Until high school requirements and online classes prevented a month of Christmas, we didn’t have formal learning from Thanksgiving to January 2nd. However, our activities covered language arts, social studies, thinking skills, and art.
We made cookies. We watched and discussed movies. We made presents—decorated t-shirts and calendars and sun catchers and wooden baskets. We sang, sang, sang—Christmas carols from beautifully illustrated books. Our favorite for the early years was Tomie dePaola’s Book of Christmas Carols
We read, read, read. Holly, Reindeer, and Colored Lights: The Story of the Christmas Symbols by Edna Barth explained cultural customs. The Lion in the Box by Marguerite De Angeli taught city life in the early 1900s.
Between Thanksgiving and Advent, we read classics such as The Night before Christmas and Polar Express. We treated the stories like other fiction. After those few days, we focused on the true meaning of Christmas without leaving the boys culturally illiterate or deprived of fun stories.
A needed break.
How much break time do you need?