Confession time, I love the lead up to Christmas more than I actually like Christmas. As much as I love the joy of giving, eating wonderful food, I often find that the BIG day itself does not live up to the picture I have in my head of how everything ’should’ be.
The days of Advent and the lead up to Christmas on the other hand, I adore. All the activities that promote family time such as; choosing the tree then decorating it, because I don’t do Christmas by halves we also have decorations that go up around the house and in my daughter’s room, writing cards, making our door wreath, wrapping gifts, showing kindness, pantomimes, carol services and of course Advent itself.
We are not a family that buys a simple yet effective Advent calendar from the local supermarket, oh no! Our Advent traditions started many years ago when a dear family friend who is like a mother to me and is fondly called by my daughter, Granny Anni gifted me my very own Advent calendar featuring the Snowman, holding 24 balloons that double up as little pockets that can fit in chocolate, a small gift, a note, anything. When I had my daughter, the Advent calendar was passed onto her and the tradition continues. More on this in another blog.
A number of years ago now, I introduced a book Advent to our December traditions, in short I wrap up 24 Christmas story books, I am a teacher so I have LOTS of books. If you don’t have that many Christmas books, seriously who else does? Then you can use any books from your kids book shelves.
On each evening of Advent, my daughter unwraps one and we read it as part of her bedtime routine. She can open the books in any order, apart from one, which is marked in some way, and this is opened on the 24th and it is always the story ’The Night Before Christmas’. It is something I look forward to all through out December.
I humbly suggested to my daughter that now she is 10 perhaps she did not want her book Advent, well, let us just say that her answer warmed my heart. There was no way that we weren’t going to do it! Yippee. Off now to wrap 24 books…