Spending time in nature and appreciating the beauty of the world around them is an ideal I hope to instill in my kids that will stay with them for years to come.
Tu B’Shevat, which begins at sundown on January 27 and ends at nightfall on January 28, is known widely as the new year of the trees, or Jewish Earth Day. In Israel, this time of year is when the most rain falls, rain that we as Jews pray for, rain that brings fourth new life and new hope. We celebrate by eating new fruits and expressing our appreciation for new life.
Of course, if you live in area of the world that is smack in the middle of the cold winter months, it’s hard to imagine celebrating a holiday about growth and renewal.
Yet, even those of us living in colder climates can find ways to get out into nature and appreciate the beauty of the world.
Go On A Nature Walk
On our walks together, my children and I take notice of the changing landscape. We keep an eye out for animal tracks, budding plants, and other signs showing even in winter, life continues. Even if you live in a more urban environment, signs of nature are all around. Find a few moments to mindfully connect to the sights, sounds, smells, and other sensory experiences around you.
This month, our family’s PJ Library mailing included a kit for growing arugula microgreens. As a notorious plant destroyer, I was hesitant to try it out, but I am commited to giving it my best effort, and hope to have some beautiful sprouts to share with you soon.
Help Plant A Tree
If you are like me, and more of an admirer of plants, trees, and flowers, than a grower, you can still contribute to making the world a greener place.
PJ Library is committed to ensuring trees can be enjoyed by generations to come. They are partnering with the National Forest Foundation to plant trees where they’re most needed. The organization has pledged to match every dollar donated up through $50,000 through the end of January. Visit pjlibrary.org/planting to learn more, and while you are there, check out PJ Library’s guide to growing plants and other activities to help your family connect with the spirit of Tu B’Shevat.
Try A New Fruit
Have you or your family ever tried passion fruit, star fruit, dragon fruit, or persimmon? The holiday of Tu B’Shevat is often celebrated by trying unfamiliar fruits and vegetables.
Trying new produce is often done as part of a special Tu B’Shevat seder, which focuses on the four seasons, an appreciation for nature, and helping us broaden our appreciation for our world. You can find a helpful guide to holding a Tu B’Shevat seder from PJ Library here.
If you haven’t done so already, be sure to enroll your children in PJ Library’s FREE service that delivers age-appropriate books on Tu B’Shevat and other Jewish holidays and themes to your door every month.
Disclaimer: As a PJ Library influencer, I am compensated for promoting this program. All opinions expressed are my own.