* I really wish I was able to arrange the pictures I had the way they were visioned in my head but I am not so good with the technical part of the blog... sad, I know :)
I have been so excited about starting different Christmas traditions now that we have our own family. Of course I want to continue some of the traditions that Hubs and I had when we were growing up with our families, but I am so happy to be starting some of our own. It makes me feel like we are grown ups :)
I am thrilled about our Advent calendar. I have been working hard on getting it ready.
A month or so ago I did some web surfing to look at different advent calendar ideas. There are SO many cute ones out there. My sister in law does a really cute one too. I finally came across one that I LOVED! Of course I am changing it a bit to fit our family, but so glad someone came up with the idea.
Some of the ideas I saw you had to have a little piece of chocolate or a little trinket for the 25 days. At first I thought, OK I can make small sugar cookies and those could be the little 'gift' because there was no way I was going to give my 20 month olds a piece of chocolate a day. Then I laughed and said NO way am I going to give them a cookie a day either. Then I thought about the trinkets. First who needs more trinkets haha. I didn't think it would be fair for the boys to take turns getting a trinket. They are only 20 months.. they don't get it. Then I thought, well, the boys love trains, I could buy one little train for each day and the boys could share it (and then it could go with a train track that I was (am) thinking about getting them for Christmas). I kept thinking and I thought that if I did that I would then have to think of something different for the next year... and we are going to have more babes so I would have to either find something they all like or I would have to start buying more than one trinket at a time...them Christmas gifts...I DON'T THINK SO!! Talk about spending money we don't have.
The calendar I came across is a family event. There is no taking turns, no choosing who is going to get the treat, just all family. So when I came across idea I fell in love!
We are doing a Book Advent Calendar.
Every night we will open the appropriate gift wrapped book and read it together as a family. I know that the boys won't necessarily sit through all of the books that I have chosen, I know that they are honestly a bit too young for this, but I want to start the tradition right away. I figure if I don't start it right away I would put it off until I forgot.
The bonus is that I have more than 25 Christmas/winter books already in my attic from when I was teaching and a handful that my cousin gave the boys last year for Christmas so I don't actually HAVE to spend any money at all. Of course I'm going to. haha. I only have 3 true meaning of Christmas books. One of them is way too long that we are not going to use it, so I definitely want to buy 1 or 2 more Christian books.
Most of the books that I have will be used for years and years to come but some will have to be traded out for 'big kid' books eventually.
The book pictures aren't posted in any order. Actually I didn't even pay much attention when I wrapped and numbered them. I decided that I wanted to be as surprised as everyone else in the family. However, I did pick a special book for the first night and a special book for the last night.
The Story of Christmas by Patricia A. Pingry is the book that I chose for the first night. I wanted to start us off the right way. The boys have actually read this book a bunch. This is one of the books that my cousin gave them last year for Christmas and it's been out since then. However, I think it will have a little bit more of a special meaning after this.
I chose the Bible as the book for the last day to read. Hub's family always reads the Christmas story on Christmas Eve before they open presents ... since we open presents on Christmas day I wanted to save it for the 25th.
I got 24 out of the 25 books wrapped. Can you believe that!?! I ran out of wrapping paper with only 1 book left to be wrapped. UGH :) I have to get to the store to get some more of the brown paper so that I can wrap the last book (#23) and get them put on our stairs before December 1st.
I linked all the titles up to Amazon even though I didn't get a single one from there.
The Story of Christmas by Patricia A. Pingry
This is the Stable by Cynthia Cotten
Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer retold by Dennis R. Shealy
Christmas Troll by Jan Brett
The Night Before Christmas by Clement C. Moore
Merry Christmas Mom and Dad by Mercer Mayer
Who Will Guide My Sleigh Tonight? by Jerry Pallotta
Bear's First Christmas by Robert Kinerk
Santa Knows by Cynthia & Greg Leitich Smith
Santasaurus by Niamh Sharkey
Christmas for the Snowmen by Wolfram Hanel
Russell's Christmas Magic by Rob Scotton
The Three Bears' Christmas by Kathy Duval
A Magical Christmas by Claire Freedman
Merry Un Christmas by Mike Reiss
The Christmas Penguin by Mary Packard
The Night Before the Night Before Christmas by Natasha Wing
Olive, the Other Reindeer by J. Otto Seibold & Vivian Walsh
Froggy's Best Christmas by Jonathan London
Frosty the Snowman by Jack Rollins & Steve Nelson
One Winter's Day by M. Christina Butler
One Snowy Night by M. Christina Butler
A Very Merry Snowman Story by Joanne Barkan
The Polar Express by Chris Van Allsburg
The Holy Bible - Matthew 1:18-25
I have a few others on the side just incase I decide to switch some out. I am also going to see if I can find any more board books or true meaning of Christmas books when I go shopping this weekend. If I do I will switch out some of the longer books for them.
I am really looking forward to this. I hope it's something that the boys (and any other babes we have join our family) might carry on one day.
Once I get all the books placed on our stairs I will take one last picture and make a special posting about it :)
I am SO excited about this!!