Christmas Traditions Script

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Thank you for being here this afternoon.  Today we will be doing a lapbook you can use year after year as a keepsake.  The subject is Christmas Family Traditions.

Before we start, I want to remind everyone that my web casts are every Tuesday at 3:30pm Central time.  This week I had to postpone until today, but I do a web cast every Tuesday at 3:30pm.  And also this webcast will be recorded and will then be available on and also on YouTube.

Let’s first go over how to put together a lapbook.  Today our lapbook is going to be a simple one with no flaps.  We will have about 9 components in this.

First you fold your lapbook.  Open up the file folder and then fold each side into the middle.  Now you have your lapbook.  You have three areas to put your mini books on.

The front of your lapbook needs to have 4 things:

1) Title – Christmas traditions

2) Child’s name

3) Date – Christmas 2011

4) Decorated by your child

The mini books we will be doing today are: a pocket to put pictures in, a flap book for the traditions, a petal book for your Christmas tree traditions, a simple fold for your Christmas menu, a matchbook for your Christmas Eve traditions, a simple fold for your whose who list, a simple ford your recipes, an accordion fold for your special family traditions, and a simple fold for your church activities. You can include a pictures for any of these activities you would like to put into the picture pocket.  Remember on each mini book you will want to put what information will be in it.  So on the flap book you need to put that this is Traditions on the cover.

Let me show you what each of these mini books look like.  The pocket looks like this before you cut it out.  After you cut it out you fold the big piece down and then fold the flaps around it.  Then you just glue the flaps down into the book.  The flap book I made with four flaps and a cover.  You cut it out and then cut each flap so that it will open.  The front of the flaps will say, where will you go this Christmas season, when will you celebrate, how do you give out presents, and how do you do your stockings.  The petal book is my favorite.  This one has five petals and you would put your title on the inside which is “Christmas Tree” and then fold each petal in.  The last petal you fold under the first one so it will stay closed. On the outside of each petal you will put what information is under the petal, so you will put where do you put your tree, when do you put your tree up, what do you put on top, what other decorations do you put on your tree, and when will you take your tree down.

The next mini book is the simple fold for your Christmas Eve traditions.  On the front you will put the title and then when you open it up, you will put what you do as a family on Christmas Eve.  Next is the Whose who list and you will use another simple fold, but we will be turning it up like this.  For our Traditional recipes we will use another simple fold.  You can put as many recipes as you want into your lapbook.  Special Family Traditions are next and we will be using an accordion fold book.  Every family has some things they do that are special, I wrote down a couple of ours.  Every year since my oldest was about five, I have bought an ornament for each of my children and put them into their stocking.  Each child has a theme for their ornaments; Jaime’s is trains or nutcrackers, Rebekah’s reindeer or carousel horses, and Abigail’s is teddy bears.  Another of our traditions is going around town and looking at the Christmas lights.  So whatever your family does that is special you will put into the accordion book.  After you cut it out, you fold it just like we used to fold the fans.  Then you glue the bottom fold into the book and then you can pull the accordion open to see all the traditions.  The last mini book is another simple fold for Church Activities.

After you have printed out all your books and cut them out.  You will need to work with your child to get all the information in each book.  Also let your child decorate each book to make them colorful.  After all the books are finished, you can then start putting them into the lapbook.  Before you start gluing however, try placing the mini books in and rearranging them if you need to, to make sure they will all fit.  I think this was one of our mistakes in the past.  We would begin putting the mini books in as we finished them and then would always run out of room.  So place them in first before you begin gluing.

And that’s your lapbook.  Pretty simple!  I think sometimes we make things too complicated when they really aren’t.

Here is the website to print the mini books:

This is a wonderful website.  They have many different mini books with all kinds of shapes and sizes.

Are there any questions?

Susan says the stick glue doesn’t work for her.  You can use Elmer’s glue, you will just need to make sure your child doesn’t use too much.

Watersprite says how about using rubber glue?  Is that the one that uses the brush?  If it is I think that would work well.

Paul says they you a pen from 3M.

Double sided tape works well also, but it is a little more expensive.  I don’t like using staples though.

Paul says that next week on Wednesday, Dec. 28th at 3:30pm central, he will be doing a webcast about what will be going on in 2012 on The Homeschool Channel.  I’ll try and get my list to you, Paul, so you can use it during your webcast.

Thank you for being here today and I’ll see you next week.


Hanukkah Webcast Script

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Today we will be discussing the Jewish holiday of Hanukkah.  This holiday is also called the “Feast of Lights”.  The word Hanukkah in Hebrew means dedication.  This celebration is a time to commemorate the Jewish people’s victory in the first recorded battle for religious liberty.  The Menorah represents the miracle by which the eternal light of the Temple, which had been put out by the Syrians, was rekindled and remained burning for 8 days eventho there was oil for only one day.

