Wednesday, December 5, 2012


To all in Rome who are loved by God and called to be his holy people:
Grace and peace to you from God our Father and from the Lord Jesus Christ. 
Romans 1:7 (NIV)

Preschool Activities
Christmas is a wonderful time of the year to learn about traditions around the world and specifically family traditions.  I explained to my kids that ancestor is a word used to describe family members that came before their own grandparents.

Many of our family's ancestors came to America from Germany.  I taught my little man about Saint Nicholas Day.  Children in Germany leave their shoes out on the night of December 5th for Saint Nicholas to fill with sweets, fruits, and nuts if they've been good.  Families then open gifts to each other on Christmas Eve.  The Veggie Tales movie, Saint Nicholas, happens to be one of my favorite movies this time of year.

Almond cookies are a traditional German Christmas treat.  Here is my Grandma Smith's recipe:
1 cup butter softened
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup powdered sugar
1/4 tsp salt
2 egg yolks
1 1/2 cups AP flour
1/2 cup chopped almonds

  1. With an electric mixer, beat together butter, sugars, and salt.  Add the egg yolks, beating until combined.  Slowly mix in the flour and almonds.
  2. Divide the dough in half and make two 8-inch rolls.  Wrap in plastic and chill for at least 3 hours.  
  3. Preheat oven to 350*F.  
  4. Slice 1/4 inch" cookie rounds and place them on a greased cookie sheet.
  5. Bake for 12 minutes. Makes 4-5 dozen cookies.
Today would be a fun day to call Grandma and Grandpa together to find out about other family traditions.  Then enjoy this Veggie Tales clip to learn about Polish Christmas food traditions!


Family Activities
Do you take family photos at every year on Christmas?  Pull out these pictures to share with your little ones. 

Some of my favorite family Christmas pictures are the big group photos taken at my Grandmom's house every year growing up.  We don't see these extended family members often and have lost my Grandmom and great grandparents since many of these pictures were taken.  Sharing these photos with my kids allows me a chance to reminisce and share with them great family memories.

Pile onto the sofa or a beautifully decorated park bench and take a new family photo this Christmas.  Also, have each child trace their hand and write their name to remember them just as they are right now for years to come.

Sit around the table together and write out Christmas cards to extended family members.  Share some favorite memories about each family member as you address their card.  Explain to younger children the family connection to aunts, uncles, cousins, and great grandparents.  Encourage older children to draw a family tree mapping those relationships. 

Service Activities
Do something nice for someone in your family:
  • do a chore around the house without being asked
  • make the bed for your sibling
  • play your sibling's favorite game
  • read a story to your siblings at bed time
  • help make your sibling's favorite dinner 
  • make a craft to give to Mom and Dad
  • say something extra nice to everyone in your family 
  • give a hug and kiss to your Dad as soon as he gets home
Share a muffin tin family favorites snack. Pull out a muffin tin or individual muffin liners. Fill each one with a single serving of each family member's favorite snack.
We will be sharing cinnamon cereal, gold fish, raisins, and strawberries.

Over the River and Through the Woods
We Wish You a Merry Christmas
Feliz Navidad

God Gave us Christmas
Home for Christmas

No comments:

Post a Comment