Tomorrow is December 1st. The official countdown to Christmas begins, that is if you haven't already begun ;) Christmas is my favorite holiday hands down, and I like to celebrate it all month long. I actually prefer all the activities and the excitement leading up to Christmas than the actual day. Noah's at that perfect age where he strongly believes in Santa and is genuinely excited for everything that goes along with it. Just last week during our bedtime routine of "let's talk about the day", I told him we'd be decorating the house and he had the most excited look on his face. He then responded with "So Christmas is the next day?". Nope, sorry bud! But in the meantime, we have so many fun Christmas things planned and advent calendars to keep us busy!
First up, is the traditional advent calendar. This will be the third Christmas we've used this advent calendar from Pottery Barn Kids. We technically had it when we were in the apartment, but we never had a place to hang it, so we saved it for when we moved into the house back in 2014. While I like that the small pockets stop me from going overboard, it's sometimes hard to come up with 25 things that will fit in each pocket. The good news is that now that Noah's getting a little older, he'd be happy with getting a piece of candy every single day. In addition to some mini Milky Ways and Skittles, I found some miniature toys. We saw Finding Dory this summer, so I was really excited to find a set of mini figurines from the movie. I think Noah will enjoy getting a new sea creature every few days. Need more ideas on what to fill the pockets with? Last year I shared a list of my favorite fillers.
In addition to the advent calendar, we let Noah unwrap a Christmas book to read each day. We started doing this the Christmas after Noah had just turned one. We probably had 10-15 books that year and then continued to grow our collection. We are now at the point that we get one or two new books each year and get rid of the baby books that we had originally. This year we added "Tractor Mac Saves Christmas" and "Santa is coming to New Jersey" to our collection. (Here's a list of all the books we had last year.) Even though the majority of the books aren't new, Noah loves unwrapping them and reading them each year. These are books that he doesn't see for the other 11 months of the year, so they are always a welcome surprise.
I number the gifts so we know which book to unwrap each day. While it doesn't really matter when we read most of the books, if there's an activity that relates to one of the book's theme, I like for Noah to unwrap it on that specific day. Last year I made numbered tags on the computer and then cut them out using a round scalloped punch. I was going to do the same this year, but then I found this Advent Calendar Garland Kit at Target and knew the round tags would be perfect for our 25 days of books! I put the string and clothespins away for a possible future project and just used double sided tape to attach the round tags to the wrapped books. I really love how it all turned out and I'm so excited to let Noah unwrap his first book!
One of our newer countdown traditions is the Lego Advent Calendar. My mom got us our first set last year, and while I had to help Noah a lot, he was so excited to put a new lego kit together each day! We loved it so much that when I saw this year's version in Walmart back in October, I immediately called my mom! She had me pick up two of the regular kits for Noah and his cousin Adian. She also had me pick up the Star Wars and girl version for my other nephew and niece.
In the past, I've come up with a Christmas activity to do each day. But this year, instead of scheduling something for each day, I came up with a more simplified "bucket list" of sorts. We've added a few new activities to our list, but there are also a few traditions that we won't be doing this year. The Santa Train that we've gone on for the past 3 years has changed ownership and is now a Polar Express. And while I've heard great things about other Polar Expresses, the train will be the exact same but with much higher prices. We debated whether to still go, but decided in the end it really wasn't worth the extra cost. In the past, we've always made a trip into NYC to visit Rockefeller tree and look at all the decorations. But this year, Noah's cousins are coming for Christmas and staying until New Years, so we opted to hold off and visit NYC with them instead. So while things will be a little different this year, I'm confident it will still be a fun and festive December!
While these are more general descriptions of what we have planned, I hope this list can help give your family some holiday inspiration.
In honor of the Christmas season officially beginning, I wanted to announce a link up that I'm especially excited for! I always love getting Noah a few new pairs of Christmas pajamas each year. I'm seriously dreading the day when he says he's too old for this stuff! Now if I could just talk Chris into wearing matching Christmas onesies on Christmas morning ;)
Starting on Thursday, December 15th, we'd love for you to share your Christmas Jammies! Whether it's just your kids or your whole family in matching pjs, we want to see it all! The linkup will be open from December 15th through the 22nd. And if you don't have a blog, that's okay! Simply tag your social media shares with #CHRISTMASJAMPARTY16 !!!
How do you "Countdown to Christmas"???
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