How to Connect Christmas and History this Holiday Season

Welcome to day 2 of my series, Life Learning Through Christmas,  as part of iHN’s  5 Days of Christmas hop. Today is all about connecting Christmas and history during the holidays.

There are so many historical events to learn about surrounding Christmas and the first place to start would be with the Christmas story itself.

How to Connect Christmas and History this Holiday Season

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Christmas Story

There are so many picture books that retell the Christmas story and I’ve chosen a few to show you here. I prefer beautifully illustrated books, so that is what you’ll find.  Some of these are a straight retelling, whereas others might tell it in a different manner.

You can even take a virtual tour of the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem.

Washington Crossing the Delaware

On December 25th, 1776, General Washington crossed the Delaware River and marched on to Trenton, New Jersey ultimately defeating Hessian forces.  Does anyone remember learning about the Hessians as a child? I think I learned about them as a homeschooling mom.

A wonderful book describing this event is When Washington Crossed the Delaware by Lynne Cheney.

My girls have also enjoyed Liberty’s Kids and were even wanting to rewatch it recently.

I also found this very well done documentary on the Mt. Vernon website, which would be great to watch one afternoon.

Also, the famous painting by Emanuel Leutze would make for an impromptu picture study. You can find more information about this on the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s website.

A few more goodies

Silent Night

One of the most popular Christmas hymns has a most interesting history.

Silent Night was written as a poem in 1816 by Fr. Joseph Mohr. The melody was later composed by Franz Gruber and performed for the first time at the Midnight Mass on December 24, 1818. The melody was performed because the church organ was found to be in disrepair due to mice and no one could imagine a Christmas Mass without music.

The hymn has even been declared an intangible cultural heritage by UNESCO. While researching I found this PBS documentary series on Amazon Prime Video I plan to watch with the kids this year.  You can also order it on DVD.

Other Resources:

Christmas Truce of 1914

Only five months after the outbreak of World War I, troops defied orders and embraced a self-proclaimed armistice on Christmas Day in 1914. Never since have soldiers observed a holiday cease-fire.

Other Resources

Other Life Learning through Christmas Posts

The Best Christmas Literature to Include in Your Homeschool

4 Delightful Christmas Movies You Need to Add to Your Homeschool

Christmas Arts and Crafts to Bring Beauty to the Season

Science and Nature Activities to Make Christmastime Fun

5 Days of Christmas

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About Bethany Ishee

Bethany is the mom of six, always-homeschooled children, who one day realized she'd lost herself in the process, probably under a pile of laundry. Her eclectic style of homeschooling draws upon Classical to Unschooling and everything in between.  While homeschooling her children and writing about learning outside of school, she tries to find time to read a book, drink coffee, and pay the bills.

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