Every year my Mother would do this one Christmas Tradition with us. Her goal was to make Christmas about Christ. What was this tradition? A recitation of Luke 2 with the nativity as our centerpiece. Christmas morning would look like this: Breakfast, Dishes, Nativity/Luke 2, Gifts. Mom thought that to delay the gifts and focus on the story of Christ’s birth would quell selfish feelings of materialism. It did. To this day, I love Christmas, and my favorite part is reciting Luke 2 with my children. Growing up, we memorized it once, and then the tradition continued every year without much fuss or bother.
Luke 2 is a good passage to learn, if there is anything we ought to know about, it is the incarnation of Christ, his death, and resurrection. As memorizing scriptures go, this is a good place to start. There is a story, it is exciting, fun, and flows well.
From this basis, my Mother was able to have us memorize an extensive list of full passages as we grew. To this day that foundation has left me with a decent knowledge of scripture. I thank her for that most precious gift, worth every moment of sitting in the living room, droning through word after word while watching my brother
pick his nose recite along on the couch across from me. Ah, the exciting homeschool life…
We never did Advent though, my Mother grew up Catholic, and she preferred to take a less liturgical route to Christmas. But I LOVE doing Advent! It is a perfectly built in countdown to Christmas that points us to Christ, and God’s plans for mankind. I am disappointed and not at all into the advent materials I’ve found online. I need something straightforward, and simple. Also, lots of variety. I need to be flexible. To pick and choose.
The goal of this Advent pack is to memorize and recite Luke 2, ending on a full recitation Christmas morning. To help us remember, we do this with a Bible in hand (Mama holds it, and reads from it) and everyone gets a nativity character piece, to act out the story. We do follow my Mom’s tradition and do this prior to the gifts. I agree with her that gifts ought to play the second fiddle, and we often segue by reminding the girls that Jesus is the best gift, and that we give gifts on Christmas to remember that. Our gifts are nothing eternal. His is eternal.
Each week will have an artwork of the week, and music list. These are classic items meant to expose children to a classical education from a christian perspective. They are posted with the intention of Parents studying, interpreting, and translating the information to their child’s age and interests.
Each day there are a variety of activities to go with the coloring pages. Music links, art activities, cooking activities. The goal is to integrate culture, reading, math, art, Bible, memorization, service, etc. into the curriculum set that goes with each week’s worth of printables. You can take what you want, and leave the rest, don’t think you have to do it all! You know your child, and what will most impact them.
Handel’s Messiah. (full)
This is a good chunk of music. I usually either break it up, a little a day, or play it in the background daily.
Here is some background info for us Mamas to disseminate:
Smithsonian history of Messiah article. (Long read, a LOT of sorting and sifting, but a few gems in there, Like how a contemporary Pastor responded to the premiere of the work.)
Messiah Lyrics (with scripture references) (easy to break into daily pieces)
Georges de La Tour- Adoration of the Shepherds, c. 1644
Enjoy! Looking forward to posting the next week’s worth of Printables and activities. If there is anything I missed, something you particularly liked, or would like to see, feel free to contact me with ideas, thoughts, opinions, etc.