Thanksgiving is over, the lingering leftovers are nearly cleared out of the fridge, the warm, mid-sixties November weather has blown away and lows of mid 20’s to 30’s are sweeping in. We’ve flipped the calendar to December and the tree is up, lit, and decorated. We’ve put on some Christmas vinyls and MC has danced with us around the living room floor.
MC gets so excited every time she sees the tree – “I’m so excited – it’s Christmas now!” and her energy is contagious. I know it’s all about the spirit of Christmas, because even though, “You spoil rotten me!” as MC says, we don’t do a lot of gifts.
Our gift giving mantra this year
I really loved a recent gift-giving post Ralphie from @simplyonpurpose shared. She gives her children something to read, something to play with, and something to experience. I love this idea, because we are big readers in this house, we like to play, although we are swimming in toys (more on this later), and we value family time and creating memories together through experiences.
Something to read
We have so many books already, and yet I feel like we can’t ever have “too much” good literature for MC. I really adore Lauren’s blog, Happily Ever Elephants, and she recently posted her top picks for Picture Books for 2020. She provides well researched lists of books full of intention and conversation starters. I appreciate all of her curated lists, and when I need a little help picking a book out, she’s my go-to gal.
Something to play with
As I choose new toys for Mon Cœur (MC), I am striving to find open-ended toys that will grow with her and that Mon Amour (MA) will also be able to play with as he grows and starts playing. We bought one of the wooden rainbow stacker toys recently and some magnet tiles, and these have been the best investment for MC. I have seen her imagination run wild, from using the rainbow colors to make phone calls to making skyscrapers and stables with the magnet tiles. She has really become more independent in her play recently, which I love to watch, and I want to continue cultivating this with simpler, more open toys.
Something to experience
For the experience, that will be a little trickier this year…MC has dropped several hints that she wants to go ice skating. She has also mentioned wanting to do ballet again, and continue swim lessons. So I have my research cut out for me to see what we can organize and what is available
Since we aren’t doing a lot of gifts…
I started a new Christmas tradition at the end of the holiday season last year. Since we don’t do a lot of gifts, but we all love celebrating the spirit of Christmas, I wrapped up 25 “gifts” (crafts, books, movies, etc) which we already owned, and I made a list of other ideas to do leading up to Christmas. Each day, MC will unwrap a gift and we will do that activity – be it a craft, making and sending cards, watching a movie, or reading a book.
As I took out the boxes that had the gifts pre-wrapped (and thank goodness I did that, or else this tradition wouldn’t be happening this year!), MC could not contain her curiosity – she kept wanting to pick out gifts and start unwrapping it. She truly thought that Christmas was here. Today.
I am looking forward to celebrating Christmas a little each day with her. Follow me to see what we do each day!
How do you countdown to Christmas? What are your advent traditions? Any tips to downsizing the toy population ?