Inspired by this awesome Advent Tradition idea from Savoring the Details, I decided (at the last minute) to do a Book Advent Calendar this year, which involves reading a Christmas story for each day of Advent. I gathered all our Christmas books together and was quite surprised at how many we had. However, we were short of the required 24. Not wanting to buy any, I popped down to the library and checked out some fun Christmas stories to fill in the missing number. I managed to get the first book wrapped after dinner last night, while the kids waited expectantly on the couch for their “surprise gift.”
I chose The Elf on the Shelf for the first book, since the elf had made his appearance that morning and the kids were asking me where the book was. Then, after bed time, I printed out some number labels that I designed earlier in the day, and spent the remainder of the evening wrapping the other 23 books!!! I randomly stuck the numbers on them, so each day the kids can find the number corresponding to the date, and we will read that story before bed. I wrapped the library books first, so I can return them to the library every few days, so we aren’t hogging them through the holidays.
Although the children already love reading books before bed each night, I love how this idea will make the holiday reading fun and exciting, and who doesn’t like opening a present every day?! This is cheap and fun – and is a great example of how not all “gifts” have to involve spending money and getting caught up in the whole consumerism aspect of Christmas. I like it!
Our holiday ideas so far include:
Take Family Christmas Photo in the snow
Talk with the kids about how the true spirit of Christmas is about thinking of others and helping others.
Get Christmas Tree and spend an afternoon or evening together decorating it.
Decorate the house for Christmas.
Make an outdoor garland out of fresh pine and hang.
Listen to Christmas CD’s
Spend an afternoon or evening making Christmas sugar cookies
Make a special Christmas treat or dessert at least once a week
Take the kids ice skating
Attend the local Christmas Parade
Take the kids to the holiday market.
Go on a sleigh ride
Take a special trip into town to see the Christmas decorations and Christmas Tree
Drive around the ‘hood one evening with the kids in their PJ’s sipping hot chocolate and looking at all the Christmas decorations
Donate food items and winter clothing to local food pantry
Christmas Family Movie Night