First I’d like to tell you the Hanukkah story.  Over 2100 years ago in the land of Judea, which is now called Isreal,  a Syrian-Greek emperor named Antiochus conquered the country and the Holy City.  He outlawed the study of the Torah, and all the obervances of the Lord.  He also defiled the Holy Temple in Jerusalem by bringing into the temple idols of Greek gods and goddesses.

Many Jews did what he asked but some did not.  In a small village called Modin, a man named Judah Maccabee led a small band of Jewish farmers, sepherds, and teachers in a fight against the emperor.  They drove the more powerful Greek army out of their country.

When they reclaimed the Holy Temple, on the 25th day of Kislev, they wanted to light the Temple’s “eternal flame” or menorah.  Only they discovered that the Greek’s had contaminated virtually all the oil.  They only found one cruse of pure oil, which would only last one day and night.  It would take eight days to get more of the pure oil.  But they lit the flame anyway and miraculously the one-day supply of oil lasted eight days.  And this is the miracle of Hanukkah.

This year Hanukkah will begin on Tuesday evening, December 20th.

Now let’s look at the Menorah.  The Menorah has eight candles plus a nineth candle, called the Shamash or attendant candle.  The information I read said that some Menorahs are made for oil and wicks and that that is preferred.  Since the miracle of Hanukkah had to do with the oil in the temple, the Jewish people like using oil Menorahs.  The eight candles of the Menorah are to be in a straight, even line.  They can not be zigzagged or uneven.  The Shamash candle is to be a little higher or a little lower than the other eight.  Here is a picture of a Menorah with the Shamash lower and another where the Shamash is higher.


The Shamash is used to light the other candles.  It is lit first and then is kept lit until the end of the service each night.  If one of the Hanukkah candles goes out you use the Shamash to relight it.  It is forbidden to use one of the Hanukkah candles to light another.  That is why the Shamash is kept lit.

Next is the when and where of Hanukkah.  When is on the 25th day of Kislev, which for the year (2011) is December 20th.  The candles are lit either just before sunset or right at sunset.  They are kept lit for at least 30 minutes after sunset.

There are two preferred locations for the menorah.  You can set up the Menorah in a central doorway. Place it on a chair or small table near the doorpost that is opposite the mezuzah.   Or you can set up your Menorah on a windowsill facing the street.  This option should only be exercised if the window is less than thirty feet above ground level.

Lighting the Menorah                                         

1.  Arrange the candles.  I thought it was interesting that the candles are not put into the Menorah until the night they are lit.  Also that the candles are put into the Menorah from right to left, but then lit from left to right.

2.  Get everyone together

3.  Light the Shamash candle.  Hold it in your right hand (unless you are left-handed).

4. While standing, recited the appropriate blessing.

5.  Light candles.  Each night, light the newest (left most) candle first and continue lighting from the left to right.

The Blessing:

“Blessed are You, Lord our God, King of the universe, who has sanctified us with His commandments, and commanded us to kindle the Hanukkah lights.

Blessed are You, Lord our God, King of the universe, who performed miracles for our forefathers in those days, at this time.”

On the first night of Hanukkah add the following blessing:

“Blessed are You, Lord our God, King of the universe, who has granted us life, sustained us, and enabled us to reach this occasion.”

Relish the Lights

The Menorah lights are to be kept lit until 30 minutes after sunset.  During that time Hanukkah hymns are sung, the Draidel game is played and fried foods are eaten.

I read that Jewish women will not perform any household chores during the time that the Hanukkah lights are lit.

Special Shabbat (Sabbath) Rules

Because the Jewish Sabbath begins at sunset on Friday night, the Hanukkah lights have to be lit before sunset on that day.  They are kept lit throughout the Sabbath meal and service.  So on this night, the candles will stay lit for about one and a half hours.

It was while I was reading about this that I read that most Hanukkah candles only last for about 30 minutes, so for the Sabbath special candles have to be put into the Menorah.

I have two recipes that will be part of the download file.  They are for Latkes (Potato pancakes) and for Sufganiot (spiced fried donuts).  The donut recipe I have also has a chocolate variation, donut frying tips and how to store your donuts.

The last thing we are going to discuss is the Dreidel game.

First, get two or more players together.  Give each player the same number of objects.  Nuts, raisins, pennies, or Hanukkah gelt will work.  Hanukkah gelt are chocolate coins covered in gold foil.  Next, everyone puts one object in the middle, which is called the pot.  Now it’s time to spin the dreidel!  Each player take a turn spinning.

