Thursday, December 18, 2014

December in Our Home School

I've been looking forward to December for months.  This year is the first time I've ever just slowed our pace way down and enjoyed the season full on.  Thankfully, illness has pretty much left our home, and life is starting to become a little more normal.  If I can just manage a few, full-nights of sleep maybe I will start to feel a little more normal myself.

In the meantime the kids and I have been enjoying our special Christmas routine, and it's hard to believe Christmas is right around the corner.  I thought I'd share with you the things we planned, both what we've done and what's managed to slip through the cracks, and the things we still have on the agenda for December.  There is still plenty of time to enjoy a few crafts or activities together as a family.  Maybe you'll find something here that looks like fun, or you can visit my Pinterest board for lots of other Christmas ideas.

1.  Wrap 25 Christmas Books and Read Them - My favorite idea of all I actually failed to do.  Maybe we'll get lucky, and there will be no illness in our home next fall, and I can pull this one off next year.   I originally discovered the idea from Counting Coconuts who got it from The Picky Apple.  (Anyone else feel like they're in that old shampoo commercial?)  Anyway, the idea is simple.  You wrap 25 books with a Christmas theme and open one each night, and read it as a family.

2.  Make Tamales on Christmas Eve - Well, I didn't actually plan to do it ON Christmas Eve, but this is a tradition that I really want to implement in our home.  Our youngest son is 50% Mexican, and I totally believe in growing up with a knowledge of our heritage.  For me, food is such a fun way to learn culture.  Making tamales on Christmas and/or New Year's Eve is a Mexican tradition that I love because it's about family and friends coming together to cook, eat, and celebrate.

3.  Family Movie Night - We've already watched a few Christmas movies, but one of my favorite is to watch The Polar Express very close to Christmas and make it special.  I love the idea of taking the experience a little further with added activities.  Fantastic Fun and Learning shares some wonderful ideas that I plan to choose from before our Polar Express Pajama Party this weekend.  Typically, we make hot chocolate and pop a large bowl of popcorn.  I bought the book this year.  Can you believe I didn't own this one already?  We'll probably read it during the day and enjoy some activities.  Then, we'll watch the movie together as a family.  Honestly, I really look forward to this each year.

4.  Make Cotton Ball Snow - The month of December began with decorating.  Hubby and I got the tree together this year from a local lot forgoing the whole tree farm experience we had planned since all of our children were still sick.  We got the tree set up, and let it get happy for a couple days.  Meanwhile, the kids and I dug out all the Christmas decorations and sorted them out on the first day.  The next day we decorated the house.  Then, the next day we decorated the tree.  It was fun spreading the process out like that, and it totally took away any stress that may have been involved in the process and instead created anticipation.  The day after we decorated the tree we strung cotton balls on thread and hung it in the walkways of our home.  I got the idea here.  It was fun for all of the kids, and it does look really cool.  I purchase plastic needles so the little kids could do it without worry.

The Supplies

I knotted the thread on the needle so the kids didn't have to worry about it slipping out.

We later added snowflakes from the beams.  It created a really cool effect.

Other ideas still on the list include:

Christmas isn't here yet, and winter hasn't even begun, so there is still plenty of time to enjoy all of the above activities.  From our family to yours...

Merry Christmas!

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