This little season has been incredibly busy for us, it always is. This year I think I managed to take back Christmas a little bit and really focus on what I want it to be about, our faith and our family. I think we still have work to do, but it definitely is a process and I am satisfied with our bit of progress this year in that endeavor.
Christmas started to be on my horizon, like much of the rest of the country, right around the beginning of November. It’s like the day after Halloween, the Christmas decorations go up in retail stores everywhere and everyone forgets about Thanksgiving. I started getting gift wish list requests from family members too.
I haven’t really touched our homeschool stuff since we moved. Moving, questioning if they are really ready for anything formal, the tiredness and busy nature of this season, and many other reasons contributed to this. So we kind of have been taking a break and “focusing” on play. I’ve also been trying to think of ways to make our faith more tangible for our kids and find daily ways to incorporate things into our lives. So when the Synaxis of the Archangels rolled around on Nov. 8, it was the perfect opportunity for a little angel craft and learning a little about angels.
And that was about the extent of any formal learning that went on around here during November and December.
When the beginning of the Nativity season started on Nov. 15, I began to break out a few Christmas decorations and by the end of Thanksgiving weekend we had most everything up. We took the plunge on a fake tree this year, hoping to avoid allergies and enjoy our tree for the duration of the entire 40 day Nativity season.
We celebrated St. Nicholas Day (Dec. 6) by seeing The Nutcracker and opening stockings.
We attended a couple Christmas parties where we visited with old friends and new and ate way too much good food.
I made the kids matching Christmas PJs after failed attempts to find some online that I liked and had a nightgown option for Jilly.
We lit the candles on our Advent wreath every Sunday (except the one we were out of town) of the Nativity season, went to church, prayed and talked about Jesus, love, Christianity and tradition.
We did last minute Christmas shopping at Target.
We spent a day at a monastery a few days before Christmas. It was a peaceful day of prayer and great conversation with friends and nuns, wrangling kids, and taking in God’s beautiful creation.
We saw our extended family where were blessed by their generosity and stuffed with good food.