One of the great joys of being a mother/homemaker is preparing holiday dinners and carrying out the family traditions. A dad has a big role in Christmas festivities too. A great tradition for a family to have would be a special craft or dish or baked good that Dad makes with the children (without burning the house down!). You could teach your son the skills he needs to someday be that dad!
Make a list of the family events, traditions, and activities that you already do each year. The list might look something like this (I have added "subject/assignment categories" next to each activity):
- Christmas caroling (music/homemaking)
- Church Christmas pageant (drama/arts)
- Christmas cards/family letter (writing)
- Cookie Baking (homemaking)
- Candy Making (homemaking)
- Making Gifts/Baking (homemaking)
- Making Gifts/Crafts/Sewing (homemaking/art)
- Christmas Shopping/Gift Wrapping (homemaking)
- Planning menus for holiday meals/parties (homemaking)
- Grocery shopping for meals/parties (homemaking)
- Decorating Inside/Outside (homemaking/interior decorating)
- Cleaning for holidays and company (homemaking)
- Preparation for out-of-town Company (homemaking/life skills)
- Family Devotions (Bible)
- Hospitality (Character/homemaking)
- Making & Sticking to a Budget for the Holidays (homemaking/life skills)
- Scheduling to Fit in all Family & Church Events (homemaking/life skills)
- Make a Family Christmas Carol Book with all the favorite Christmas songs with guitar chords (music)
- Make a Family Christmas Cookbook with all the family favorites (writing/homemaking)
- Take lots of pictures and make a Christmas slide show or Memory album (art/computer)
- Make a list of new recipes and traditions to consider trying...try at least one or two! (research)
- Interview older people to discover their favorite Christmas memories (oral communication)
- Read Christmas stories aloud to younger children (life skills/literature)
- Write a Christmas poem or song (writing)
- Write a Christmas story (writing)
- Write an essay on the true meaning of Christmas (writing)
- Write Family Devotions (writing/Bible)
- Make up a Christmas recipe (homemaking)
- Write a Christmas play or skit and perform it (writing/drama)
- Make a Christmas movie (art/drama)
- Videotape all Christmas family events and put together a family movie (art/drama)
- Plan an outreach to the poor for your family and do it together (Bible/life skills)
- Look up traditions from other countries (research)
- Talk to other families and discover their family traditions (research)
- Plan some Christmas field trips (life skills)
Check out these sites with your teens: Annie's Christmas Index Page and All About Jesus Christmas Celebration. Maybe after checking them out, your teen will want to make his/her own Christmas website!
Annie's Christmas pages are chock full of information that is Christ-centered. Every page is lovely to look at and nourishing for the soul. Learn about Advent, the history of Christmas, traditions, music, television specials, gifts, and gingerbread. There is more information than you will know what to do with. I love this site!
All About Jesus Celebration is filled with stories, crafts, activities, recipes, gift ideas, and all kinds of fun stuff to keep the focus on Jesus during your holiday celebration. The Gospel message is presented and Advent devotions are available for the family to use.
The most important thing to keep in mind is to allow your teen to make adaptations and try new things so that he/she have ownership in the Christmas celebrations. New festivities can make for happy memories later on. Keep family traditions intact, but be flexible. Let your teen come up with ideas, try them out, and evaluate them for possible use in the future. And, remember, you may have to relax your standards a little. All in all, this can be a fun month for mom and teen!
Don't forget to log tasks, reading, research, and teaching time. Document everything to use as class credit! And be sure to take lots of photos! Maybe next year, your teens can do all the Christmas preparations and you can just sit back and grade them!
Merey (Meredith Ludwig Curtis)