I love Christmas time with all the traditions and festivities. But sometimes it just seems that there is a lull. You get the tree & house decorated and then you wait. But why wait when you can do so many fun things through the month. I am not talking about visits to Santa or shopping (which I avoid as much as possible during December, my xms shopping is done already and anything I have left is usually done online). There will be days that we bake cookies or make candies and some present wrapping, but I am talking about a little education & fun wrapped up in a few more events spread throughout the month, actually they are spread pretty evenily.
St. Nick's Day is the first, which is tomorrow, December 6th. Tonight St. Nick will visit the homes of boys and girls around the world (or maybe in areas where there is a strong German influence) and leave goodies for the kids (some in their boots, others in stockings.) In our house here, St. Nick (also known as Santa Claus) comes and retrieves the letter Isabel wrote for him (we have to do that yet) and if she is good he will leave her goodies and a note (to keep being good - or start beinggood if she wasn't). St. Nick is also leaving the whole family a new xmas cd to enjoy through the holiday season. Tomorrow morning she will wake up and check out her stocking and see her goodies and I plan to make some St. Nick cookies with her tomorrow afternoon.
A week later on December 13th and we can celebrate St. Lucia's Day. St. Lucia's Day tends to be of Swedish origin (which we aren't), but we can still have fun with it. It's another day to make something fun. We will be making a St. Lucia crown and later on we will make some St. Lucia buns.
And to do one more thing that is kinda fun before Christmas, we will celebrate the Winter Soltice (December 21st), which is a Pagan holiday. To celebrate it we will eat by candlelight in the diningroom and end our meal with a Yule Log Cake, which Isabel will help me make (I plan to haver her help me make the buns & cookies above too!)
And then it is Christmas & New Year's......plus the driving to see families the weekends before & after Xmas. We spend Christmas together as our own family.
We've done St. Nicks's before, but St. Lucia & Winter Soltice will be new to us. I plan to use all of them as teaching oppotunities, but also a times to do things together and have fun. All three holidays have a variety of different ways that people celebrate them. In some families they also give gifts on St. Lucia & Winter Soltice, but we are just doing it on St. Nick's day and Christmas. And the goodies on St. Nick's day are minimal. Search back to our St. Nick's day last year to read about it. Or wait until tomorrow when I post (a picture hopefully) of Isabel looking in her stocking.