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How Are You Ringing in Christmas?

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As the Christmas season begins, kids are already getting antsy. They know if you went shopping for Black Friday. They know if there are presents already hidden somewhere in the house. And if there aren’t, they have started making lists and counting down the days to Christmas. It makes homeschooling interesting—especially if you’re trying to keep the holiday fever from getting out of hand for just a few more days.

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With a late Thanksgiving this year, it seems as though the calendar jumped straight from Thanksgiving to Christmas—and there’s no way to turn back the clock. Even the best-prepared parents may well have been caught off-guard by the sudden arrival of the season—and now you’re scrambling to catch up. Luckily, there are a few simple things that you can do to bring out the holiday cheer (and keep your munchkins excited and engaged each day) without having to put forth too much effort ahead of time. For example….

Do you have an advent calendar? This can be as complex as something that you purchased and bring out every year, or as simple as a chocolate calendar purchased for a couple of dollars at your local grocery store. It’s quick, it’s easy, and it brings to mind the Christmas season every morning.

What about a nativity set? Again, this can be complicated—something you made yourself—or just a simple set that you picked up. It might be a plastic one made out of your child’s favorite characters (Veggie Tales has a cute one, though you might want to just remove the batteries from the star now), or it might be something that you’ve made yourself. There’s a cute pattern to make your own out of felt at http://mycrazyblessedlife.com/2012/11/07/wall-nativity/. Putting out the nativity is a great chance to talk to your kids about the real meaning of Christmas and tell them the Christmas story—and it works for both big kids and little ones, because all of them need to hear it again this holiday season.

Did you bring out your Elf? Remember, if you do Elf on the Shelf, if doesn’t have to be about keeping an eye on the kids to keep them out of trouble. It can also be about having a little bit of Christmas fun!

Make a fun Christmas breakfast. Pancake reindeer are easy, or you could make pancakes in metal cookie cutters. You can also do a “north pole” breakfast, or just include hot cocoa or apple cider with a regular breakfast for your kids.

Make decorating part of the fun. If they can complete a lesson in X amount of time, they can then help put up some of the Christmas decorations; or, if they have a very, very good day, it’ll be time to put up the tree. Hey, a little bribery to get a good day never hurt anyone!

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