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Christmas Is Almost Here!

our family Christmas trees

We have been having so much fun this Christmas season that I just haven't had a lot of time to be around here.  I'm sure you understand though.  Have you been 'hustling and bustling' or are you feeling merry?  We've been doing a little of both here.

We have made an effort to simplify a little more this December.  Or at least take the time to enjoy the season more.  We've said "no" to some activities and we've scaled back the gift buying.  But I am having more fun with my family this year than in previous years and it makes my heart happy.

Since we began our homeschooling journey--and I realized how hectic it gets in December and how the kiddos' ability to concentrate on school work flies out the window--we generally take off the entire month of December.  This year though we took a late vacation in the month of November so I just couldn't justify taking off the whole month.  So we schooled the first two weeks of the month.  And it was okay.  The kids did fairly well staying the course.  I did simplify our schedule and we also incorporated some different Christmas-themed lessons.  That helped.

So when our last day of lessons came I realized there were exactly twelve days until Christmas.  And, of course, I was inspired.

I thought it would be fun to call it "The 12 Days of Christmas" and have a fun holiday activity for the kids to look forward to each day (my son does better with a little structure).  Most things were already planned so it wasn't like I had to really stop and think up new things.  But having a plan for something fun made each day feel special.

Here's a run-down of our days so far:

1st day: we went to a local student Christmas production featuring songs and dance
2nd day: watch "The Santa Clause"
3rd day: make 'ninjabread' cookies (with this cute kit)
4th day: make gingerbread houses
5th day: went caroling at an assisted living home
6th day: put up lights outside (yes, we were a little late)
7th day: go ice skating
8th day: make Christmas cut-out sugar cookies
9th day: decorate sugar cookies and watch "Christmas With the Kranks"

Yet to come:

10th day {today!}:  dinner at Patti's 1880 Settlement/looking at lights
11th day: Christmas candlelight service at our church
12th day:  Christmas Eve with the family at our house (the kids have prepared a special program)

I'm thinking this is a great new family tradition for us that we just might carry on next year!

I'd love to hear about your family's special traditions~and did you create any new ones this year?

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