A Holiday Season of Rest
November 29, 2023
Mercy Every Minute
Deborah Wuehler, TOS Senior Editor
In between Thanksgiving and Christmas are a few short weeks with many varied and harried preparations. Along with extra holiday events, extra planning, extra shopping, extra-curricular activities, extra hospitality, there is not much extra time to think about rest. Is there really such a thing during the holidays?
Though we have a lot more on our plates, a priority of good sleep to avoid our tired and cranky tendencies, good nutrition so as to avoid illness (even if that means avoiding some of those sweets) will help in this busy season. Another priority would be to help the children focus on others and how to love during this season, rather than focus on self or even academics.
Even during the holidays, there are still opportunities for restful learning. Besides audiobooks or educational movies, they also learn about loving their neighbors with a plate of homemade goodies. They watch, and learn by example, all of our caretaking and where our holiday priorities are, and they see our commitment to bring people and plans before the Lord in prayer. These are life lessons that cannot be learned any other time. We must take every opportunity, even the hectic holidays, to lead our children to a loving Father. What better time to share the gospel with our children. The gospel is where you will all find rest for your souls.
Our bodies are not our own, but are God’s temple–His dwelling place. What are we allowing to have space in His temple, and what are we sending out in prayer? What kind of events and plans will do the most good and provide the most peace? We may need to re-evaluate what activities we had in mind. Our outward temples need rest and repair, especially in these holiday seasons.
In Mark 6:31, Jesus said, “Come ye yourselves apart into a desert place, and rest a while.” In finding your quiet place, you may need to take your little disciples with you as well. Gather them all together and teach them to pray and read with you in that quiet place. It may not be all that quiet, but as they grow, they will also grow to see your relationship with your Father and desire one of their own.
Rest looks like following His lead for what you will do as a family this season. “Yoke up” with Him, see where He is going, and follow Him there. You don’t have to do all the holiday things to make it special. You can make plans to keep it simple and restful and still have a very special holiday.
A very blessed and restful holiday season to all of you from all of us at The Old Schoolhouse. And, please let us know what we can do or how we can pray for you this season.
- Start a new family tradition! Here are twelve days of family devotions and activities: Celebrating Twelve Names of Christ
- For fresh encouragement, visit HomeschoolShow.com to hear our homeschooling holiday podcasts.
Set the PACE for a Holiday Season of Rest
December is an amazing month, but would you associate the word rest with your experience? Responsibilities like hosting, cleaning, cooking, and schooling make a holiday season of rest seem like an oxymoron. Do you want to slow the pace this year?
Last December I printed a calendar to block out school days. I was amazed to discover, with holiday celebrations, visitors, and travel, there were only two weeks of school and a scattering of odd days.
Stop feeling frazzled; set the PACE for your holiday season. By setting the PACE you can refocus and be intentional about what is most important to you.
First, set a Primary focus. Do you want a Christ-focused Christmas or to practice gratitude with your children? Do you want more organized celebrations or to get meaningful schoolwork done in December?
Choose your focus, then select Activities each week to help support your focus. Activities could include a cooking day, planning time each school week, or gratitude journaling.
With activities chosen, print a Calendar and schedule times for these activities each week. Set a reminder in your phone to help you remember the time and activity.
Last year, we chose to read an advent calendar at dinner time to help us celebrate Christ in meaningful ways. Don’t forget to Evaluate your progress and add new ideas for next year.
After years of wishing for an intentional Holiday Season, we set the PACE; made time to reflect and focus before Christmas Eve. On the In Due Season Homeschool Podcast and 200 Fingers & Toes Blog, I help homeschoolers refocus, create accountability, and thrive at home. I’d love to help you right now! Grab your printable December Bucket List & PACE Plan now and have yourself a Holiday Season of Rest!
A Holiday Season of Rest . . . Whatever!
A restful holiday season is an urban myth, legend . . . a lie. Everyone wants one but no one ever seems to have one. I hear moms all the time talk about slowing down and doing things to avoid the holiday stress.
Honestly, and this is Todd, not God, speaking, I don’t think it can be done . . . until you’re old, and then you’ll be sad because you have too much of it.
So, here’s what I would do: embrace the Season and all the stress that comes along with it. Freak out and buy the gifts that have to be bought, make the food that has to be made, and create the “specialness” that has to be created.
At the end of every stressful day thank God for the family that He has given you that causes all the stress. Thank Him for your seemingly ungrateful children, your unaware husband, the inward pressures that you put on yourself, and for the gift of Jesus who makes all this meaningful and purposeful.
Then go to bed early, wake up stressed, make yourself smile, clean up the messes, run yourself ragged, and then thank God again for all the Christmas time stress and your family.
Sorry I couldn’t be more helpful, but ’tis the Season. Embrace it.
P.S. Here’s one thing you can check off your Christmas list: get the World’s Best Gift for Dads/husbands – the 2024 You ‘da Dad Daily Calendar. Dads ask for it every year. Order now to make sure you get it in plenty of time for Christmas.
