10 Last-Minute Christmas Ideas for Families

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Many families gear down to a more relaxed school routine during the week (or weeks!) before Christmas. Our family deliberately took off four weeks in December so we could enjoy the activities and traditions of the season—we just considered it a Christmas unit study, with a home economics, practical arts, and organization emphasis. With Christmas just around the corner, here are a few last-minute ideas to help you simply enjoy some family time.

1. Build and decorate a gingerbread house (or if you’re like me, you buy a kit or build it from graham crackers, and concentrate on the fun of decorating!). One support group even made it a group event with more than 30 children and 13 moms gathering in one home for the royal icing event of their year!

Photo courtesy of Rebekah McBride of www.nodeskrequired,com – Used with permission.

2. Collaborate on this fun, simple-to-make, inexpensive, and practical gift idea for the guys in your life from Dara Ekanger (MollyGreen.com). Great for kids to make for daddies, granddads, and uncles.Molly Green has some fun, simple-to-make, inexpensive, and practical gift ideas for the guys in your life. Great for kids to make for daddies, granddads, and uncles.

3. Haven’t gotten a lot of decorating done yet? This 15-minute Christmas wreath from Megan at The Homes I Have Made looks simple enough for even the craft-challenged.

4. Cut out some less-fuss sugar cookiesno chilling of the dough required! Check out these cookie and icing recipes at Everyday Homemaking.

5. Adorn your windows or rooms with lovely, lacy paper snowflakes. All you need are paper, scissors, and a glue stick!

6. Slow down and read together. Heidi at The Busy Mom has compiled a list of some favorite Christmas books, for some snuggle-on-the-sofa read-aloud time.

7. For 31 Days of Gift Guides to Inspire Learning, check out Heather Haupt’s timely post. One of my favorites is this last one: “The Value of Giving Experiences Instead of More Stuff.”

8. Check out this free video tutorial for a Christmas-themed art day: “A Simple Start in Christmas Chalk Pastels” from Tricia Hodges.

9.  Transform your family’s winter walk into a Christmas Nature Study: A Red, White, and Green Walk.  This is just one of the activities in the unit study guide, Nature Study through the Holidays by Cindy West and Melissa Leach.

10. Looking for ways to keep Christ at the center of your Christmas celebration, even while the tree seems to be the center of attention?  Learn how one family’s Advent tradition incorporates their Christmas tree. Christ in the Christmas Tree

For more ideas on how to incorporate the holidays into your lesson plan, read “Holidays as Homeschool Curriculum” and check out the resource guide linked at the end of that post.

PC Rebekah McBride www.nodeskrequired.com

Got a late start this year?  You’re not alone! Many of us may be feeling as if our holiday preparations could be featured on a Pinterest Fail board. However, you might be encouraged and inspired by homeschooling blogger Marla Schultz’s account of her family’s creative response to starting late (MollyGreen.com): “In my perfect world, the tree would be put up and decorated on December 5—the day before St. Nicholas Day—and we would already be counting down the days until Christmas. Instead, by the time the thirteenth of December rolls around, I’m finally ready to start that countdown. Because of this, many years ago we stumbled into our own tradition—our take on the Twelve Days of Christmas. Traditionally the Twelve Days of Christmas starts on December 25 and the twelfth day lands on January 5.”  So maybe this is the start of a new tradition for your family!

May your holiday season be a joyful and peace-filled celebration of our Savior.

Merry Christmas!

PC Rebekah McBride, www,nodeskrequired.com



NOTE: This newsletter is based on and adapted from the December 2014 HSLDA Toddlers to Tweens newsletter by the same author.

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