books & reading, family fun, photography

Advent Traditions: Simple Ideas to Celebrate the Season

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This is our third year using a gorgeous quilted Advent Calendar made by the kids’ meme (and her mother, I believe). Half the fun is figuring out what to put inside. I confess this year got away from me but I decided to combine tactics from previous years but more importantly use stuff we already had. I’m not sure if it will be clear from the stockpile of Christmas presents, but I have been trying to keep things simple this year and strive for minimalism. Strive being the operative word.

So this year’s advent goodies include either a couple of new stickers or one mini Hershey bar each, rotating each day. In addition, I decided to write each kid’s name on a strip of paper and rotate those as well – one in each day’s pocket – and that kid gets to pick a Christmas story to read out of the Advent Christmas Box that I made a couple years ago. How’s this for a Christmas miracle? The original paper decor on the box has managed to hold together for two years and still looks basically new.

I bought a couple of new books for the box over the past couple of months but I’ve mostly just kept the same assortment from previous years and didn’t even bother to wrap them. I sorta put them in order and by that I mean the larger books are at the bottom and The Night Before Christmas is at the very bottom but I’m going to relax the reigns and let the kids pick whatever book they want each night.

downloadToday BB chose Frozen: The Christmas Party by Andrea Posner-Sanchez, a Step into Reading book that I found on Amazon for about $3.

We snuggled on the couch and read the book together – first I read it, then we listened to BB read a few pages. She’s learning basic blending skills in kindergarten right now and listening to her read is such a thrill. She’s able to piece together at least half the words in a simple book like this either by blending or by context – amazing!

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The book also has some bonus card stock ornaments that your kids can punch out and hang on the tree which my kids wasted no time getting to work on. I’ll have to share some pictures of our Christmas tree soon. We are sticking to our minimal theme there as well with mostly just our shatterproof red ornaments and a couple stragglers (and the paper ornaments soon probably) – both because it just felt right this year and because I’m still a little nervous about the dog behaving around the tree. I’d rather not lose precious heirlooms this year if I can help it.

What does your family do to celebrate the winter holidays?

Do you have an advent calendar?

Let’s place bets: How long until my dog eats the Christmas tree?

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