My favorite childhood Christmas memory was the year our pastor took everyone out in his personal horse and carriage. We sang church hymns and Christmas carols as we trodded through the small downtown area that I grew up in. We sang passionately and in between songs, we would drink delicious hot chocolate. It was better than magical- it was spiritual and I will always remember it as the best Christmas ever.
The most memorable Christmas present I received was what appeared to be a plain rock in my stocking. I remember feeling perplexed and wondered why my parents had given me such a gift. My parents were both giggling, wanting me to figure it out on my own but also anxious to see my reaction when I finally “got it.” My dad suggested I hit the rock with a hammer. I looked at him confused but I knew he had his reasons so I listened. The inside of the rock was sparkling with purple crystals. I felt surprised, delighted, and full of wonder.
As a homeschool mom I appreciate the beauty in a Charlotte Mason educational philosophy, I understand and trust in her methods. Which is why I came up with some Charlotte Mason style Christmas ideas. To bring my children surprise, delight, and wonder. To give them the best Christmas ever.
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Jesus Christ needs to be first which is why I begin to incorporate a Charlotte Mason advent starting the first week of December.
Christmas is the perfect holiday to gift a Bible.
Last year I previewed all these books at our local library, then we rotated through them all the entire month of December.
“Points to be borne in mind in children’s handicrafts are: a) that they should not be employed in making futilities such as pea and stick work, paper-mats and the like; b) that they should be taught slowly and carefully what they should do; c) that slipshod work should not be allowed; d) and, that, therefore, the children’s work should be kept well within their compass.”-Charlotte Mason (Vol. 1, pp. 315-316)
Personally my favorite handicraft out of all of these is the make your own fishing lures. I love the outdoors and have enjoyed the sport of fishing since I was a young girl. Both of my children have had interest in fishing lately, maybe it is time to introduce it to them. Make your own fishing lures is a great way to do just that.
Out Of Doors
“Never be within doors when you can rightly be without.” -Charlotte Mason
I can not emphasize enough how much we enjoy our outdoor time and nature walks. I have been wanting to put together a little exploration bag and Christmas is the perfect occasion to give these as a gift to our children.
“As soon as he is able to keep himself, a nature-diary is a source of delight to a child. While he is quite young (five or six), he should begin to illustrate his notes freely with brush drawings; he should have a little help at first in mixing colors, in the way of principles, not directions.” -Charlotte Mason Home Education pg.55
I purchased Winsor and Newton last Christmas and used it as a stocking stuffer. They are still going strong and we all share this one field pocket set. I also gifted the Strathmore brand watercolor journals to each of my children. They were simple and the 140 lbs cold press watercolor paper is all we really needed for their journals to hold up. Once they ran out we made our own: DIY Nature Journal
Laws Guide to Nature Drawing and Journaling, The
“An observant child should be put in the way of things worth observing.” -Charlotte Mason Home Education pg. 69 “The sense of beauty comes from Early contact with nature.” -Charlotte Mason Home Education pg.68
This was a gift from my dad to our children. It has been wonderful to have attached to our back window to watch the finches and blacked capped chickadees while we eat breakfast each morning. The suction didn’t hold for too long but it did come with extra cups so it’s still holding up well after replacing the cups.
“When we say that “education is an atmosphere,” we do not mean that a child should be isolated in what may be called a ‘child-environment’ especially adapted and prepared, but that we should take into account the educational value of his natural home atmosphere, both as regards persons and things, and should let him live freely among his proper conditions. It stultifies a child to bring down his world to the child’s’ level.” Charlotte Mason, Home Education
There are so many Charlotte Mason Methods that can easily be turned into a Christmas gift idea. The beauty of a Charlotte Mason philosophy is that it truly is a educational feast. I hope to bring my children surprise, delight, and wonder. To give them the best Christmas ever-which isn’t the gifts. Rather, it is understanding the meaning of Christmas and forming an amazing bond in the process. These types of gifts naturally involve us all and create long lasting memorable childhood experiences.
What are some gift ideas you have this Christmas?