I’ve always loved Christmas but since having my boys, I’ve really started to get excited about finding new ideas for things I can do to make Christmas really special. This year is particularly exciting as, with Oliver now 5 and Harry now 2.5, I have two boys that are very excited for “Santa” and “presents” and they have already started asking about the toys they want.
David started a tradition when Oliver was 1, which was to make the Christmas cake and pudding around October time and get him to help stir the mixture – I have to say, neither boy particularly wanted to help this year but it was a fun day all the same!
An idea I’ve had floating around in my head for a while that I’ve spotted in various places is a “Christmas Book Advent Calendar”. I did it last year and meant to post about it then but never quite got around to it and to be honest, the boys were still a bit young to really understand it. I’m hoping this year it will be a bigger hit!
Obviously it is your choice what books you wrap – we were lucky enough to already (somehow??) have loads of Christmas themed story books so I just shopped around eBay and Amazon to get the remaining number, some second hand and mostly for only a couple of pounds each. I also included a few ‘non Christmas’ stories to break it up a bit, most of these are just seldom read books that we already owned.
As the boys are different ages, I tried to mostly pick books that were suitable for both ages – however, if you feel this wouldn’t work for your little ones (and you’ve got the patience to wrap up that many extra books!), you could always choose a book per child for each day.
So the idea is a pretty simple one – I just wrapped up all 24 books individually, used WordArt to make some number labels (that’s one to twenty-four, if I really need to explain!) and voila! You have yourself a Christmas Book Advent Calendar!
A few of my favourites that I’ve included are:
The Jolly Christmas Postman by Janet and Allan Alhberg (who loves these books?? I LOVE them!)
Spot’s first Christmas by Eric Hill (ours is a lift the flap version so fun for Harry too!)
The Night Before Christmas by Clement C. Moore (well, obviously!)
Mr Christmas by Roger Hargreaves (who knew the Mr Men series had a Christmas book? Not me!)
Santa is coming to Surrey by Steve Smallman (you can get these for lots of different towns and counties on Amazon but we were bought ours as a gift last year)
Another fun tradition that we started last year was a Christmas Eve bag. When I was a kid, we always used to choose a present to open first thing in the morning when we woke up (I’m pretty sure this was intended to buy my parents a precious few extra minutes sleep!) but what seems to be the norm in most families, is to open one present each on Christmas Eve.
I decided to go one step further and get the boys personalised Christmas Eve bags (ours were £3.99 on Amazon so not as expensive as it sounds!) and I plan to fill them with Christmas pyjamas and other little fun Christmas treats (which I haven’t thought of yet!) but when I do, I’m sure I will post about those as well!
What fun traditions and ideas do you all do for Christmas? I’m always looking for new ones!