Right around Thanksgiving time, I notice many stores pulling out all the stops with their Christmas displays. Some have been set up clear before Halloween, while others are just beginning to decorate. This is usually the time I see those tasty looking chocolate advent Calendars hitting the shelves. When the kids were little, I gave in and let them enjoy these treats as a countdown to Christmas – but now, as the family continues to grow, I have broken out of the box a bit.
Christmas Themed Unit Study
This year we are going to read and do a unit study on the book, The Best Christmas Pageant Ever. Several different study guides are available for this book. The one we are using provides a wide variety of activities that the children can do each day in conjunction with the chapters they read. One day they build a gingerbread house while another day involves creative writing focusing on vocabulary skills. I am looking forward to slowing things down a bit with this entertaining piece of literature right before Christmas. A big perk for us is that our local Children’s Theater will be performing the play so we have set it up to finish this a few days before the performance.
As far as Christmas Unit studies go you could take this in many different directions. Do a historical study of the Birth of Jesus and the Old Testament prophecies that foreshadowed this event. Do a study about how Christmas is celebrated around the world or study the origins of Saint Nicholas of Myra.
We have done this tradition every year since my oldest was only a toddler! We love reading in our home and bringing out the Christmas books after Thanksgiving is a fun treat. When the kids were younger I would let each of them pick out a book each day from the book basket. We would gather around and read the books together. To save time now that the kids are older and have more responsibilities, they take turns picking out a book that we will read for that day. Some books are entertaining picture books while others are longer books with a collection of Christmas stories that the whole family can enjoy.
Christmas is not about “the day,” but the season, so why not get the most out of the month of December? There are many different ways to celebrate Advent but the heart of Advent is an expectant waiting for the time when the birth of Jesus will be celebrated. Some families use this time to read the Christmas story as a family. Others, like we have in the past, find an activity to do on the days leading up to Christmas. We have had a blast with this doing all sort of fun family activities. One year we camped out in the living room by the fire for one of the activities. We also spent one evening driving around looking at lights and another one going shopping for gifts to fill a shoebox for Operation Christmas Child.