Thursday, November 26, 2015

Day Two - ADVENTure of Christmas (Part I)

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Day two!  You still with me?  Today is the second installment on how to get your December off to a grand start of memories and fun!  Today we're talking about media. And, not just any media --Christmas media!  Books and movies!  Oh My!  

But before we jump right in, to review, in this post, you were told to:
  1. Get something to write on and to write with
  2. Grab your December calendar (one was provided for you!)
  3. Plug in the dates you already have plans for (school plays, sports, special gatherings)
  4. Jot down the events that happen in your area that you hold an interest in participating in (Santa visits, tree lightings, parades, etc.)
  5. Make your list of books and movies
  6. Brainstorm crafty ideas
  7. List any activities you want to do such as acts of service
Now that you have your foundation completed, you can tweak it to your liking!  

Setting things up with my method, each day you should PLAN to view a movie, complete an activity together, read a book, focus on a letter of the alphabet (for those with little ones like me), and address part of the 12 days of Christmas as it parallels to the Bible. The important thing here is to PLAN.  You can always deviate from the plan but at least HAVE a plan.  Say it with me now... fail to plan, plan to fail.

Today, we get to talk about books and movies!  

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One thing we love in this house is CHRISTMAS! I LOVE all things Christmas! Because of this, I'm a tad of a hoarder collector of Christmas books and movies.  I mean, I have a slew of them! (If you don't know what a "slew" is, it's more than a lot and less than anything that could potentially qualify me as a bonafide hoarder worthy of my own episode on Intervention.) If you don't own any Christmas books, have no fear -- the library is your friend!  And, so are your friends!  In a bind?  Do a weekly Christmas book swap with your best buds! What a great way to experience new books for no cost!

So, what books should we read?  When should we schedule them?  That's entirely up to you.  I have a tradition in my home, however, that we read certain books on certain days. Much like movies -- I'm ridiculously OCD in my planning like that.  For instance, Christmas Eve -- every single year we read 'Twas the Night Before Christmas. I mean, you just have to! Do you have some favorite Christmas books?  If so, share them in the comments!  I'm always looking for new books to check out!

And here are the books that make the cut at our house:

The Christmas StorySlide 5Slide 8Santa CallsBear Stays Up for ChristmasHow Santa Got His JobShhh!B Is for Bethlehem (Picture Puffins)I Smell Christmas: Scratch-and-sniff Book (Little Critter Board Books)Slide 0

I will have to add that there are three books that every parent AND grandparent needs. Period.  I don't care what your children's ages are:

This book is such a treasured heirloom for me and my kids. This has seven of Jan Brett's works in it:  The Mitten, The Wild Christmas Reindeer, Trouble with Trolls, The Twelve Days of Christmas, The Hat, Christmas Trolls, The Night Before Christmas.  The words are timeless.... the illustrations are so detailed, intricate and amazing.  This one book will take up a week's time on your list alone...and it is worth the time!  What's even BETTER is that you can really bring her characters to life because she has printable activities on her website

The Crippled Lamb is a timeless story by Max Lucado that is read by someone in our family either ON Christmas or on Christmas eve at our family gathering.  It's the story about a little lamb who wants more than nothing to go with his friends to the pasture but being crippled, he can't keep up.  As such, he has to stay behind. But then, in the night, visitors come to the stable...and he discovers his purpose was one of great importance.  If you can make it through this one with a dry eye -- you've got me beat.  It's a definite for every family in my book!

The Night Before Christmas Board Book
And, although Jan Brett has The Night Before Christmas in her treasury collection... and it is awesome... I simply LOVE the illustrations in this version as well.  The Night Before Christmas by Clement Moore.  While sometimes we read this book (The Night Before Christmas, generically) more than once, I save this one for the big night because the pictures are just THAT GOOD!

To me, one of the fun aspects of including the tradition of READING to your children is that every year you'll discover something new... or think of another way to bring these books and stories to life.  I think the magic of Christmas is completely kept alive in the words we read that fill our hearts.... and minds before bedtime.

If you're a Pinner, you'll find that some people have found a way to make reading a gift by wrapping each book individually.  They label them 1-24 so that each day they have a "present" to open through Christmas Even.  Because, let's face it -- kids love to open stuff! Treat them to a gift of books every single day!  How fun is that?  I, however, won't waste the paper or my time wrapping each book because I like to leave them laying around as part of my Christmas decor.

Getting in the spirit!  Yes, I am!

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