If the dreidel lands on:

Nun: the player does nothing

Gimel: the player takes everything in the pot

Heh: the player takes half the pot (or half the pot plus one extra if there is an odd number in the pot)

Shin: the player puts one object in the pot

Whenever the pot is empty, or there is only one object left in it, each player puts one object in before the next spin.  When one player has all the objects,  he or she wins.

Well that’s about it for my information on Hanukkah.  I hope you enjoyed it!

If you are interested in purchasing the Hanukkah booklet, please email me at or go to my paypal account.  The email for that accounts is

What is included in the booklet is all the information and even more about Hanukkah, two recipes, a Hanukkah song, and how to play the Dreidel game.  The booklet is $3.00.  If you do deposit the money into my paypal account, please email me and let me know where to send the file.

Christmas Around the World Script

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Christmas Around the World

Dec. 6, 2011

Good Afternoon and Merry Christmas.  I’m so happy you are here and I hope that you will enjoy this Christmas Around the World lap book.

 Before we begin, I want to remind you that I have two more Tuesdays before Christmas. My subjects for those two web casts will be Hanukkah next Tuesday, Dec. 13th, and then Christmas traditions on December 20th. So I hope you will come back and participate in those web casts as well.

For today’s web cast I decided my subject would be Christmas around the world.  To make it just a little simpler, I decided to do the same mini books for every country.  So we will be doing a Tab book, a shutter fold book, and a matchbook.  We will also do two pockets.

The pockets we will do will be for all the countries and will be for recipes and songs.  So lets go ahead and do those two.  I’ve already folded my lapbook, but if you need to see that done you can look at the Thanksgiving lap booking 101 video.  I show how to fold a lapbook and how to put in an additional flap.  Now for these two pockets, you need to decorate the pocket first, and I’ve realized that’s easiest done before it is even cut out.  So after you decorate it with the title and some color, you then cut it out.  If you watch the lap booking 101 video, you know that you put glue on only the flap parts to make the pocket.  Now we are going to put these two pockets on the inside flaps of the lapbook. 

Now for the rest of the lapbook you will use the three mini books.  The Tab book will be used to find general information about the country; the capital, the currency, famous landmarks, and a fun fact.  The Shutter fold book will be about Christmas in that country: Preparations, tradition, Christmas greeting, and something special they do in that country.  The matchbook will be for the flag of that country.

The next step is to pick the countries you will be studying.  I’ve got information on 10 countries that I will make available as well as the mini books and pockets. 

So lets put together one country today.  We will be doing Australia.

Let’s start with the tab book.  I picked this tab book because it has lines.  I like having lines, especially for the younger children. For older children you can have them find additional information. For example, they could look up exchange rates for the currency or population of the capital city.  In this mini book we will be looking at general information about Australia.  We found that the capital of Australia is Canberra and the currency is dollars.  One famous landmark is the Sydney Opera House.  Also Australia is the only country that is also a continent.  Our fun fact is that Australia is called “the land down under”.  This is because it is the only continent that is fully “under” the equator.   So now lets put it into the lapbook.  I’ve decided to do five countries in this lapbook.  One country per page.

Now the Shutter fold book is for the Christmas information for each country.  For Australia we found that they prepare about the same as we do.  They trim a tree and decorate their house.  Their decorations are a bit different though.  They decorate with bush plants such as wattle flowers and bottlebushes.  For their traditions, they are different as well.  Since Christmas is celebrated during their summer season, many families have a Christmas BBQ or a picnic on the beach. Another fun tradition is their desert is a flaming Plum pudding that has a favor baked inside and the person that finds the favor will have good luck during the next year.  Our Something Special is Boxing Day.  This is celebrated on the day after Christmas and this is where people give gifts to the lay people in their lives such as their postman or garbage man.  The Christmas greeting for Australia is either Merry Christmas or Happy Christmas.  So now let’s put this one into the lapbook.

The last mini book is the matchbook that we will do the flag on.  I went and got a picture of the flag, but you could also have your child draw the flag.  I also labeled the bottom of the matchbook so that it would show that this is Australia’s flag.  And this one goes into the lapbook too.

As you can see I now can move on to the next country and that will go on the next page.  For this lapbook you will need to use the back of the flaps.

If you are interested in this lapbook as a file, it is for sale for $3.00.  You can pay through paypal and the email for that account is

Please email and let me know your email address so that I can send you the file.  In this file you will have information for 10 countries, as well as the three mini books and the two pockets with their cards.

Also I still have the lapbook resource available for $15.  If has 15 mini books in it.

I hope you enjoyed this webcast because I enjoyed doing it.  Remember next week we will be discussing Hanukkah.  We will look at the meaning, traditions and how to of this beautiful celebration.

Thanks again!