....in the city of David a Savior, which is Christ the Lord.
In our home, this is truly the most wonderful time of the year. I have long loved the celebration of the Advent of our Lord, and of His miraculous birth. From December until April, we have the wonderful opportunity- as followers of Christ- to honor and commemorate His prophesied birth, His perfect life, His appointed crucifixion and His triumphant resurrection which we know to be His victory over sin and death. I take great joy in celebrating those things, and in doing so with joy.
In our commercialized and over scheduled culture, we often struggle to find the balance between neglecting to enjoy God's good and perfect gifts and enjoying the gifts more than the Giver. Neither of these extremes allow us to fully experience the things that the Father of Lights has bestowed upon us, and neither of them point to Him during the Christmas season and say "for unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, which is Christ the Lord."
I say this to say, celebrate. Create traditions that bring you joy and that point to Jesus. Enjoy those traditions. Do not fear celebrating too much, and also do not fear not celebrating as much as someone else. Make Advent and Christmas about Jesus, your family, your home, and joy filled celebration....and you won't get it wrong. It will not be perfect, but it will be worth it. You don't have to do as much during this season as my family does, and you can do more during this season than what I give you below. Avoid the trap of comparison, and create a peaceful and joyful season.
Orient your heart to the coming and birth of our Savior, order your affections toward celebrating Him, and determine to do what gives you joy and skip what doesn't.
With that being said, I have been asked many times recently what I do during this season, and am even doing a few consultations to create some personalized Christmas plans. I love that there are so many mothers desiring to carry living education into the craziest, and most blessed, season of the year. I will share below what I do during this season, both in the classroom and outside of it.
For school, we finish our year at the end of November and begin a new one in February. Between the two, we spend two days each week during December (until Christmas week) focusing on art, cultural studies and literature. This year, we will be reading through The Christmas Carol again, studying the paintings of Thomas Kinkade (because I think his art is worth looking at, but he doesn't merit a space in a typical term, not being a master painter), and taking another trip through the traditions of the season all over the world (we do this yearly).
Outside of school, we make a big deal of Advent, and of Hanukkah. We also participate yearly in the Random Acts of Kindness challenge. Christmas Eve is also a very special time for us. I shared all of these traditions below. My hope is that you will find inspiration and ideas, and that you will create a Christmas culture in your home that bring your family joy. Feel free to copy my plans exactly, use a single idea, or use the format to inspire your own unique ideas.
May All Your [December] Days Be Spent.....Delightfully Feasting
Christmas Term Plans
Chapters 1 and 2
Streams of Living Water
The Blessings of Autumn
Beacon of Hope
Christmas Around the World- Germany
1. Read About Christmas in Germany/Map Work
2. Listen to "O Tannenbaum" in German and English
3. Make Craft Stick Christmas Trees
Christmas Around the World- Great Britain
1. Read About Christmas in Great Britain/ Map Work
2. Listen To/Learn the "Wassail Song"
3. Sing "We Wish You a Merry Christmas"
4. Read 'Good King Wenceslas (poem)
5. Write New Wassail Recipe/Make/Drink
6. Make Christmas Crackers (filled with Scripture)
Chapters 3 and 4
Glory of Morning
Gardens Beyond Autumn Gate
Christmas Around the World- Italy
1. Read About Christmas in Italy/Map Work
2. Sing "O Come All Ye Faithful"
3. Listen to "The Carol of the Bagpipers"
4. Make a Befana Book
Christmas Around the World- Russia
1. Read About Christmas in Russia/Map Work
2. Story Telling- the Babouschka Legend
3. Make Fabric Ball Ornaments
4. Bake Honey Spice Cake
Chapters 5 and 6
Paris, City of Lights
Sunday at Apple Hill
A Holiday Gathering
Christmas Around the World- France
1. Read About Christmas in France/Map Work
2. Listen to "Carol of the Birds"
3. Sing "The First Noel"
4. Make Cardstock Trees w/ Colored Stars
Christmas Around the World- Mexico
1. Read About Christmas in Mexico/Map Work
2. Listen to "Silent Night" in English and Spanish
3. Listen to "The Pinata Song"
4. Act Out Las Posadas
5. Story Telling- Legend of the Poinsetta
6. Make Poinsettas
- Nightly- Taking Scripture "Clue" Off of Countdown Chain
- Nightly- Scripture Reading
- Nightly - Ornament
- Nightly- Singing Carols
- Nightly- Marking Day off of Calendar
- Nightly- Reading a Picture Book
- A Little House Christmas- Holiday Stories from the Little House Books
- Tale of Three Trees - December 21st, 22nd, and 23rd (Read and Craft Each Tree)
- Cookie Baking Decorating
- Gingerbread House
- Read/Act Out/View- The Nutcracker
- Random Acts of Kindness Challenge
- Weekly- Candle on Paper Advent Wreath
- Nightly- Read Scripture About Light
- Nightly- Read Scripture About Jesus
- Nightly- Open Gift (These gifts are always activities to complete together- craft kits, etc)
- Nightly- Complete Activity Together
- Nightly- Color in Candle on Paper Menorah
Christmas Eve Traditions
- Read Full Christmas Story from Scripture
- Birthday Cake for Jesus
- Gifts for Jesus
- Christmas Eve Bags
- Cocoa, Snacks, Movies, Cuddles
1. Christmas Around the World
2. Celebrate Christmas Around the World
3.Book of Christmas Carols
4. The Family Read Aloud Christmas Treasury
1. Truth in the Tinsel
2. The ADVENTure of Christmas
3. The Tale of Three Trees
4. A Little House Christmas
5. The Nutcracker Ballet Fold Out Theater
6. Random Acts of Kindness Challenge
7. Paper Advent Wreath