Christmas decorations are all cleaned up. School started back last week for both my homeschoolers and my public school orchestra students. So I'm taking a few quiet moments this afternoon to look back at how we invested our time and energy during our Christmas break.
Every year (especially when we have a library nearby!), we discover new picture books to augment our collection. This year we finally bought a springerle mold and made yummy cookies like the family in "The Gift of the Christmas Cookie"
We also discovered the lovely book "They Followed a Bright Star". I'll let the notes on the inside of the book jacket tell the story:
"Joan Alavedra wrote a poem in Barcelona in 1943 for his five-year-old daughter when she asked for a poem from the point of view of each of the figures in the crèche. Since the work was composed in an atmostphere of war, he ended it with a hymn to peace and love. Later the cellist Pablo Casals set the poem to music and it became the oratorio El Pessebre (The Manger)."
My favorite non-fiction find for the Christmas season was "Christmas Farm", a sweet book full of information about farming Christmas trees woven around a young boy and his grandmotherly neighbor.
For Epiphany, Sarah decided to make a non-traditional German chocolate cake, and Katherine found the hidden ceramic baby Jesus. We watched "Amahl and the Night Visitors" and sang along. I admit, I cry every time the mama and Amahl sing the goodbye duet at the end.