Wednesday, December 10, 2008


We are rapidly barreling toward that Day of Days (barely two weeks! Yikes!). Every time it snows, E asks, "Santa Claus coming tonight?" Dear god, I hope not! We're not quite getting the concepts of time and waiting...even with the "help" of advent calendars.

There are a lot of wonderful Advent calendar ideas out there in the internet craftland, but I just don't have the energy (or time)...also I don't love the idea of my kids opening 24 presents leading up to Christmas, when they'll get MORE presents and family friends gave each boy two Advent calendars--one paper with pictures and one with chocolates. I'm kind of lusting over one of these pricey little you think I could saw, sand and drill myself one in time for next December?

Instead of an advent calendar, for the last few years I've wrapped up some of our Christmas books and we've opened one a day. The first couple of times it was only M opening them, so it worked out well, but last year we had fights over who got to open them. This year I considered wrapped three books for each day (yeah, we have that many Christmas/winter books...but in my defense most of them are hand-me-downs), but that just seemed crazy, so I just labeled them with the day and each kid's name (happily 24 is divisible by 3)...still there is much drama over who gets to open the books and then issues around the person opening the book thinking he owns the book...tis the season for fistfights! And M is (sniff, sniff) getting a little too old for picture books, so he usually opens his and then heads off to read Captain Underpants or Encyclopedia Brown, although he did read The Polar Express to us the other night.

Some of our favorite Christmas and winter books:

Anything by Jan Brett, especially if it includes Trolls (last year I had to hid Trouble With Trolls under the bed because I got sick of reading it), but also The Mitten and the Gingerbread Baby.

A Jolly Christmas at the Patterprints by Vera Nyce. We inherited this book when C's grandparents moved out of their farmhouse and it is probably the most fun Christmas story I've read.

A Christmas Stocking Story, by Hillary Knight, which I got as part of a set of four teeny tiny books when I was little.

Emmet Otter's Jugband Christmas, by Russel Hoban. Such a sweet story (by the author and illustrator of the Francis books)...also my favorite Christmas movie.

How the Rabbits found Christmas, by Ann Scott. One of my childhood books.

My Wonderful Christmas Tree, by Maine Artist/Illustrator Dahlov Ipcar.

I'm sure I'll think of more, once we've opened them all (last night was Little Critter's Merry Christmas Mom and Dad and Five Little Foxes and the Snow...both short, sweet additions to the list); and I'm sure MY favorites are not necessarily my kids' favorites, but this way we do manage to get all those Christmas books read during the right season, and then put away so we're not reading Rudolph in July.


  1. That spiral is very cool. we have a re-usable advent calendar, bought several years ago, that I love. There is a little cardboard pocket each day for a tiny little cardboard book and each book tells a tiny part of the christmas story. There is a little loop of thread attached to each book, so we read one every night and then hang it on a tiny fake Advent tree. It's even illustrated by Tomie DePaola.

    Books! I like A Dozen Silk Diapers, Too Many Tamales, Three Wise Women, The Winter Gift, The Fourth Wise Man, the Twenty-Four Days Before Christmas, The Best Christmas Pageant Ever, The Littlest Angel...

  2. We did the advent book countdown this year. I thought ahead enough as we were wrapping the 24 books to also print out a December calendar where I wrote the boys' names in rotating order. The marked calendar is hanging above our book basket so each of the guys knows when it is 'his' day and when it moves on to his brother. So far so good!

    But Finn definitely has the 'mine' thing going on at age three....

    We also do chocolate advent calendars (made sure they were fair trade). They each have their own & I marked them with the fellows' names with a Sharpie before we got started. But that is our morning ritual. Who couldn't use a chocolate heart first thing in the morning?

    Off to make Window Stars. You're a far better project mom than me so I will let you know how it goes.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...