Christmas in a Montessori home may look different than a non-Montessori home. For starters, we won’t be watching Christmas specials together on tv; we don’t have screen time for our toddler. There also won’t be the latest electronic toy under our tree, as Montessori homes limit or eliminate any toys that light up, make sound, or in general require batteries for the youngest children (older children often have access to more of these items as they are geared towards interactive use versus the passive use for infants and toddlers). Finally, our Christmas stories include the (basic) history of the holiday from a multitude of cultures, inviting our daughter to learn how religion affects society and vice versa.
What our Christmas has that is probably more familiar: Trees! We have several in our home; a small one with special ornaments made for and by my daughter, a large one with matching decorations, and new this year is the four foot tree in my daughter’s play space with toddler-safe ornaments for her to explore. It’s important that she has ownership over the tree, just as it is in other facets of our day-to-day lives, and we encourage her to play and explore her tree.
We also have Christmas music. Music is a big part of our home and is a celebrated element in most Montessori homes. We talk about the lyrics, listen, and I sometimes try to pluck out the tune on my daughter’s piano. We’re getting ready to get out some toddler-friendly sleigh bells as well.
We have traditions. These may be different from yours (and that may have little to do with us being Montessori!), but learning about traditions is a big part of our family. We celebrate things in our own special way and we share that with our daughter.
So what’s going under our tree this year? A beautiful wooden barn for all my daughter’s realistic animals, a wooden train set, and some new books. Our Montessori Christmas will be peaceful, quiet, and full of love, much like yours.
Wishing you and yours a happy holiday season, whichever and however you celebrate!