Oh yes, I am going there. Christmas is coming and with a toddler, the time that is left will be flying by. That's why I'm already making plans*. No, I haven't yet put up any decorations, but only because the skeletons, bats, and spiders still need to be taken down. One of the projects I'm currently thinking on is a Christmas countdown or, for the more traditional, an Advent calendar.
Last year, my friend Virginia told me about a tradition her family has for the days leading up to Christmas. Instead of the traditional small gift or ornament contained in the calendar pocket or drawer, she writes notes. Each note lists an activity that her family will do together that day. She mentioned including the Santa Train trip and Santa at the Mall visit on hers. She said one of the best parts of her calendar is that she can always peek ahead after the girls are in bed and make sure the next day's activity is achievable in light of all the next day holds. If not, she simply does a switch-a-roo that the girls never know about.
I loved her idea for both its flexibility (you can wait until the broadcast date of certain holiday specials are announced) and adaptability to children's ages (you know, for those who stop believing in the big man). I am definitely hoping to make this a new tradition in our house.
Right now, I'm only in the planning stages of listing out the "must do" items and brainstorming for others.
Here's a few already on my list:
- Make sugar cookies.
- Go out for peppermint frozen custard.
- Watch Dr. Seuss's How the Grinch Stole Christmas (NOT the Jim Carrey version)
- Write letter to Santa.
- First reading of The Night Before Christmas
- Shop for toy to donate to Toys for Tots
So far, I only have about half of the days filled so I need your help. What tradition(s) does your family have for the lead-up to Christmas that you would include in your countdown?
*Please don't hate me for being an over-prepared type A person. It's just in my nature but only when things I enjoy are involved. My laundry will sit in baskets for days weeks waiting to be folded while I browse Etsy for Advent calendars. Priorities, people.