We have been enjoying lots of family time this month. I think a month-long break is just what we needed! We have played games, eaten pizza, looked at Christmas lights, listened to Christmas music, burned scented candles, tried new recipes, enjoyed family get-togethers, gone shopping (both IRL and online), watched the birds, made Christmas ornaments, and lounged around in our PJ's and slippers as much as possible.
Life has been so laid-back and relaxed that I don't know how we'll ever get back on track come January, but I'm not going to think about that right now. I'll cross that bridge when I come to it. For now, I'm enjoying making memories with my family and letting all the worries and stresses roll right off my back. They'll be there for another day. But for today I'm going to get my Love Bank filled back up with kisses and hugs and quiet conversations (while making those same kinds of deposits into each of my loved one's Love Banks) and regain the strength to face all those worries and stresses that will still be waiting for me come January. I think that by then they won't seem so big anymore anyway.
A few things strike my from her post now that I have lost my own mother. What are the parts that I remember? I remember my mother always being very generous with us at Christmas time, as were my grandparents. I can only remember a few of the gifts they ever bought me, but I remember that I felt loved and happy. So maybe it wasn't necessarily the cost of the items under the tree (because the most memorable gifts, in hindsight weren't very expensive) but the atmosphere that they were given in.
What Missy describes in her post is an "atmosphere" of less stress, more fun, lots of memory making, and family oriented activities. It's not the hustle and bustle of holiday Christmas shopping and cranking up credit cards and all the materialism that goes with that. What she describes in a way is a sort of Advent - a preparation and a time of making ready.
My children are older than Missy's were. With one already out of the home and making his own way, I am anxious and resolved to do an even better job of launching the next two high school sons. So while I feel that we have to stay somewhat focused on the academics, I want to make sure that there is an overall sense of peace and prayerfulness in our home. For us that means keeping our main living room organized and inviting, and having the advent wreath as a central point in our family life - i.e. the family table. It means reading the scriptures at dinner and really concentrating on the prayers and readings that lead up to the presence of Christ at Christmas. For all of my children now, including Rosie, it means being especially available to help out at church, which seems to be musically for our family - another tradition that goes back at least two generations.
If those are the values and the lessons I can instill during the month of December and Advent - I will consider that a successful homeschool month!