I thought about the lovely calendars where it is an activity to do together each day, or an easily replaceable treat. I really do love those ideas but when it comes down to it I need to be better about not creating more work for myself this time of year…and I just knew that I couldn't pull it off without dissolving into a puddle of stress.
Then this post showed up in my blog feed, and I found more examples on Pinterest. Anne took all their holiday books and wrapped them up so the children could open one each day. I had just pulled out all our Christmas and New Years books and popped them in a basket for easy browsing in the living room. Turning something we do anyway into a new holiday tradition? It was perfect!
I wrapped a piece of craft paper around each book and labeled them with a number. We didn't quite have 24, so I ordered a few extra from Amazon and ran to the library to fill out the last few. The boys are really excited to open a "present" each day and I'm looking forward to making our afternoon reading time a little more special. I'm trying so hard to embrace the love and joy during the holidays now and push back the stress and chaos that often overtakes me.
I realized as I was putting the basket together that many of my favorite holiday memories revolve around books. Every year we read The Polar Express on Christmas Eve (we still do!). I remember getting my very first Nancy Drew book and listening to my Mom read it over Christmas break. I still cook from The Frugal Gourmet Cookbook my Nana gave me when I was 6. (Remember this Apple Cobbler?) I'm hoping that in the midst of the visits with Santa and wish lists and art projects we do each December that my children will find some joy in our books too.
Here are the books I've wrapped up! What are your holiday favorites?
1. Elf on the Shelf
2. The Night Before Christmas (board book)
3. Frosty the Snowman
4. Santa's Reindeer
5. William and the Christmas Moon
6. Snowmen at Christmas
7. The Bears' Christmas
8. My First Christmas
9. The Pirates Night Before Christmas
10. Llama Llama Holiday Drama
11. The Dinosaurs Night Before Christmas
12. The Night Before Christmas (This cut paper version is stunning!)
13. New Clothes for New Year's Day
14. The Polar Express
15. Spirit of Christmas
16. Olive the Other Reindeer
17. How the Grinch Stole Christmas
18. The Nutcracker
19. Merry Christmas, Strega Nona
20. The Gingerbread Man
21. Twelve Days of Christmas
22. Charlie Brown Christmas
23. The Snowman
24. Emmet Otter's Jugband Christmas
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