Christmas + Faith + Hanukkah = A multi-cultural holiday season.
Via Bella has the honour to join Life of Homeschool Mom in doing an annual ABC's of Homeschooling through the Holidays series. I have the Letter "L" -- see my guest post here!
I choose "L" because I wanted to do something I could represent two different holidays for other multicultural families, like ours. Hanukkah starts in the next two weeks. Followed by Christmas. Here are some fun ways to celebrate it that we have done this week just for you, the reader!
There are many families out there that celebrate both. I bet you know at least one family that does this-- even if you don't know that they do or not. And if not, now you do. Why? That is complex. Many identify with both. Some honour their heritage and do Christmas. A friend of mine and my family's Jewish roots have an interesting meaning to Christmas.. It is important to honour our past, present, and future!
Since we celebrate both, we will do crafts here for both!
Lights, Love, Latkes.
What am I talking about? Oh, you shall find out. Lots of fun stuff-- that is!
Love = Health & Wellness = We did this during Thanksgiving Week, both of ourselves and our community. They talked about how giving to others is healthy for us and them.
Latkes = Cooking & Math = They had to measure, help cut, peel, shred and make Latkes.
For lights, my kids get (and have to use team work) to choose a Christmas Lights craft.
I gave them an option between taking a wreath bare bones and wrapping in lights and decor (such as ornaments and tinsel) or doing hand print Christmas trees with fingerprint tree lights. They choose the second one. I mean, it is paint after all, right? Is there really a contest?!
I got tempura paint that is eco-friendly and washes off easy. Any mum knows exactly why both of these things are super important! We used a flat canvas 9x12.
We did two different styles (if you look closely at the picture you can see that).
One style we did was with a trunk and the other was without a trunk.
And after, I had the kids sign it = PERFECT PRESENT for anyone!
They took their hands and we made 2 hand print Christmas trees with fingerprint tree lights.
Art, and even sizing. I realised their hands have gotten bigger! So we started using my 4 year old's hand at the top of the tree, my 7 year old's in the middle and the bottom. My 9 1/2 year old did the stumps to the trees. Then my 7 and 9 year old did the lights on the trees for one and my 4 year old took the liberty of taking the other Christmas tree and doing the lights for that one.
After wards, we compared to the canvas they did at the beginning of the year, with their cousins, for my birthday, and they compared the size of their hands, seeing that they had grown!
If you need something easier for Christmas crafts for kids- here are a couple more.
Christmas Q Tips Boutique Decor & Peppermints in a Jar Diy
And we talk about what we are thankful for-- one of them being love.
Then we talk about how we can love others.
For Thanksgiving, we talked about and did a lesson called "Thanks"Giving" Lesson: Giving Smith Renaissance Society Scholarships", which you will have to read to see the details but they equally apply to Christmas. We talked about doing Operation Christmas Child this year, but between doing this and our Boy Scout + Girl Scout Food Drive (that we just finished giving 3225+ pounds of food to the local food pantry) I wanted to spread the love throughout the year. The idea is that we teach to LOVE.
Love to ourselves, to others. It is so important. They say that you can never fully love someone else if you don't love you. This is a life long lesson, no matter how old you are. So this lesson always benefits mum the same it does for the kiddos.
One of the best lessons we can teach our kids is how to love. We are not perfect. We all get frustrated, hyper, sad, happy, angry, etc. But in love all things can be done, forgiven and overcome.
For honouring our Jewish heritage, not religion or faith per say, we are making Latkes-- Potato Pancakes for dinner. These were by far some of the best I have had.
It is very important to give each kid a job but also to make sure that the job 'fits'. This means, don't have your 4 year old grate or cut potatoes. Shredding the onion needs to be done by the adult, of course. Not so much because it is more dangerous than the potato, but because you may just 'cry'.
My kids also ate this up so fast so we don't eat this very often. They love it. If you have never had latkes before they are like hash potatoes/French fries that every all so much love.
We did this egg free (as if my nephew was here because he is very allergic to eggs) but you can add an egg in if you wish.
You can add all sorts of toppings, of course, the most traditional being plain good ole-fashioned applesauce.
6 Large Russet Potatoes
1 large onion
~ 1/4 C Flour
Salt to taste
Garlic to taste
1. Peel potatoes and wash, put them in cold water in a bowl to prevent browning while working
2. Shred onions under cold water
3. Saute onions lightly
4. Preheat oven to 280 degrees
5. Turn the pan on low and add in a thick layer of vegetable oil
6. Have kids grate potatoes (with help)
7. Cheesecloth-- wring out the water twice over from the potatoes
8. Mix together potatoes, onions, flour, salt, garlic if you want
9. Roll into small balls and turn the pan on medium heat
10. Flatten them out and round out the edge
11. Put on spatula, slowly slide in the latke
12. Brown it to golden brown, turn
13. Brown it, and take it off heat
14. Put into oven to stay warm until ready
15. When done, serve, heat when hot/warm for best taste