December seems a fitting month to write about making holidays special in our homeschooling routines. As homeschool moms we have a variety of opportunities to help create holiday memories. Certain elements make add to the joy, the memories, and the anticipation of holidays. I've culled them down to the following list:
Extra set-aside, focused family time
Special crafts; creating things
Hospitality/Gatherings with friends and/or extended family
Seasonal or holiday decorations make special events more special. Decor creates atmosphere. Beautiful decor can lift the heart. There's a touch of the Divine in beautiful things. Decor also shows that we've taken the time and effort to make the holiday special. It doesn't have to be extravagant, just special.
Granted, there's a lot of kitsch decor on the market nowadays. Here's the definition of kitsch: art, objects, or design considered to be in poor taste because of excessive garishness or sentimentality, tacky, of poor quality. It may be popular but it's not truly beautiful. For example, we went to WalMart the other day and by the entrance was a towering plastic, blown-up Christmas tree. I guess it was designed as a lawn ornament. Kitsch.
Our decor should be an extension of who we are. It should reflect what we want to focus on and, in that sense, be metaphoric or representative of the underlying truths we are celebrating. Every holiday presents opportunities to instill and reflect truth. Christmas decor does this is a multitude of ways.
Candles remind us the Jesus is the Light of the world who entered into our darkness to place His light within us. Christmas lights speak the same message—not only the white ones, but all the colors are reflections of His beauty and brilliance. Teach your children about the color spectrum and about prisms. Read Revelation 4:3 about the rainbow around the throne of the Lamb. As you look at Christmas lights, turn their thoughts toward Christ. Revel in His beauty.
Even the glittery things of Christmas can remind us of the dazzling glory of Christ. Out on a walk one day I realized that glittery things started in the mind of God: the glitter of snow, the glitter of mineral flecks in rocks, the way dewdrops catch the sunlight, etc. All beautiful objects and ideas have their origin in the mind and heart of God. Oh, how we should teach our children to rejoice in these things and in the wonderful God who made them!
The greenery of Christmas reminds us of the eternal Life Jesus came to give us. The trees can remind us of the cross. Red decor foreshadows the cross, the greatest display of God's love. All the lovely, fun things we hang up speak of joy and abundance of life—gifts of grace through Christ.
I'll never forget the year the Spirit of God highlighted the word JOY as I read through the entire Christmas story in the Bible. Joy is riddled throughout, from the angel's first announcement to Zecharias in the temple and Elizabeth's greeting when Mary visited her, to the angel's announcement to the shepherd's and the wisemen's response at seeing the guiding star again. Christ came to bring joy and life abundant.
Think through what you want your home to reflect and what you want your family to focus on. Decorate with things that remind them of these things and that lift their thoughts, their souls up to the God of goodness and grace who gives us all things richly to enjoy.