Such a short time, this fourth week of Advent, this year! Therefore, here are just a few very simple ideas for this special time:
Read the story of “The Greedy Woman” from “Hark! A Christmas Sampler” by Jane Yolen and Tomie dePaola. This tale is best suited for ages 7 and up.
Here is another tale to try, this one is regarding Saint Francis and the first Christmas at Greccio: http://www.mainlesson.com/display.php?author=smithe&book=christmas&story=greccio. This would be a lovely story for eight year olds in the midst of second grade on up.
Make Gingerbread People. Here is Martha Stewart’s gingerbread recipe: http://www.marthastewart.com/336115/gingerbread-people
And, on Christmas Eve Day, won’t you consider making several stars to light the way of the Christ Child? Here is a wonderful tutorial from Sarah Baldwin of Bella Luna Toys:
Some countries also use this day to commemorate “Adam and Eve” and place red apples in the branches of their Christmas tree in order to remember. Bread decorations are also sometimes made and used as a sign of redemption.
And here is the “To Do Ahead!”
Will you consider for a moment the flow of Christmas Day? What will you do with the children and how will things be held for them as you cook for example? Will there be time to go outside and play, will there be any crafts available for the children to work on? Just a thought to make your day less hectic in the moment.
We will look towards the adult work of The Twelve Holy Nights tomorrow; in the meantime for the children you can start gathering up resources for Epiphany or if you are Orthodox Christian, Theophany. La Befana in Italy and The Baboushka in Russia are well-associated with Epiphany. Here is a free story from Russian Legend: http://www.mainlesson.com/display.php?author=smithe&book=christmas&story=babouscka
Also, for more ideas for Epiphany, I suggest you look at Little Acorn Learning’s e-book: http://littleacornlearning.com/threekingsthemebook.html . This book focuses on the Three Kings; I would appreciate my Orthodox readers leaving me some crafting and idea resources for Theophany in the comment box! I didn’t find much when I searched on the Internet.
Many blessings, enjoy this special time of the year,