Day 26

Advent Verses

We are told in Isaiah 53:9 and Matthew 27:57-60 that He would be/was buried in a rich man's tomb.

Jesse Tree

John came to preach repentance, urging people to prepare the way of the Lord. Our verse for today is 

Repent ye; for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.
Matthew 3:2

Today's ornament could be droplets of water, to either represent tears of repentance or water baptism.  For a homemade ornament, some people like to use a seashell, but I haven't figured out why quite yet.  

To Explore

Wassail_Song_37aDo you say WAW-sill or Wa-SALE?  It's a big debate around our neighborhood.  I've searched many dictionary pronunciations and they all argue with one another.  So, pick your favorite dictionary and insist on being correct if anyone asks.  Here is a friendly definition of wassail-    To hear the word with both pronunciations, listen here -

Wassail comes from the Saxon wæs hæil, meaning, "Be healthy".  It's also attributed to the Norse, Old Norse word vesheill meaning "Be in good health."

For a great history of wassail, see -

Today, it is usually associated with friendly visiting and warm wishes, but there was a time when it got rowdy.  Singers demanded free food and drink; if refused, they resorted to vandalism.  Thankfully today, caroling is a friendly gift of voice and cheer and wassail is a pleasant drink to share with friends and family on a cold winter night. 

Christmas Around the World

Old England gets all the credit for our wassailing tradition, but we've already studied this country.  I can surely get creative and find another way to tie in a different geography lesson, right?  Let's see....well, Vermont has a nice Wassail Weekend -

Spain was the country I wanted to tie in next, but the best tie-in I can find is in the tale "How The Bowmen Held Wassail At The Rose De Guienne."  A wassail toast is lifted and someone toasts "...the king of Spain for a mark at fourteen score!"  Not much of a tie-in, huh?  Well, let's look at Spain anyway. (and if anyone has any creative tie-in ideas, please let me know!)

If you'll remember, people in the Netherlands welcome St. Nick from a boat arriving from Spain.  What do people in Spain celebrate about Santa? Do they send him off on that same boat?  Not exactly.  In Spain, Santa Claus is called Papa Noel, but he isn't the one bringing gifts.  Instead, children celebrate the three wise men (or Los Tres Reyes Magos) bringing gifts on January 6th.  For a deeper look at Christmas in Spain, see :

Hands On (cooking, coloring, creating)

Make wassail! So easy to do and it makes the whole house smell delicious.  Wassail is basically just apple cider flavored up however you like best. 

Our favorite imitation wassail is 2 quarts apple cider (not from concentrate) to one box Red Hots candy.  We heat this up in the crock pot and enjoy it all day long! 

For a more traditional version, start with a jug of apple cider, add in other juices (such as cranberry, orange, or pineapple) if you have them.  Add in spices, such as cloves, cinnamon or cinnamon sticks, nutmeg, or ginger according to your preference.  A nice touch is orange rind, but only do this if you have organic oranges.  This year, I've discoverd granulated orange rind - even easier!  This punch can be sweetened with honey or brown sugar if you like.  Some even like to mix it with hot tea!  There is no wrong way to make it.

Ever try wooly wassail?  To make, peel apples into your wassail and let simmer until they disintigrate and the pulp looks fuzzy as it floats on top of your cider.

Carols with lyrics pages:

Online Coloring page -

Coloring pages -
Fun Caroling scene
Carolers page
Cute Caroling page
Small Christmas Carols scene

Color by number:

More victorian carolers:


Here We Go A Wassailing
1871 sheet music, page 1 
1871 sheet music, page 2 - 

Glouchestershire Wassail on YouTube
Three Wassail songs in one clip, beautifully done
Lesser known, The Boar's Head (great Latin lesson here!)
Lyrics and background for Boar's Head
To sample the VeggieTale version, try here