About the author
Todd Wilson is a husband, dad, grandpa, writer, homeschool conference speaker, and former pastor. Todd’s humor and down to earth realness have made him a favorite speaker all across the country and a guest on Focus on the Family. As founder of The Familyman and The Smiling Homeschooler, his passion and mission are to remind moms and dads of what’s most important through weekly emails, podcasts, seminars, and books that encourage parents. Todd, and his wife Debbie, homeschool four of their eight children (the other four are homeschool graduates) in northern Indiana and travel America in the Familyman Mobile. You can read more at www.familymanweb.com.
A Holiday Season of Rest
What does your December to-do list look like? Be inspired by Diana Waring’s illustrations of two different to-do lists!
About the author
Diana Waring is one of the pioneers of homeschooling. For more than three decades, homeschoolers around the world have been encouraged and inspired by her authenticity, transparent stories, and gentle humor. She is the author and publisher of the History Revealed world history curriculum, She has also created, in collaboration with Dr. Kathy Koch, the 8 Kinds of Smart DVD for families. In addition, she teaches students online, blogs, writes occasionally for The Homeschool Minute, sings at the drop of a hat, laughs with her husband, and fervently follows the Lord.
Adam and Dianne Riveiro
Finding Rest in the Midst of the Holidays
Are you doing “all the things”? Adam Riveiro reminds us to keep the main thing the main thing this holiday season.
About the author
Pastor Adam and Dianne Riveiro live in Easton, Massachusetts, where Adam leads Liberty Baptist Church. They’re the authors of several books, including Hope from Our Heart to Yours: A 30-Day Devotional Journey for Special Needs Families, available from their family’s publishing label at www.readyscribepublications.com. They have four children: Bethany, Kaylee, AJ, and Peyton. They’re passionate about helping their fellow special needs families find joy and contentment in Christ.
Did you know?
Every class is INCLUDED for ultimate members!
Take a break from the regular routine with the Ditch the Desk course from SchoolhouseTeachers.com. Discover some new ideas and topics that will bounce you out of the everyday doldrums! From birds to the ocean, “growing up Dutch” to candy canes, and many more—leave the desk behind, but continue learning! Try all of the Christmas-themed lessons in this course, only on SchoolhouseTeachers.com.
Guess what’s available for each season? SchoolhouseTeachers.com offers a Holiday and Seasonal Resource Center with more than 500 resources to choose from for those special holidays. Incorporate hands-on activities for Christmas or practice math skills during the fall. Every homeschool family should have a membership to SchoolhouseTeachers.com, and this is the best deal of the year. Get the BOGO. It’s normally $269.97 for a full year, but until January 12 you can pay that price but get TWO FULL YEARS, so the second one is free. You’ll be all set for the next two school years, starting right now. Tell your friends about it, too—or give it to someone for Christmas.
Keep the holiday season merry and bright with restful tips and ideas to keep the education going in December. It’s Episode 44 of the Hey, Mama! Homeschool Show—”A Holiday Season of Rest,” where Heather chats with special guest and homeschool mom Kristin Stewart about how to slow down during the busy season ahead. Listen and connect at HomeschoolShow.com.
Congratulations to our September winner, Mia P. from Ohio!
for the month of November
Trusted: Preparing Your Kids for a Lifetime of God-Honoring Money Management
Focus on the Family
In a culture where living paycheck to paycheck is the norm, teaching our children about money management is very important. In Trusted: Preparing Your Kids for a Lifetime of God-Honoring Money Management, author Matt Bell presents ways parents can teach their children to honor God with their money.
As the author recommends in the introduction, I read the book from cover to cover on my own to understand “the big picture” presented. Then I returned to lessons I wanted to cover with my children over the next few months. This is a book that I will return to for advice as my children enter new stages in life.
The lessons offer advice, activities, and suggestions for all ages. Each lesson begins with ways that parents can manage their own finances. This helps parents as we serve as role models for our children. The author gives real-life examples showing the consequences of poor money management and other examples of God-honoring money management. After this, the author provides tools and activities to help parents instruct their children.
I highly recommend Trusted: Preparing Your Kids for a Lifetime of God-Honoring Money Management to every parent who desires to teach their children how to honor God with their finances. This book provides lessons that can benefit parents and children of all ages. To quote author Matt Bell, “The most effective money-management lessons are those that are learned with real money in real time in the real world.” This hands-on, role-modeling, Biblically-based approach to teaching money management will appeal to many Christian homeschool families
This is part of a review of the book Trusted. Read the full review on our site which includes more details about the content.
Go to the contest page of our site where you can ENTER TO WIN the book Trusted.
Holiday Supplement 2009
Recreate an authentic first Thanksgiving feast, prepare for a peaceful Christmas, and enjoy over 180 pages of holiday crafts, recipes, and traditions in The Old Schoolhouse® Digital Holiday Supplement, 2009. This timeless collection of holiday fun and festivities also includes directions for making your own Christmas decorations and gifts.
Download your free copy now. Then spread the word and share this inspirational holiday guide with friends and family.
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Give Thanks Scripture Writing
Click on the image to download the full free printable pdf.
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