We’ve been so busy lately – aren’t we all? Writing hasn’t been able to happen much what with school, outings, church commitments, etc. And that’s ok, because to everything there is a season, and this is a season of busyness!
But we are fast approaching the most important time of the year to slow down, retreat from the busy and the frantic the world would have us participate in – Christmas is coming! And with the hustle and bustle comes some of the most meaningful opportunities of our lives.
Last year we eagerly awaited the celebration of the coming of our King Jesus, but also our sweet little Miss E. We decided that in order to fully embrace the beauty of the Christmas season, and this new little one, that we would take December off of school. It was the best decision ever! Not only were we not so frazzled trying to complete projects and stay on top of school, as well as preparing gifts, baking, etc., we were able to really focus in, to prepare our hearts , to study in on advent as a family, and to have opportunity to serve others.
So this year, we are doing much the same. When December is upon us, we will slow. We will rearrange the schedule. We will look, listen, and wait. Math will still get done (it’s a bit of a necessity, otherwise it does take some time to jump start the brain again in the new year!), beautiful artwork will be created, gifts made and distributed, people’s hearts blessed.
Here’s a little bit of what we will be doing during December:
Family Advent Studies
Sarah Mae has written a really special Christmas countdown e-book called More Than Candy for families wanting to make the days before Christmas really count. There are ideas for activities to do together, ways to serve, crafts, scripture, everything! And they’re all very doable :0)
This will also be our first year doing a Jesse Tree. We’ll be using the Jesse Tree study from Confessions of a Homeschooler and daily making the ornaments for our little tree in our school room.
We won’t be repeating Truth in the Tinsel this year (we’ve done it 2 years in a row), but in case you’re new to it, it is an amazing hands-on study of scripture with simple ornament crafts to make the stories of the characters of Christmas come alive. The kids have loved doing it, and my friend Stef has also made a Lego ornament version of the crafts! Super fun for boys (in fact, they still want to do this part of it this year :D)
Advent Studies for Mom
This is the time when the temptations are strong to let stress take over, the doing of the season instead of the being still. Don’t let it sweet one! Calm your own heart, use those early morning hours before the tree with the lights on to soak in the joy and wonder of the birth of Christ. Do not neglect the word! She Reads Truth usually has some really heart provoking studies leading up to advent. One of my favourite things to do during these days is to read!
10 or so years ago I was blessed to meet Heather (now Boersma). She and I were both at a bible school together in New Zealand. Now, I’m even more blessed to know her as a friend, and a wonderful mother and writer! She wrote an advent devotional guide which you will absolutely love! It’s called We Will Wait and it contains a daily scripture reading, reflection and 4 really sweet 8×11 prints :0)
I’m also looking forward to hearing Ann Voskamp and Liz Curtis Higgs speak to our hearts with the Christmas at the Farm webcast at noon on November 21st. Oh, and each of these lovely ladies has written a Christmas book – The Greatest Gift by Ann and Women of Christmas by Liz.
Building Christmas Gray Cells :0)
We will be keeping the creativity alive during December, just not through the traditional school methods. My Christmas School pinterest board is chuck full of ideas for Christmas printables, activities and crafts.
My children will not let me forget about art, now that we’ve branched out from tempera paint and into much more interesting mediums! Tricia Hodges has created another great pastels book, A Simple Start in Christmas Chalk Pastels. We have almost all her books and they are so much fun!