Friday, 29 November 2013

Looking Ahead to December

I feel as though I've been running since September, and I feel I need to slow down and take a breather.  Traditionally I would plan lots of activities for the month of December to take us nicely to Christmas.  This year, I don't feel that I have the energy to repeat the advent activities that we did last year, so I am going to have a slightly more relaxed December this year by not taking on ambitious new projects this time of the year.

Having said this, we aren't going to sit around doing nothing -- although that will probably be nice for a change -- we're just going to not try to do 24 different activities in December.  Plans are not concrete yet, but here is what I am thinking of at the moment, in addition to continuing with a few ongoing projects:

1.  Christmas-related literature
Reading a Christmas-related book and enjoying some activities related to it has become one of our family's traditions in December.  One year we looked at The Legend of the Poinsettia.  For two years running we looked at The Nutcracker.  This year's book selection is A Christmas Carol.

2. Food, Crafts, and Gifts
These three items come together for us in December.  I always encourage Tiger to make his own Christmas cards and bake his own foodie gifts for people.  At a time of rampant consumerism, I'd like Tiger to understand that the true value of a gift has more to do with the sincere efforts of the giver/maker rather than with the monetary value attached to commerical products.

Besides making things for others, we will also spend some time making simple crafts to keep ourselves amused.  Nothing too fancy or complicated.  I am still getting ideas from last year's craft activities, such as the Christmas lanterns, the paper chains, and maybe sewing a few simple tree ornaments.

3.  Friends and Family
We have an exceedingly busy social calendar this December, thanks to a number of new homeschooling friends we've made, as well as plans to see some old friends as well.  Tiger and I are out and about so often that it's hard to imagine having a more active social life, but it seems that way only because we used to spend December more inwardly focused on our own little family.  This year, my mother-in-law is in charge of Christmas celebrations so there will be a big three-day family gathering from Christmas eve to Boxing Day with plenty of time with immediate and extended family.  Free from the responsibility of planning and preparing Christmas Lunch, I am able to accept invitations to enjoy the jovial company of our friends, homeschooling and otherwise.

This post is linked up to:
  1. Entertaining and Educational - Paper Houses
  2. Hip Homeschool Hop - 12/3/2013


  1. We don't do much for Christmas but you have inspired me to choose a Christmas read-aloud, perhaps the Nutcracker. Your post on it is wonderful. It sounds like you have lots of nice plans. :-)

  2. Thanks, Lucinda. I'm feeling the need to slow down and be more restful now that we are approaching the end of the year. I have a few things in store, as you can see in the list, but not much else. :-)

  3. Appreciation for what goes into a gift and consumer products is so important. Last week we were discussing the clothes making process from sheep to shirt. During the discussion, we estimated how much time was required for each step. Since it could easily take 9 months, it's no wonder people didn't own many clothes in the past. We live so differently in this world of entitlement. The idea of the effort involved in creating material goods is so far out of proportion with reality.

    On another note, we just watched A Christmas Carol in German tonight. My oldest and I read the book together several years ago, but now I'm thinking of reading it with the younger two.

    Have a merry December!

  4. I share your sentiments, Julie! Our children are fortunate to be living in a situation where they are mostly worry-free, but I often wonder whether having an easy life makes my son less appreciative of how things come about, or how much effort things really take.

    A Christmas Carol is such a good story on many levels, that I think we'll be reading them in December for at least a few years to come! :-)

  5. We read the Christmas Carol each year, but I have never managed to actually finish it. We have my great granny's copy, leather bound and falling apart at the seams. Maybe this year, we'll make it through the whole book!

  6. I'd imagine December to be a really busy time for your family, Claire! This is the first year we're reading A Christmas Carol, but I think we'll be reading it many times more. :-)


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