Home School Life Journal

Home School Life Journal ........... Ceramics by Katie Bergenholtz
"Let us strive to make each moment beautiful."
Saint Francis DeSales

Snapshot Summary, December 26- January 1; The Twelve Days of Christmas

During this time of the year, I often feel alone. So many have started the Christmas season sometime in Fall and are really more than ready to get the tree and all the decorations out of the house the day after Christmas. Sometimes I even hear people talk about the 12 days of Christmas as being the last 12 days leading up to the grand finale of Christmas day. Did you know, however, that the 12 days of Christmas are really the 12 days beginning with Christmas day and runs through Twelfth Night or the eve of the Epiphany?  January 6 celebrates the visit of the Magi or the three wise men to the infant Jesus. I have heard people argue that we don't know when they arrived and we don't know whether there was three or a different number, but those traditions never really bothered me because I doubt that Christ was actually born on December 25 and that has not stopped people from using the day to celebrate his birth. There is a lot left to tradition and that is okay. I always think of the days of advent like the anticipation of the birth of my own children. I never think that the days leading up to the big day as more important that the days that follow their births and the blessed days of noticing every little bit of that lovely newborn. I don't mean to sound disrespectful by equating my own children to the Christ child, because I am not at all. I just mean that it is the days after the birth that are more important that the build up to it, and that is the way I feel about Christmas, too.
I hope I don't offend anyone. I don't mean to be saying that anyone is doing it wrong, or that I have the only right way to do Christmas. I would never even think of doing that, for every one's way to celebrate and every one's way to worship is their own. I just find myself in the position of once again having to explain why it is that we celebrate the Christmas season somewhat later than most people and what I mean when I say the 12 days of Christmas. We are spending the next two weeks on our Christmas break and will be completing different Christmas activities, celebrating this amazing gift of our king and enjoying the days waiting for the three kings, who showed us that Christ was sent for us all. In fact, when the boys get a little older, I plan to even spread out the gift giving through the whole twelve days. Even if they don't have twelve presents, I plan to give them their larger gifts to cover two days and the tag would say something like, "Days 6 and 7 of Christmas."
We spent much of the second day of Christmas like most people, enjoying our gifts.
My little actor, Quentin, enjoyed being Zorro with the Christmas gift of the costume.
The Second Day of Christmas
Boxing Day
The Feast of St. Steven
"Good King Wenceslas looked out, on the Feast of Stephen,
When the snow lay round about, deep and crisp and even;
Brightly shone the moon that night, tho' the frost was cruel,
When a poor man came in sight, gath'ring winter fuel...
...Therefore, Christian men, be sure, wealth or rank possessing,
Ye who now will bless the poor, shall yourselves find blessing."

The Third Day of Christmas
The Molasses Pull That Wasn't
I don't have a picture for this day because it was a day filled with minor disasters and nothing of success. Our intention was to have a molasses candy pull to celebrate the finishing of reading Farmer Boy. During the middle of boiling a syrupy combination of brown sugar, molasses and margarine, Katie leaned over and said, "I think there is something green in it!" My attention immediately went to the green spoon I was using to stir with which I had thought was a heat-proof plastic. I pulled it up and found that half the spoon  was gone, melted into the candy. I dumped the concoction in the sink to wash the pot out to start again, and,of course, it hardened in my sink drain. We did get it out and washed our pot. We started again with a metal spoon this time. For this attempt, we followed the instructions and yet when the candy cooled enough for us to begin pulling it, it hardened instead to a hard candy which upon tasting, tasted like burnt sugar.
The best part of the day was when I dropped my computer (its a net book) and it lost it's screen. I am now blogging on a dinosaur relic of a computer, so don't be surprised if I am blogging a lot less in the future.
A lot less.

The Fourth Day of Christmas
James' 11th Birthday
The Last night of Hanukkah

The Fifth Day of Christmas
Gingerbread Sleighs
The Sixth Day of Christmas
Made Fudge
My boys actually asked if they could do some school.
Lots of drawing
The Seventh Day of Christmas
New Year's Eve
I made up bags of fun for each hour starting with 3:00 and going until 9:00, or bedtime by 9:30 for my youngest boys. Each bag was also labeled with a city in which it turned midnight when we opened the bag so we could celebrate New Year's Eve around the globe. We looked for the city before we enjoyed the activity.
At 2:00, we began playing board games.
3:00 Moscow: Sherbert Drinks (see below)
4:00 Bagdad: Noisemakers
5:00 Athens: Glow in the Dark bracelets
6:00 Rome: Dinner!
7:00 London: Silly String
8:00 Azores: Hot Chocolate Bar and Muddy Buddies
9:00 Rio De Janeiro: Poppers and Sparkling Juice

Celebrating New Year's Eve with Sherbert "Champagne" -Sherbet and Sierra Mist
and board games
The Seventh Day of Christmas
New Year's Day
A leisurely day...
Black Eyed Pea Soup, Pork Chops and Broiled Cabbage Wedges for dinner and...
 Ice Cream Sundaes for dessert.
Happy New Year To You All!


  1. We celebrate through the Epiphany too! I remember someone saying last year "Christmas is over!" and I said "No, Advent is Over, Christmas has barely begun!!"

  2. Oh wow, I"m so sorry about your computer!

    I did know that was when the 12 days were, and I think about celebrating it from time to time, but never actually follow through, partially because we're always traveling after Christmas and that takes away some of my gusto.

  3. Thanks for sharing! You are absolutely right...Christmas Day is not the grand finale. I love your focus on what is truly important about this season.

  4. I think your reasoning is beautiful and wonderful.

  5. Oh such happiness and joy in this post! Let the celebrating keep on going! Love all the smiles, sparkles and lights. (and so sorry to hear about your computer) Yes, Happy New Year too!

  6. Hi! I have a little blog award for you :) Check it out: http://leptir-mojpribor.blogspot.com/2011/12/best-blog-award.html

    Happy holidays :)

  7. Merry Christmas and may you have a beautiful new year! We, like you, know and celebrate Advent and then Christmas. Although I do listen to joy-filled Christmas music from Thanksgiving till New year's. I do take our decorations down on New Year's because I love to start our second semester in a clean and organized work space. But that's because I'm anal about it! :). You are not alone! Keep with your beautiful traditions!

  8. So sorry about your computer!! That is so frustrating. Those are the moments when I wish I could have a 3 minute do over!

    I have always been frustrated that all the celebrating happens before the actual event! But I am always happy that the rest of the world shifts gears, and, even if they don't know it, celebrate the One truly important day of the year. Hearing "O Holy Night" coming through the speakers at the store makes my day even if it is the day after Thanksgiving! I was sad to go to Target two days after Christmas displays swiped away and Valentine's in its place!

    I love the way you organized your New Year's Eve! I am so going to do that next year.

    Thanks for sharing your 12 days of Christmas!!

  9. I love that you are blogging about what your family does. I can't imagine you offending anyone with anything you said. I'm glad you are letting people know there are more ways to celebrate and I'm sure there are people that are nodding their head along with your words, wishing that they'd celebrated like that the whole time. My in laws do not celebrate Christmas like the majority of people, because they too, believe that Christ was probably not born on December 25th. Your way of celebrating is absolutely beautiful.

    I feel your pain about the computer situation, by the way. My laptop died this past month. I'm on my husband's computer, which is harder to see. Also, my prime blogging time is his prime videogame time (after our son is in bed) so we are having to juggle. I want my computer back! Haha.

  10. Hi,
    It has been some time. Blessed Christmas and a Happy New Year from us in Singapore. I am sorry to hear about your netbook though, is it possible to be repaired?


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