How to Get Through December Without Losing Your Joy OR Your Homeschool

As we near closer and closer to the holiday season, many homeschool parents (especially new ones) begin to wonder how they’re going to approach the month of December.

Do you homeschool as usual? Do you give your subjects a Christmas flair? Do you take time off of school and focus on Advent and family traditions?

Let’s take a look at a few different aspects of the holiday and what they might look like in a Homeschool Family Christmas.

A Homeschool Family Christmas ThouShallNotWhine.com

Homeschooling and the Holidays

Every year looks a little different for us, as I’m sure it does for you. As children grow and new babies come, what you can do changes with the seasons. Depending on your state laws, you might take the month of December off entirely. This is a common choice among homeschoolers and something we’ve done several times in the past.

When you’re planning your December, consider if you’ll have family coming to stay or if you’re going on vacation. These circumstances will make the choice to take time off of school much easier. I mean, who wants to do schoolwork on vacation?? Not this girl!

Traditions

Family traditions come in many forms. Sometimes it’s something as simple as making cookies together and delivering them to neighbors or friends.

I have a friend who takes her children two hours south to ride a “Polar Express” train. They make a weekend of it every year with extended family. The complexity and expense completely depend on you and what you’re willing/able to do.

Some frugal traditions we have done over the years include . . .

  • making cookies together
  • singing carols as a family
  • learn a new Christmas hymn
  • take food to a food bank
  • making and sending Christmas cards
  • celebrate Advent (we’ve done varying things over the year, but our most recent favorite is Melk)
  • decorating gingerbread houses and cookies
  • do many, many Christmas crafts (there are a ton of free ones on Pinterest)
  • host a Christmas party with our homeschool friends (pitch in style)
  • wrap books you already own but haven’t read in a while and then open and read one each night
  • drink hot chocolate and watch movies
  • get out the miscellaneous craft supplies and see what new homemade decorations we can make
  • make homemade Christmas ornaments

Here’s an article specifically about large family Christmas traditions.

Holiday Recipes

Christmas is such a yummy time of year. I’m not usually a fan of sweets, but man, it’s hard to pass up those Christmas goodies!

Here are a few Christmas favorite recipes . . .

If you’re looking for a meal planner to keep track of all these goodies, check out the Meal Planning Made Simple Planner.

Learning Resources

Here are a few fun learning resources that have Christmas flair . . .

Christmas Planner ThouShallNotWhine.com

Family Gift Ideas

I have a love/hate relationship with Christmas gifts. I LOVE the joy that they bring my children, but I LOATHE the mess and clutter they bring, which is why we usually opt for family gifts, instead of individual ones.

But don’t worry, the kids still get plenty of “regular” gifts from family. They’re not going without, trust me.

Here are a few family gift ideas . . .

  • board games
  • zoo passes
  • museum passes
  • movie passes
  • theme park passes
  • books
  • a pet
  • a weekend mini-vacation

Be sure to grab the free Christmas planner to write all your ideas in one place!

Win $500 PayPal cash! Christmas Blessing Giveaway Thoushallnotwhine.com

The Giveaway

Can you believe that this is the last Christmas in this decade?!  Where has the time gone? I have teamed up with some pretty generous bloggers for the 6th annual Christmas Blessings Giveaway with the hopes of making this a Christmas to remember for TWO families as we close out this decade. 

While we wish we could bless many more families, we were able to come up with a big prize for TWO families – $500 each (delivered via Paypal) – that we pray will make a big difference in their lives this Christmas season – whether it’s to fulfill their kids’ Christmas wishes, pay off some bills, or to help build some savings, our prayer is that it helps to lessen any financial burden and/or fills a specific need.

There are lots of entry options in the Rafflecopter form below – the more you enter, the better your chance of winning!  I know it can seem tedious and time-consuming to go through all the entries, but isn’t a chance at $500 worth it? I think it is!  Plus, all of these amazing bloggers donated their own money toward the cash prizes, so this giveaway wouldn’t be possible without them.  I hope you’ll take the time to check out each one. Who knows, maybe you will find some new blogs to follow.

