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The winter months host many different holidays that can make for a stressful and chaotic time for families, and especially homeschoolers. One way to help reduce the stress of trying to do it all is to combine your learning with the festivities. Use your family’s celebration of Christmas to foster learning and make life a little easier.
Whether you are celebrating a religious Christmas, a cultural one, or something else you can find ways to add in the homeschooling below.
|History of Christmas||Christmas Cards||Letter To Santa/Wish List|
|Read Holiday Classics and More||Christmas Carols||Traditional Christmas Recipes|
What Is Christmas?
Christmas can be many things to many families. So families celebrate a religious Christmas that focuses on the birth of Jesus Christ and the story surrounding that birth. Some families focus on the cultural side of Christmas and lean toward the celebration of Santa Claus. Other families find Christmas a time to celebrate family and do not add in the cultural or religious aspects.
History of Christmas
The history of Christmas is interesting. Watch this Origins of Christmas from the History Channel below that discusses Christmas from Pagan origins, religious origins, and more.
Use homeschool time to fill out those Christmas cards. Your children can work on handwriting skills, learn how to address an envelope and so much more. Have a budding artist on your hands? Let them create their own Christmas cards as an art project or design your own Christmas cards using a program like Canva or GreetingsIsland to add in computer skills as well.
More Christmas Card Resources:
- What to write in your Christmas Cards | General Housekeeping
- 25 Simple Christmas Cards Kids Can Make | The Joy Of Sharing
Letter To Santa/Wish List
With all the versions of Christmas, we typically see the exchanging of presents. It has become a tradition for many families (especially children) to write wish lists or letters to santa. Like Christmas cards, this activity helps your children with handwriting, learning the structures of a letter, and more.
Read Holiday Classics and More
Books are a great way to bring in some fun learning. Try some of these ideas below to add to your Christmas unit study.
- Download a copy of A Christmas Carol, by Charles Dickens and illustrate it.
- Think about the true meaning of gift-giving in The Gift of the Magi.
- For those interested in the religious aspect of Christmas, read in the Bible, Luke 2, about the first Christmas. Watch for old English grammar, such as “thee” and “ye.” Talk about old fashion words and how words vanish from use and new ones come into being.
Religious Christmas Book Ideas
These book contain the story of, or reference to, the birth of Jesus.
“Laughs abound in this bestselling Christmas classic by Barbara Robinson! The Best Christmas Pageant Ever follows the outrageous shenanigans of the Herdman siblings, or “the worst kids in the history of the world.” The siblings take over the annual Christmas pageant in a hilarious yet heartwarming tale involving the Three Wise Men, a ham, scared shepherds, and six rowdy kids.”
“That cold winter’s night,
beneath the star’s light…
…a Little One came for the world.”
“First published in 1952, this Little Golden Book adaption of the Christmas story was illustrated by beloved artist Eloise Wilkin. This classic picture book retelling of the Christmas story is a perfect gift for the holidays.”
Cultural Christmas Book Ideas
These books reference Santa, the north pole, and the cultural celebration of Christmas.
“Join us in this beautifully illustrated telling of the classic Christmas story. This large storybook features thicker pages to allow for reading over and over again without traditional wear and tear, making it a holiday keepsake for years to come. Share a story of Santa’s journey on Christmas Eve and celebrate the season with your child. Listening and talking with your child sends a wonderful message of caring and love. Snuggle together on Christmas Eve with this holiday classic again and again.”
“Dot may be the littlest reindeer in the North Pole, but she has a big desire to help Santa pull his sleigh! But Dot just can’t seem to fly the right way, no matter how hard she runs, leaps, and kicks. Will Dot learn to fly, or is the littlest reindeer just too little?”
“Santa’s Lost Reindeer is a humorous story that follows a frazzled Santa through a search for his missing reindeer. How can Christmas be saved? Santa’s in so much trouble. With his best reindeer missing he needs help on the double!”
