*watched The Nutcracker (1985 Baryshnikov on DVD)
*worked at the local Giving Tree
*visited the land of "always winter and never Christmas" (attended a theater production of The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe)
*baked cookies (and helped little children decorate them)
*watched little girls exclaim with delight as they opened gifts of beautiful dollies
*sang Star in the East, Away in the Manger, the 12 Days of Christmas, O Holy Night, selections from Handel's Messiah...
*performed in two recitals (one at a nursing home)
*heard sermons on the Magi; the shepherds; and Christ, priest after the order of Melchizedek
*shipped gifts to faraway nieces, nephew
*attended Christmas parties (Cornflower got to go with her BFF to a reenactment of Bethlehem/the life of the Lord, which is exactly what I would have picked for all of us, had I had a little more control over the schedule)
*watched my children skate with abandon down (small) hills
What is missing from this list? Well, a lot. But the kids would say, "Where is Star Night?" They are getting quite anxious. Bwahaha.
We are visiting Santa tomorrow. ;o)
Also, we haven't yet read the nativity account in Luke. We have been reading from Philippians and Genesis lately, and were really on a roll, so I let that continue until Christmas break. (And it felt appropriate to do so-- learning of origins and joy seems so very Christmas, doesn't it?)
Now it's Christmas break! And we plan to cosy up on the couch with our book of beautiful King James scripture and lovely illustrations by Joseph Brickey. I'd also like to find a free online recording of the Nine Lessons and Carols, or else sing and read through them ourselves, in the next day or so. We have never done this. For those of us who aren't liturgical, I understand the Lessons are straight scripture readings of messianic prophecy and the nativity of Jesus.
For the rest of the week, we plan to bake and clean and clean and bake and write stories and sing and go for walks and roast things... and laugh... I get to attend the CM book club party tonight, and here is the quote I decided on:
Great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifest in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen of angels, preached unto the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up into glory… (I Tim. 3:16)
"And what a barren and dry land should we dwell in if our spirits were narrowed to the limits of that which we can comprehend!"
Charlotte Mason, Vol. 4, Book II, p. 201
I love that. Talk about "always winter and never Christmas!" That is our kids' lives when we do not invite them to the feast of ideas, but leave them to gnaw on bits of dry, pedantic crusts of bread. Invite your kids to the feast of ideas, regardless of ability, IQ, 'giftedness', and let them eat! As my Dad said yesterday, "A man will never starve with a feast before him."
Thoreau said, "Most men live lives of quiet desperation." I say, perhaps many men haven't read the right books, been exposed to the right ideas.
As for Star Night, kiddoes-- when you least expect it... expect it! :D