You should probably know that I'm not great at doing the "traditional" stuff. You know, like hanging stockings (I know, I know, it's important but we have a small house and I just don't always bother), or making a countdown "chain" (thank you, Sunday school, for helping Little Lou to make one!), or filling an awesome Advent Calendar (like my aunts do). I am working hard to create some traditions for my kids, though! You know, things like putting up the Christmas tree after they've already gone to bed at night so they wake up to a great Christmas surprise, baking a "Happy birthday Jesus" cake and feasting on cake for breakfast Christmas morning, and my favorite of all...the Christmas book countdown!
It's our Advent Calendar, of sorts. I probably should have shared it with you a week ago in case you wanted to get in on the fun. Sorry! I can't tell you where I got the idea, but it was from another blog last year. If it was you, fess up and I'll tag you! So here's the deal:
When my kids wake up on December 1, they find not only an undecorated lit Christmas tree, but they see 24 packages under the tree! Twenty four small rectangles. Twenty four December surprises.
For the month of December, the kids take turns picking one package each night.
They're all books. They know that now. They aren't all Christmas books. Some of them are Christian Christmas books. Some are secular Christmas books. Some are just about winter. Some qualify simply because they have a picture or two of snow! The one that picks the book that night gets to open it.
The "picker" gets to sit on Mommy's lap while we read the book. (Unless, of course, the picker is Little Lou. She typically elects to read the book to her brothers.)
And there you have it! Our super simple Advent Calendar tradition! It's a lot of work for Mommy, digging through all the books to find the right ones, wrapping 24 books, and mediating who gets to pick when, but it's so worth it to see them open the books and sit with them each night to read the stories. They're learning about Jesus and the real reason for Christmas, and they're also learning a little bit about the "secular" Christmas story. I LOVE this tradition!
**As a side note, Little Lou has been asking whether Santa is real. She told me she knows the reindeer aren't real because, "Seriously Mommy? Flying reindeer don't even make sense." We've never EVER pushed the Santa thing. We don't use Santa as a threat at all. We rarely even mention him! Little Lou had one picture taken with Santa, but that's it. So help us out, friends. How do we let Little Lou down gently? I need your ideas!**