Saturday, December 1, 2012

Christmas Cheer

Christmas comes early to the small town we call home, with an annual festival to celebrate the season on the first Saturday of December. It's been a tradition for Love and I, and now for our family. I came home from the street fair and spent the afternoon in front of a fire Love made for me, putting together a surprise for Shimmer and Shine. I've been missing my blog and the chance it gives me to chronicle the memories we make together and the ways I try to make our days special. So today, I'm commiting to try and share a little Christmas Cheer with you each day this month.

Here's an idea I found on Pinterest (of course)... an advent countdown in books. I raided the kid's collections of Christmas stories and threw in a few new titles for an added element of surprise. My only request was that I got to choose which book we opened today (on the first day of the month) and I've told them which wrapped book has to be saved for last on Christmas Eve. They can pick and choose which gift to open on each of the other days in between. I think this is a great new tradition, a wonderful way to use up old gift wrap scraps, and best of all... an encouragement to read with your children everyday. Here is how my surprise for them turned out.

I hope it inspires you to do something similar. If you don't have 24 Christmas books, the time to wrap that many, or feel like you've missed the first day and now what? Well, why not cut it down to the 12 days of Christmas? Or, forget about the wrapping and head to the library for some extra books and just fill a basket to keep by their beds full of Christmas stories for them to choose one each night.

By the way, if you're wondering what the first book was that I wanted them to open. It's a book called The Holly Pond Hill Christmas Treasury published in 2003. The year my daughter was born.

The book is a beautiful collection of short stories, poems, songs, recipes, and traditions with many Biblical references. I bought it for her and saved it for years until she was old enough to enjoy making some of the things. Finally gave it to her two year ago, on our first Christmas in our new home, and just wanted to make sure it didn't sit unopened in the pile since there are so many sweet ideas in it. The book is out-of-print but maybe you can find a used copy if you're lucky. I'll keep you posted on the books we read each day, in case you're looking for some new favorites for your Christmas library. I hope you'll join me for some more Christmas Cheer tomorrow and all month long!

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