“A World of Cookies for Santa takes readers across the globe to see all the treats that await Santa on Christmas Eve. Head to the Philippines, where children leave out puto seko cookies and ginger tea for Santa; jet to Russia for a honey-spice cookie; then set out for Malawi for a sweet potato cookie! When you’ve returned home, the journey’s still not over—M. E. Furman provides recipes for children to bake some of Santa’s cookies for themselves. ”
Non-religious/cultural Christmas Books
These books contain neither religious aspects or cultural Santa aspects of Christmas.
“On a snow-covered hill just outside the edge of town, a little girl stumbles upon a melancholy snowman who has spent his entire life wishing for the Gift of Song. The little girl makes the Snowman’s life-long wish come true through a simple act of gratitude and compassion that brings young readers back to the true meaning of Christmas. You see, rather than the presents we receive, the most important gifts are those of selflessness and kindness.”
“A heart-warming tale based on a true story, Rocky the Christmas Owl, is sure to become a family Christmas favorite. In the year 2020, a tiny Saw-Whet owl was discovered bundled into a very special Christmas tree. This story recounts the tiny owl’s adventure in a way that charms and delights, and the colorful illustrations bring the story to life. A tale of a small miracle and of much needed hope during a challenging year, Rocky the Christmas Owl, is the perfect addition to every Christmas story collection. So that Rocky can nest in the reader’s tree, a paper cutout Rocky ornament is included inside every book.”
“Chipper the Fox sneaks through the forest to spread cheer to his weary friends. Will his merry making be a success? Or will a smelly fish disaster and a log pile tumble ruin his plans?”
“As the worst snow storm of the year rolls in, one family hunkers down together in a cozy blanket fort for the night. A little girl makes a wish on a snow globe and, in the morning, the sun rises on a winter wonderland–beckoning all outside. And what if, on this snow-filled day, families shake their busy lives and everyone goes out to play? A lyrical holiday story about wishes and community and snow–lots and lots of snow.”
You hear them on TV and in the stores but why do we have Christmas carols? Christmas carols have been around since the start of the religious Christmas celebration. However, the history of carols are dated even earlier. Learn about the history of Christmas carols and learn some below.
- Christmas Carol Lyrics | Christmas-Carols.net
- Top 100 Holiday Songs Secular Christmas Music | Hot Pop Songs
Traditional Christmas Recipes
Food is a central part of celebrating Christmas. From crafty foods to traditional meals find out more about traditional Christmas recipes.
- Making a gingerbread house is commonplace in many houses during the Christmas season. Check out the history of gingerbread.
- Cookies! Whether you are hosting or participating in a cookie exchange or making cookies for Santa, cooking making is a Christmas tradition.
- Mince pies were introduced as a Christmas staple during the Georgian era and can still be found in the UK today.
- Since medieval times, Christmas pudding has been a traditional table staple.
- Fruit cake, while now a holiday joke, has been a long Christmas dessert. Learn about fruit cake history and the annual fruit cake toss!
- The star of the Christmas table is most certainly the turkey. This wasn’t always true, however. Learn about the history of the Christmas turkey and find some tasty Christmas turkey recipe ideas to try.
Along with the Christmas cards, the holiday books, and the various Christmas foods, Christmas decorations are a must.
Did you know that the first White House Christmas tree to have electric lights was seen in 1895 and lit by President Cleveland? Before the invention of the light bulb, most Christmas trees were lit by candles. Learn more about the history of Christmas lights and look at how the common Christmas lights are made below!
Christmas is mainly recognized by the decorated evergreen tree with presents underneath but why do we have Christmas trees? Learn the history of Christmas trees, how Christmas trees are cultivated, and the difference between the various kinds.
Get started decorating your Christmas tree with these resources:
- 30+ Homemade Christmas Ornaments Easy For Kids To DIY | Hands On As We Grow
- Cinnamon Dough Ornaments
- Sew Your Own Christmas Stocking with Christmas Stocking Template | Kid Activities.com
- Handmade Holiday Stockings | Parenting