This post is part of my ABCs of Homeschooling Through the Holidays series. To see all posts in the series, click here.
I’m excited to be a part of the blogging series, ABCs of Homeschooling through the Holidays! Be sure to peruse the many different bloggers involved in this awesome collaboration and discover some new ideas about homeschooling this holiday season. For this post, T stands for Traditions.
Christmas and holiday family traditions fascinate me. I so enjoy listening to other moms discuss the traditions that they share within their families. The idea of passing down traditions, even doing things that your ancestors did, seems to bring the family even closer together. While many of us may attend holiday services, give gifts and decorate our homes, some traditions set our families apart from others.
Traditions may be related to our beliefs or they may just be fun activities that draw us nearer to one another as we celebrate holidays. I asked our ClassesByBeth teachers and staff to share some of their family traditions and discovered the following:
- Mrs. Katelyn Smidt’s family received new pajamas each Christmas Eve, so they would allwake up in new pj’s on Christmas morning.
- Mrs. Trena Balakrishnan shared a couple of traditions: 1. Cookie baking for others whichstarted out as a way to get to know new neighbors and has now grown to 100+ dozen (over 1200 items) baked goods shared with shut-ins, church family, friends and more. 2. Each year, Trena and her children kick off the holiday season by visiting the James Island Festival of Lights where they drive through the lights, ride the holiday train, enjoy the merry-go-round, and eat funnel cake.
- Mrs. Susan Barnes and her family keep an advent calendar with different themes such as theattributes of God, and they go to a tree farm to cut down a fresh Christmas tree.
- Mrs. Kelly Rowe and her family put up Christmas trees in each room of their home, with eachtree celebrating a different theme. It takes her family hours and hours to put up Christmas trees each year.
- In my family, my husband likes to hide one person’s gift so that he or she has to follow clues,usually written by my husband in poetry form, to find the gift. We also like to have themed Christmas celebrations where my husband, who is a chef, creates specialty foods and we even watch specially themed games, movies, etc. For example, one year, we chose a French theme making Eiffel Tower candies, enjoying crepes, french onion soup and charcuterie (meats and cheeses).
As you consider creating traditions, you might want to ask yourself:
- Does the tradition reflect something that is important or enjoyable to your family?
- How can you imagine your traditions playing out as children grow?
- Can your traditions travel? If you have years where you’ll need to travel during the holidays,will your new tradition go with you?
- Do your traditions serve to be passed on to later generations?
Obviously, you should create traditions for your family that work for you, in spite of any of the above considerations. But sometimes, it helps to think through our ideas by asking questions. Scripture often influences family traditions and offers a great option if you’re looking for a new tradition. Giving to others provides many families with sweet Christmas traditions. Learning about other families’ traditions and even those from around the world may inspire you to create a new tradition. Katie Hornor’s fun and educational Christmas Around the World curriculum offers a wide variety of traditions and activities that you could use during the holidays or throughout the year.
No matter what your family’s traditions may be, at ClassesByBeth, we pray that your holidays will be filled with beautiful and joyous memories. Feel free to comment and share your family’s traditions…you could inspire another family to start a new tradition this year!
God bless your holidays!
Beth Hempton, instructor and owner of Classes by Beth, homeschooled both of her children, Ally and John Paul, through high school. A lover of literature and a writer, Beth also co-authored Epi Kardia curriculum. She is currently collaborating with an illustrator to publish her first children’s book. At this time, Beth focuses on growing in her relationship with Christ, teaching her awesome middle and high school students online and encouraging homeschool moms. She lives with her amazing chef husband on Johns Island in South Carolina. You can find her on facebook, pinterest, or blog.