Book of Joy, Day 19, by Briana Elizabeth

“Always winter but never Christmas.” C.S.Lewis

I read a blog post today that really stuck me with its truth. It made me realize why I’ve had some ‘off’ Christmas and why others have been such joyous feasts.

“Advent and Christmas without traditions is like Narnia under the White Witch.” Brandy, Afterthoughts blog

I don’t know about your house, but at my house the excitement is pretty thick. Add in birthdays in the days before Christmas, and the littlest is about beside herself.

It’s magical. Don’t you remember being this excited, just barely being able to sleep because of anticipation? The lights, the smells, the people, everywhere you look it being a wonderland?

You can’t have a feast without a fast, which is what Advent is about. Anticipation. Quiet preparation. It makes Christmas all the more brilliant, to have sacrificed in some ways during Advent so that the joy of the holiday can truly be celebrated through to Epiphany. But we don’t want to be so sparse of heart and mind that we act as if Christmas is just another day.

A proper party is in order to make a holiday a holiday. Make a cake, bake the cookies, do your family traditions. The ones that make your family, yours. Adopt some new ones if you want – just don’t throw yourself into a tizzy making it happen! Last year we finally got around to making Christmas Crackers, and they are now a Must Have. My kids write the jokes, I find little stuffers, and we make the crowns. Or maybe just putting the kids in their PJs and giving them hot cocoa as you all watch a favorite Christmas movie is more your style.

Whatever you do, make it special. Make it Christmas, not just winter.


Briana Elizabeth has been at this homeschool gig since her 23 year old son was in 7th grade, and his psychiatrist told her that he had to be homeschooled. Her son never went back to public school that year, and the following year, she pulled her 4th grade daughter out of public school. Her five other children have all been homeschooled entirely. It was baptism by fire, but she wouldn’t trade it for the world. Through the years, she has in the end, not only educated her children, but herself, and homeschooling has brought about a whole paradigm change of living for her family. The education that had seemed only possible for the elite was possible through classically homeschooling.

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