It is not so much for its beauty that the forest makes a claim upon men’s hearts, as for that subtle something, that quality of air that emanation from old trees, that so wonderfully changes and renews a weary spirit. – Robert Louis Stevenson
Since as far back as I can remember the evergreen tree has played a major role in my celebration of Christmas. We have adorned our home with artificial ones, real ones, ceramic ones, and even dough shaped ones. The Christmas tree has been a symbol of Christmas long before any of us have celebrated it, and will continue to be so long after we are gone.
This month, as I began to pull together the morning time plan for December, I was torn with an array of options. The focus could have been on anything from stars, hibernation, changing of the seasons, gifts, or snow but in the end, I kept coming back to the evergreens. This is the perfect time of year to study these types of trees, and even more fun to gather pine cones, evergreen branches, holly leaves and berries, and mistletoe for further study as well as adorn our homes.
So this month our music, poetry, art print and science all have little undertones of the evergreen. I hope you enjoy them.
You can find the morning time printable here.
The music choice for December was very difficult. Doing a search for Christmas music yields a million results and with that comes a huge range of ideas and preferences. Being a type 4 on the Enneagram scale, I am very prone to caring about what others think, which is not always a bad thing, but does cause me to second guess my decisions based on what I believe others will think. This is a personality trait and insecurity that I am continuously working through (Amanda wrote a great blog post about 4’s recently, I found it to be very accurate. If you’re interested, you can read it here.) Ultimately, I chose Nat King Cole’s version of O Tannenbaum. His version is pure and simple and has always been one of my favorites.
The song O Christmas Tree, is actually based on an old German folk song that had nothing to do with Christmas but was about the stability and faithfulness of the fir tree. A really neat article about the translation and how it came to be a traditional Christmas song can be found on this website.
We have had this beautifully illustrated version of Robert Frost’s poem “Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening” for a long time and have enjoyed it immensely. It is a fun interpretation of the poem, especially in December. Reading it over the years has brought a great appreciation of this poem and has become one we love.
Tasha Tudor was in incredible illustrator. Oh my, how I love all of her sweet depictions of childhood. The art we will be observing this month is said to be an illustration of her children and grandchildren, all drawn as Tasha chose to remember them: young and lively. Tasha Tudor was not only an illustrator but also wrote many books. I am working to slowly add some of them to our home library with A Time to Keep at the very top of the list. You can read much more about her life on Tasha Tudor and Family, she was an incredible gardener, illustrator, and had a fond love of Corgi’s. If nothing else, just look at all of the beauty a pinterest search of Tasha Tudor illustrations yields.
And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. 11For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the LORD. – Luke 2:10-11
The best news ever given, heralded by a host of angels. I love to think of the joy that must have surrounded this news. Joy that was not intended only for the shepherds or Mary and Joseph, but one that is available for all people.
I posted some ideas for nature study this month. Many of these I took from Anna Botsford Comstock’s, Handbook of Nature Study. You can find lessons for The Pine, The Norway Spruce, and The Hemlock on pages 670-680. If you don’t have this book no need to worry just use the ideas listed on the printout and let the imaginations of your children take care of the rest!
A few years ago my children and I wrapped our own beeswax candles: keeping some and gifting others. Slowly we have used up our supply and at their request we will be making more this Christmas. If you have never done this with your children, you have missed out. This quiet crafts opens up plenty of opportunity for conversation and results in joy that is found by making something so beautiful, so simply. We used this kit when we did this craft previously, and will be using it again this year.
Thank you all, so very much, for your sweet comments on previous morning time plans. I am always encouraged by your words. It is very humbling to know that many of you are using this in your school plans day in and day out. I hope they continue to bless your family. Merry Christmas, friends!
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