Monday, December 24, 2012

Holiday Photo Tour & Some Thoughts

The boys have been prepping for Christmas during our homeschool mornings by working on their holiday-themed scrapbook.
This is the cover for their Christmas Around the World scrapbook:
Christmas Around the World Scrapbook Freebie!
Thank you to teacher, Christina Bainbridge, who created this nice resource.
This year, Big Bro and Little Bro are focusing on Christmas Around the World, specifically how Christmas is celebrated in the following places:
United Kingdom
The boys have been researching customs and traditions related to celebrating Christmas in these countries.
As a family, we have been making ornaments, baking and decorating various treats and sweets, and then doing different service projects that tie in with the theme of Christmas Around the World.
We also have been listening to Christmas music from various countries.
While we did a variety of projects, for this post, decided to focus on sharing our photos that correlate with Sweden.
For Christmas in Sweden, Big Bro and Little Bro tried Swedish meatballs, Swedish Lingonberry sauce, a Swedish Festive Christmas drink, Lingonberry juice, Swedish Fish, and Swedish Dark Chocolate. We also made some cinnamon rolls. Here is a link if you want to try to make some Kanelbullar (Swedish Cinnamon Rolls).

Here are some photos of our Swedish projects:
This is the page for Sweden from our scrapbook. Big Bro researched the facts for us for Sweden.
We read stories about Tomte, a gnome featured in many winter-themed stories. This is Little Bro's Tomte.
Here is Big Bro's Tomte.
We read about Santa Lucia Day and then, they did a wreath art project.

We had made these snowflakes to go on our Sweden page for our scrapbook, but then, we found out about the Sandy Hook Snowflakes: Winter Wonderland Project  so we are going to send our snowflakes to them.

As has probably been the case for other homeschooling families, it is almost surreal to prepare for Christmas when the sheer shock and grief of the Connecticut shootings have brought to all near and far from Connecticut.
As a parent, I have taken time out each morning to quietly reflect and pray about what happened and then, have reflected upon how many wonderful, glorious things go on each and every day and that thankfully, there is so much more good in the world than evil and deranged.

But my time of reflection has been done in solitude, as my husband and I have chosen to not discuss the shootings with our sons. We felt that there would not be any benefit to share the horrifying news of the tragedy with them, other than to tell them that we are keeping some people in our prayers.
As a family, we have been praying for a small town in Connecticut but we have left it at that.
We have not gotten into the hideous details with our young sons.

We are participating in the Sandy Hook Snowflakes  / Winter Wonderland Project, by sending our snowflakes, but Big Bro and Little Bro only know that their snowflakes are going to the small town in Connecticut that we have been keeping in our prayers.

My wish for the community of Newtown is that as time passes, that the healing process will begin and that they will be able to go forward and have some semblance of a new normal where they will be once again at some time down the road able to feel joy and peace.

Losing a loved one at Christmas is so hard, as you have a yearly reminder of the anniversary of their death. While the rest of the world is full of happiness and joy, when you lose a loved one, there are mixed feelings: grief but then, wanting to feel joy once again.
We had a miscarriage  that culminated on Christmas Eve. She would have been three for this Christmas and would have been turning four later this year.
Losing our little one who was nearly tore us to pieces. We miss our Little sis, Brynne Elizabeth, each and every day.
It ripped at our hearts and filled us with so many emotions and questions.
But then, as time has passed, it has gotten slightly better to the point that now, doing holiday projects such as creating our Christmas Around the World Scrapbook is something that is filled us with joy and happiness.

Bonding with a child for six or seven years and then losing that child in such a horrible manner as happened at Sandy Hook has to be so much more devastating, as would losing the adults who had been in people's lives for years and were taken away so mercilessly. It seems as if it would be nearly totally overwhelming and devastating beyond belief.

The only hope is that as time passes, there will be a sense of peace and joy that will return to their community.  Hopefully, the families will take some time each year to honor their lost loved ones, as well as work at forging some new traditions and customs that will celebrate their families and their community after this disaster.

Well, hope that all of you have a blessed Christmas season!

Hopefully, 2013 will be a year filled with remembrance, peace, hope, love, and joy for all of us.

1 comment:

Paula Kuitenbrouwer said...

You have written a wonderful post. It was indeed very difficult to feel any joy during the week before Christmas. The schooting at Sandy Hook together with extremely sad news from Afganistan and India, as well as Dutch sad news dominated the news on television and the newspapers. We have done donations and we went to a Raphael exhibition and that all helped to feel slightly better. I think this Christmas felt only good while being with family and friends, giving: giving love, gifts, attention and saying many times grace and thanks.

I wish you a good New Year with lots of lovely educational hours, great books and much progress.
May 2013 bring peace and a safe world to our children.

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