My favorite time of the year is Christmas. I'm usually the first to put up my Christmas tree, and the very last to take it down. Our family has several traditions that we love to incorporate into our Christmas in order to really focus on Christ. We've pulled some traditions from liturgical churches, just because we love Christmas so much. As I have already blogged that we were late putting up our Christmas tree, it should come as no surprise that we are behind on most of our traditions. Last Sunday we finally got our tree up and decorated (after a trip to our local Walmart at 12 midnight to pick up more lights for the tree). Everything else is still sitting in boxes in a spare room. My crèches are still boxed up, the Christmas dishes aren't being used. We did wash the holly glasses, and I am using a Christmas mug my mom gave me. That's about it. Am I being a humbug? No, I'm just soooo fatigued and sick of being sick. I'm so dispirited that we haven't done more by now. Today, amid laundry duties (because I don't think that anyone in the house knows how to do laundry consistently), we will put out all of our Christmas stuff.
We celebrate Christmas through Epiphany, which is also the twelfth day of Christmas. We do it more because we think we should have more days to celebrate Christmas than just the first day, instead of building up to it with such a frenzy and then poof, one day, it's over. It forces us to take it a little slower because what we can't fit in by the 25th, we still can do afterwards without feeling like we are behind.
I have two crèche sets. My dad bought me the first one years ago when I was a teenager I believe. My sister has an identical one. The second set is a beautiful ceramic set that my sister made for me. It is exquisite. My sister is very talented in whatever she chooses to do. She'll pick up a hobby and create all kinds of things until she either tires of it, or doesn't want to expend more funds on it. She has cross-stitched, done ceramics, sewn, and now she makes handmade cards. My mother does this as well. I'm not this creative, nor do I have the time nor patience to start big projects and actually complete them. That's not to say that I can't do it, I just am not as inspired I suppose.
Here are a few activities we plan on enjoying this Christmas season:
- Make ornaments ~ we do this every year, but this year we will make them completely different than we have before. We are going to make Cinnamon Dough Ornaments using the recipe that homeschoolhighlites posted on her blog. Hers look wonderful! I thought it was a wonderful idea! We are going to shellac ours, and then decorate with glitter glue. I'll let you know how they turned out.
- We are going to study Christmas Carols using the Good Christian Men Rejoice! unit study by Karen Caroe. We have used this study in the past, and we absolutely love it.
- Make a gingerbread house together. We buy a kit each year. Last year we bought the house and a tree. We will never buy the gingerbread tree again. It was very difficult to work with, and it kept breaking. We usually make the house on Christmas morning before Gregg wakes up, but this year we are hosting the extended family's Christmas on Christmas day, so we'll make it on Christmas Eve.
- For our crèche, we don't put the Christ-child in the scene until Christmas day. We keep the magi hidden until Christmas day, and then we put them on the other side of the house. Each day they come closer and closer until they finally reach the Christ-child on Epiphany.
- Make cookies. Not sure what we will make yet, but we do plan on making some.
We also have other traditions that I didn't list.