Whether you are a homeschool parent and looking to continue learning but in a more relaxed manner or you are just a mom who loves adding extra Christmas family fun to your season, Legends of Christmas has what you are looking for.
This journey of discovery can be an excellent educational opportunity for all families, offering a chance to learn about various aspects of Christmas through different lenses. Whether you're interested in the historical roots of Christmas or the development of festive customs Legends of Christmas resource will help you delve deeper into this festive season.
Keep reading to learn unique perspectives surrounding just about every aspect of the most popular holiday of the year.
Legends of Christmas Unit Study for Families
The Christmas Tree
Over the years, the triangle-shaped evergreen tree has grown to become the pinnacle of Christmas. They are purchased in all sizes and decorated in a number of ways. But where did the tradition start?
There is a legend surrounding a group of men offering a sacrifice to an oak tree as an act of worship. This angered Winfrid greatly and he struck down the oak tree with one mighty blow of his ax. The story says that a fir tree eventually grew from that oak stump. The missionary believed that the tiny tree was a representation of Jesus’ victory over death on the cross and eternal life made available by Jesus’ resurrection.
Pagans used branches of the evergreens to decorate their homes during the winter solstice to remind them of the coming spring. Romans used fir trees to decorate their temples at the festival of Saturnalia, an ancient Roman pagan festival honoring the agricultural god Saturn. Christians used the evergreen branches as a sign of everlasting life with God.
Christmas Tree Lights
The legend of light on the tree stems from Martin Luther who just so happened to be walking through the forest one night. He looked up and saw the twinkling stars, which appeared to be on the tips of the tree branches.
He wanted to share this with his family, so he cut down a tree and took it home. He then used candles to recreate what he saw in the forest by lighting them and placing them on the ends of the branches.
Christmas Tree Ornaments
Long before trees were decorated like they are today, they were simply strung with apples in lieu of celebrating Adam and Eve's Day on December 24th. Medieval Christians would gather for a play based on the lives of bible characters, and once the plays were no longer performed, families began getting their own evergreen trees and decorating them.
The Candy Cane
Legend has it that parents would give their babies a simple white stick of sugar to suck on when they were fussy, (the first pacifiers). During the 1670’s, a choir master decided to bend the sticks in the shape of a shepherd’s crook. As the children entered the cathedral, they were handed the “candy cane” to preoccupy them, should they become disinterested during the service.
Over the years, the meaning has changed to everything from the red representing the blood of Christ to the white representing life without sin (or being washed white as snow).
History has it that in 1882, a friend and employee of Thomas Edison used an electric motor hidden under the floor to power his Christmas tree and light display. The tree rotated six times a minute. It had eighty lights in all, each in a delicately painted glass bulb. With each turn the tree alternated colors- red, white, and blue.
Over the years, the White House began lighting up a big tree, department stores started using them to bring in more customers, and after WWII, people began hanging lights outside their homes.
More Legends of Christmas
There are several more legends of Christmas worth looking into and studying:
- the colors of Christmas
- Christmas cards
- giving gifts
- wrapping gifts
- opening gifts
- Christmas traditions
Legends of Christmas Unit Study Pack
help you study the legends of Christmas in a fun way, I’ve put together a unit study pack filled with study prompts, discussion questions, activities, crafts, science ideas, and more.
The complete resource comes with brief backgrounds about:
- The Christmas Tree
- Lights on a Tree
- Ornaments on the Tree
- The Candy Cane
- Outdoor Lights
- The Colors of Christmas
- Christmas Cards
- Giving Gifts
- Wrapping Gifts
- Opening Presents & Christmas Traditions
There are also questions and Scripture suggestions for parents to lead their family in discussing the history of what's addressed, as well as raise awareness of how these can relate to Christmas today, especially pointing to our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.
Enjoy activities, crafts, foods, science, volunteer options, and more! And since this resource is a PDF, the titles with an underline can be clicked on.
Use code LEGENDS50 to get 50% off the Legends of Christmas! Offer expires Dec 16th
Replace science history, arts and crafts, writing, cooking/math with Legends of Christmas activities!
Everything you need for a full unit study is in this resource! Simply print and go!
Enjoying the journey,
Michelle Osborn is the owner and founder of Homeschooling Teens Successfully and Yellow House Book Rental, specializing in providing homeschool curriculum for rent or purchase, as well as counseling and guidance for homeschool families. She is a wife, a 22-year homeschool veteran, and mom of four children and six grandchildren. Two of her children are now entrepreneurs, running their own successfully businesses. Michelle’s passions include serving by leading worship at her church and encouraging homeschool moms through one on one, social media and speaking engagements. She has found her niche in helping parents homeschooling their teens through the high school years and on to pursue their dreams.
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