We had a lot of fun this Christmas starting some new traditions for our family that centered among celebrating the birth of Christ. Some of our new traditions were:
- An Advent Candle Wreath
- A Birthday Card for Jesus
- The Jesse Tree
I had so many other ideas but with all the travelling we did around Christmastime, these 3 were the best I could begin incorporating this year. Here’s a longer description of the 3 new traditions:
- Advent Wreath: I bought this nifty little book called The Adventure of Christmas: Helping Children Find Jesus in Our Holiday Traditions by Lisa Whelchel. I really appreciated this book as she went through a bunch of Christmas traditions and holidays and gave a little history about them from a Christian perspective. For example, she talked about why we put up a Christmas tree and how the Evergreen tree represents the eternal being of Christ and the limbs point upward to heaven where Christ lives, etc. I love how I didn’t have to change a lot about Christmas but was able to teach the kids about Christ in the decorations and traditions we already had. She talked about the Advent Wreath here and this is where I decided this was one tradition I wanted to include. We had to get a little creative since we were going to be somewhere different almost every Sunday through the Advent season so we made our own out of toilet paper and construction paper… flame free : ) I used these two websites to create our own Advent wreath and it turned out so cute! I also added on to each week the little description from the book of what each candle represented for my short term memory brain : )
- Birthday Card for Jesus – This was an idea I came up with on my own. I had heard about making a birthday cake and singing happy birthday to Jesus on Christmas day and thought I wanted to do something similar but we always have so many desserts for Christmas dinner I didn’t want to make another one that wouldn’t get eaten. I also wanted this to be the first thing we did in the morning (singing happy birthday) to set the tone of the day instead of rushing downstairs to set the tone of greediness through opening presents and not even acknowledging why we were celebrating that day. So my combination was a Christmas Tree Bread birthday cake : ) Adam’s mom has made Christmas Tree Bread for years and years and it is their breakfast tradition so this year we just added candles to it and sang Happy Birthday to Jesus. Afterwards and before we ate the bread we wrote on a Christmas card what present we wanted to give Jesus for this year. We centered around the bible verse: “Has the Lord as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of the Lord?Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice.” 1 Sanuel 15:22. So the present we each said we were going to give Jesus this year was something of obedience. It was so neat to see what Amelia said and to get written down what Adam and I were committing to for this next year.
- The Jesse Tree – This was the next new tradition and we had a lot of fun with this one. I saw this one through the Confessions of a Homeschooler website and thought it was a great way to focus on the Advent story each day. I would have loved to put the ornaments on a tree but again all of our travelling posed a problem for that so I had to get creative. We followed the notebook style for collecting papers that we have used with our BFIAR plans. So I put 2 blank papers inside with the outline of a tree and then tucked the ornament sheets inside the folder. Each day we read the scripture, colored the ornament and glued it onto our tree in the folder. It worked great and we had a lot of fun!
The reading plan and the ornament to correspond with it
The ornaments glued onto our “tree”
I also had printed off all these sheets that are a similar idea to the Jesse Tree but they focus on Mary and Jesus’ young life instead of Jesus’ lineage like the Jesse Tree. Amelia only colored this page : ) We spent so much time on our other activities this just did not get done… maybe next year : )
And here are pictures of all our various other Christmas learning time activities. Amelia had fun putting together this cute nativity set.
We made it a “to go” nativity scene again because of the travelling and I cut up an old box, taped the background to it and then they could play around with the pieces and we could fold up the box to go when we travelled to our next location : )
I made a schedule of the month of the projects and things we needed to get done each day and put it in our notebook
We did 2 official school weeks and completed various other printables and read other books and here are the lesson plans for those 2 weeks. All of the printables came from Confessions of a Homeschooler and 3 Dinosaurs and the word search came from the DLTK website.