The giveaway will run from Monday, November 18th through Wednesday, November 27th (ends at 11:59pm EST). Winner will be notified by email shortly after the giveaway ends and will have 48 hours to respond to claim the prize or another winner will be drawn. You must have a Paypal account to win.  By entering this giveaway, you agree to be added to the email lists of the participating bloggers. Please be sure to read the Rafflecopter terms and conditions upon entering.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

46 thoughts on “How to Get Through December Without Losing Your Joy OR Your Homeschool”

  1. The giveaway is awesome. With a family of 6 – and currently 3 teens and a 20 year old plus an older home with many home repairs — winning $500 would be a blessing. But I know whomever wins it will bring much joy. Thank you to all the bloggers personally contributing.

    Reply
  2. We school all year but take the week of Christmas off. We read a chapter everyday in the book of Luke beginning December 1st. We love doing our blessing ring. After Thanksgiving we make a count down ring but on each ring we write a way we can bless others each day. Some days are fun things we do to bless the kids.

    Reply
  3. If I won the money would go towards paying off bills. We have a family of 7, 2 are in college now and I’d love to bless them with some of the cash too! Thx!

    Reply
  4. Winning would be a blessing to our family because we could use it to bless others and be able to get our 5 children a little something as well. We love to donate but this year has been a very lean year.

    Reply
  5. Thank you so much for the learning resources! I love the science ones. I also really appreciate the chance to win some extra cash. This time of year there are always so many extra expenses that any extra is helpful, especially after just discovering that my husband’s company has decided to close for seven days throughout December without paying the employees. Once again, thank you and the other bloggers!

    Reply
  6. My husband just went through cancer treatment (for the second time – two different cancers). We’ve had medical expenses so money for Christmas is tight. This would be a godsend and let me actually get gifts for my three beautiful daughters.

    Reply
  7. Cookies, oh, cookies! Every year growing up, my family would host our Christmastime Cookie Bake, where my siblings and cousins would spend the day mixing, (tasting) rolling, cutting, (snitching) decorating, (sneaking) baking (and cleaning up “mistakes” 😉 ). Best. Day. Ever.

    Reply
  8. While I’d love to win the giveaway, the Christmas planner and recipes will be a tremendous help. I’m definitely not the most organized person in the world, and tend to get overwhelmed during the holidays. It’s getting harder to get family together for Christmas, too, as my sister and her husband have started spending the winter at their place in Florida. My three girls have their own friends and significant others, too, so it gets harder finding times that work for everyone. Again, a planner for the holidays would be great!

    Reply
  9. I love all the links you shared. A favorite tradition is telling what we are thankful for of course, but with a loved one’s recent passing, we may need a new tradition to honor their memory this year.

    Reply
  10. What a blessing you and the other bloggers are! My favorite day is when we put up the Christmas tree, and I unwrap all the ornaments we have collected over the years– from museums, places we’ve lived, vacations, family photos. Such great memories that make me smile.

    Reply
  11. Winning would bless us by being able to bless others more this year. The budget is tight, so we are not able to be as generous as we would like.

    Reply
  12. We just recently found out we are expecting number 8, so this money would be greatly beneficial as we travel this Christmas and plan for another baby!

    Reply
  13. This would be a huge blessing this year! My husband has only been working part time contract which is up after Christmas. This would help get us over that hump for Christmas

    Reply
  14. We are moving this year in December, so special things for the girls’ rooms are going to be their Christmas gifts. Although we could do something like this every year (bed upgrades, kids choose theme for new bedsheets or pillowcases, and so on).

    Reply
  15. This giveaway would bless our family by helping us toward finishing our student loan repayment. We married in my last year of university, and when I graduated I was 5 months pregnant. So I never brought home an income to help pay off my loan. Instead, I’m staying home with our kids and homeschooling which we agree is the best thing even if it makes it harder to pay off our student loan debts.

    Reply
  16. It would be great to win this. I have a friend who is going through an extremely hard time and this would help our family (my daughter has autism) and also help him. Would truly be a blessing.

    Reply
  17. This would to getting a weighted blanket for my daughter ( they are so expensive) and some clothes for my friend who is destitute and hasnt had any new clothes in over 10 years. I would help him.

    Reply
  18. This would bless my family by allowing us to catch up on bills from when my husband changed jobs, while still giving my children the joy they deserve.

    Reply
  19. Thank you for hosting this giveaway. Filling out the entries revealed several homeschooling websites I had never seen before.

    Reply

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