Christmas Traditions

 I had good intentions to post this on or before December 1st, but somehow time got away from me and I am writing it a week later than planned. Christmas, without a doubt, is my favorite holiday. We start decorating the first week of November, and spend most of December creating fun Christmas crafts and treats. This is also the perfect time of year to enjoy family traditions.

What are our Christmas traditions?

Back in 2011 when I began homeschooling we started a Christmas book countdown (which is apparently known as “Bookvent” on Instagram). I wrap 24 Christmas or winter themed books, and starting on December 1st we open one a day. Even though my children are getting older, Julia and Jack are both excited for this tradition.

We also have an “Elf on the Shelf”, but ours is a little bit different… Our elf is Christopher Pop-In-KinsHe is super cute, and Jack just loves searching for him every morning. Even if Christopher does get revenge when the kiddos are a little sassy like last year (bahaha)!

Elf on the Shelf Causing Trouble

So what are we reading for our 2017 Christmas “Bookvent” ?

Christmas Traditions: Bookvent

Disclosure: “We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to and affiliated sites.”

This year I wrapped up the following books:

  1. The Night Before Christmas by Clement C. Moore
  2. The Biggest Snowman Ever by Steven Kroll
  3. The Golden Christmas Treasury: 25 Stories, Poems, and Carols by Rick Bunsen
  4. A Silly Snowy Day by Michael Coleman
  5. Frozen Noses by Jan Carr
  6. Clifford’s First Snow Day by Norman Bridwell
  7. Little Einsteins: Christmas Wish by Marcy Kelman
  8. The Littles Have a Merry Christmas by John Peterson
  9. The Nutcracker adapted by Bethany Snyder
  10. What Santa Can’t Do by Douglas Wood
  11. Jingle Bells by Darcy May
  12. There Was an Old Woman Who Swallowed a Bell! by Lucille Colandro
  13. Mickey’s Christmas Carol by Ron Dias
  14. Bear Stays Up for Christmas by Karma Wilson
  15. A Charlie Brown Christmas by Charles M. Schulz
  16. The Littlest Christmas Tree by Janie Jasin
  17. Santa’s Noisy Night by Julie Sykes
  18. The Christmas Carol retold by Mark Taylor
  19. Clifford’s Christmas by Norman Bridwell
  20. Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer  by Rick Bunsen
  21. If You Take a Mouse to the Movies by Laura Numeroff
  22. A Chipmunk Christmaby Janice Karman
  23. The Grinch: The Care and Feeding of a Grinch by Christopher Moroney
  24. Mooseltoe by Margie Palatini

Today Jack read this book by himself!

BookVent Christmas Tradition: What Santa Can't Do

If you have been following me on our homeschool journey, you know that Jack REALLY struggles with reading. Tonight he decided he was going to read our book to me since I was feeling a little sad about Julia leaving for the next four days to go to Detroit with her Papa… He struggled through a few words, but he did it! I am so incredibly proud of this boy. Although it has been so hard watching him struggle so much with reading and writing, nights like tonight make up for it. Seeing his confidence growing and the look of pure excitement when he finished just melted my heart.

This year we are also incorporating Christmas themed tea times…

So far we have had a Grinch and a Reindeer theme. Don’t forget to check back next week to see what theme we chose for Tea Time Tuesday.

What are your Christmas traditions?

I would love to know what specials traditions you and your family celebrate each year. Comment below!



Tea Time Tuesday Grinch Edition

We are early Christmas decorators here, but with Thanksgiving officially past it is finally time to break out ALL things Christmas. What better way to kick off the Christmas season than to have a Tea Time Tuesday Grinch Edition.

Featured Book

How The Grinch Stole Christmas! by Dr. Seuss

How the Grinch Stole Christmas! Featured book from Homework and Horseplay

This week we are switching things up and skipping the poetry… We always start the holiday season by reading this book and doing some baking, and I wanted to share that tradition with all of you.

Disclosure: We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to and affiliated sites.

Featured Recipe

One of our favorite things to bake for Christmas is “Grinch Cookies“. To make your own Grinch Cookies you will need:

  • 1 pouch (1 lb 1.5 oz) Betty Crocker™ sugar cookie mix 
  • 1/2 cup butter or margarine, softened
  • 1 egg
  • 6 to 8 drops green food coloring
  • 1 cup  Andes Mints, chopped
  • 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips or chunks
  • Red Runts candy

Tea Time Tuesday Grinch Cookies from Homework and Horseplay
You can find the instructions here. We do NOT add the mint extract because my children find them to be too minty and we add “hearts” to add that extra Grinchy touch. Otherwise we follow the instructions. We were super excited to find that you can now purchase Andes Mints bits now… No more chopping!

Our Table

Tea Time Tuesday Grinch Table from Homework and Horseplay

Tea Time Tuesday Grinch Table Setting

Thank you for joining us for Tea Time Tuesday Grinch Edition…

We are off to watch “How The Grinch Stole Christmas!”, and relax for a little bit before heading to Julia’s chorus performance. She had a performance last night as well, but I was one of the chaperones in the waiting room with the children. I can’t wait to hear her sing tonight.

Would you like to see our other Tea Time Tuesday posts? Head over to my Tea Time page.

Tea Time Tuesday Thanksgiving Edition

Welcome back to Homework and Horseplay. Today I am sharing our Tea Time Tuesday Thanksgiving Edition. With Thanksgiving just around the corner we are sneaking in all kinds of fun Thanksgiving treats and activities.

Featured Poem

Thanksgiving Day by Lydia Maria Child

Over the river, and through the wood,
  To grandfather’s house we go;
       The horse knows the way 
       To carry the sleigh
  Through the white and drifted snow.

Over the river, and through the wood—
  Oh, how the wind does blow!
       It stings the toes 
       And bites the nose
  As over the ground we go.

Over the river, and through the wood,
  To have a first-rate play.
       Hear the bells ring 
  Hurrah for Thanksgiving Day!

Over the river, and through the wood
  Trot fast, my dapple-gray!
       Spring over the ground, 
       Like a hunting-hound!
  For this is Thanksgiving Day.

Over the river, and through the wood,
  And straight through the barn-yard gate.
       We seem to go 
       Extremely slow,—
  It is so hard to wait!

Over the river and through the wood—
  Now grandmother’s cap I spy!
       Hurrah for the fun! 
       Is the pudding done?
  Hurrah for the pumpkin-pie!

Featured Recipe

This week we have plenty of baking and cooking to help with for Thanksgiving, so we kept our tea time simple. I broke out our November Dollar Tree STEM Boxes so we could make cornucopias, and we also made pilgrim hats. To make your own pilgrim hat snack you will need:

  • Fudge Stripes Cookies
  • Rolos
  • Yellow frosting
  • Reese’s Pieces

Pilgrim Hat and Cornucopia Snacks

These pilgrim hat snacks are super easy to make. You just need to put a little bit of frosting on the bottom of a Rolo, and press it down onto the bottom of a Fudge Stripes cookie. Then put frosting on the back of a Reese’s Pieces candy, and press it to the front of the Rolo.

Our Table

Tea Time Tuesday Thanksgiving Edition Table

Thank you for joining us for Tea Time Tuesday Thanksgiving Edition.

I hope you all have a wonderful Thanksgiving! If you would like to check out our past Tea Time Tuesday posts, head on over to my Tea Time page. Don’t forget to follow me on Instagram if you would like to see more of our Thanksgiving fun.