Thursday, December 1, 2011

Happy December! Let the Traditions Begin!

Every year growing up, we had an advent calendar that helped us countdown the days until Christmas. I remember having the ones with doors that you popped chocolate out of and then my parents got super creative and we had special boxes on the tree with our initials that we got to open. Then as we got older, we had "advent bags" and every day there was a special something in our bag. This was one of my favorite family traditions we had. This tradition stayed alive even when I didn't live at home because my sweet Mom wrapped it all and sent it home with me. I mean advent was serious business for the Young family! In fact, the first year that my sister and I were married at Christmas, we were DEVASTATED to find out that we weren't going to have advent anymore. Mom said it was our job now. I made this little advent calendar from a muffin tin the year Olive was born, but we hadn't actually used it until this year!

I made some little cards with special activities on them to go in some of the spots. The other spots have little things like smarties and stickers.
I also found these awesome scripture cards on Pinterest and I put one in each place.
This morning, first thing, I got the calendar down and explained to Olive that we get to open one every single day until Christmas. (Do you notice who is sitting next to her on the floor? Baby Jesus has been sleeping with her every night since we got her nativity out and when she gets out of bed, she puts him back. He hadn't made it back to the manger yet today)
Day 1: Stickers!
I am so excited to keep this tradition alive! I have so many wonderful memories of advent and can't wait to help Olive develop some too!

I had heard about this idea several years ago from a friend and I was excited to start this year! I wrapped up 24 Christmas/Winter books (luckily my whole classroom is in the basement, so I had these on hand) and each night she will get to unwrap one for us to read as a family.
She told Stephen "I only open one". I guess she caught on from this morning!

Then out of nowhere, Mommy found a special movie for Olive to watch called "An Elf's Story"
She loved every second of it! And then just like in the movie, the doorbell rang and there was a package waiting on our front porch! Our very own Elf on the Shelf! I thought we would wait another year before trying this, but the movie does such a great job helping to explain everything that we are giving it a go. I am just hoping it cuts down on the laying on the floor screaming fits that have been going on around here!
We asked Olive what she wanted to name our elf (who is a girl with a skirt!) and the first option was Princess. I asked if she had any other ideas and she said "Her name is Jovie!" This made this Buddy the Elf lover so proud! So we made it official by writing her name in the book! I can feel the Christmas magic in the air! I am so excited to spend this whole month celebrating the birth of our Lord Jesus! Merry December!

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