns, and wind chimes. Miniature candles are also put among the tree branches. One of the most popular ornaments is the origami swan. Japanese children have exchanged thousands of folded paper “birds of peace” with young people all over the world as a pledge that war must not happen again.

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The Chocolate Salami is a Christmas staple in Italy. Don't be fooled by the name, though. There is no meat in this recipe!
Chocolate Dessert Salami
By: The Food Network
Yield:6-8 Servings

1/2 cup slivered almonds (2 1/2 ounces)
1/2 cup chopped walnuts (2 1/2 ounces)
Two 5 inch long plain biscotti, coarsely crushed
6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch pieces, at room temperature
One 12-ounce bag semisweet chocolate chips, such as Ghirardelli
1/4 cup brewed coffee
1 teaspoon grated orange zest (about 1/2 medium orange)
1/2 cup confectioners' sugar

Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Spread the almonds, walnuts and crushed biscotti in a single layer on a baking sheet. Bake until the nuts are lightly toasted, 6 to 8 minutes. Cool completely.
Put the butter and chocolate in a heatproof medium bowl and place the bowl over a pan of barely simmering water. Stir until the chocolate has melted and the mixture is smooth, about 6 minutes. Stir in the coffee until smooth. Add the almonds, walnuts, biscotti pieces and orange zest, and stir until combined. Cover the bowl and refrigerate until firm but moldable, 1 1/2 to 2 hours.
Divide the chocolate mixture in half. Place half of the mixture in the center of an 18-inch-long piece of plastic wrap. Using a spatula, form the mixture into a log, about 7 inches long and 2 inches in diameter. Roll up the log in the plastic and twist the ends to seal. Roll back and forth on a work surface a few times to make the log evenly round. Repeat with the remaining chocolate mixture. Refrigerate the logs until firm, about 1 hour.

Spread the confectioners' sugar on a dinner plate. Remove the plastic wrap from the logs, then roll them in the sugar until coated. Using a pastry brush, brush away the excess sugar. Let the logs sit at room temperature for 15 minutes. Using a sharp serrated knife, cut the logs into 1/2-inch-thick slices and serve.

Cook's Note: The dessert can be frozen for up to 1 month. Thaw at room temperature for 25 minutes before slicing.

Source: https://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/giada-de-laurentiis/chocolate-dessert-salami-recipe-2107416
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Activity Directors Network was founded in 1996 on the idea that we could help create elderly care that dramatically improved the lives of those we all serve. We envision facilities that feel like homes and that celebrate our resident’s individuality and allows them to live with dignity, purpose and joy. We believe the exchange of education and wisdom between the most talented teachers and passionate students is the way to make an impact. Each and every single one of you are the revolution that is changing everything. Thanks for being a part of The Network.
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What's the difference between the Activity Director course and the at your own pace activity director course? Are they the exact same course, or is there a difference other then doing it at your own pace? I am wanting to sign up for the course and then go on to be nationally certified. I have been working as an AD for about 9 years, and have already had a 36 hour course, but I thought it would be a nice refresher for me.

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