The kids have been so excited about this day... the day our Christmas countdowns officially begin!
For the past few years, we've been getting the Lego Advent calendars. We usually get the City one... first because I think that's all that was offered and then last year, I didn't act fast enough to get the Castle one. This year Jeff and I picked up the Star Wars one early (thank goodness the Lego store has moved over by our church... easy pick up while the kids were in rehearsal for the musical).
The other countdown they look forward to is unwrapping a Christmas book a day. I'm pretty sure this is our 10th Christmas of doing this and the kids show no signs of wanting to stop. Some of the books have changed (the Elmo and Clifford books have been retired), but some of the classics have been there every year. I made a quick trip to the neighborhood used book store the other day and picked up a couple new surprises for them. I have no clue how many books we have total in our Christmas collection, but it's fun to have options to switch out from year to year.
This year our 1st and 24th book are wrapped in red and white. The 1st book is always the same nativity story book we've used since year one and the 24th book is always 'Twas the Night Before Christmas. The version has changed from year to year though. We started out with a board book, progressed to a regular hardback edition and now we have a beautiful, delicate pop-up version. Clara's books are the blue with candy cane paper ones and Alex's are the green with candy canes paper ones. If we had two boys, we could probably get by with wrapping them the same, but given the drama we had years ago when Alex unwrapped the Nutcracker Barbie book, we've learned to wrap them differently. Alex's still aren't finish though! I ran out of tape yesterday with just three books left! I'm going to make a tape run later this morning.
Alex had nothing after school yesterday and Clara had planned on doing a make-up ballet class. But I made a command decision that we should just all stay home and enjoy the 1st of December together. They opened the first door on the Lego calendar and built the little Star Wars ship. They unwrapped the first book and fought over the puzzle piece people like they do every year (the nativity book is a big board book with puzzle piece people and animals that you fit into the pages as you read... we all know they've outgrown board books... but this is just a tradition and they wouldn't have it any other way). Then we settled in on the couch to watch some Christmas specials together. It was such a nice calm way to usher in what always turns out to be such a chaotic month!