Friday, December 2, 2011

MamaBlogger365 - Counting to Christmas: 25 Ways to Count Down with your Kids! by Lowry Manders

Christmas-time is about being together. It’s about simple joys. And for children, it’s about PRESENTS! (Oops, did I say “presents”? I meant MAGIC! As parents, it’s our job to make in NOT just about presents.)

Really, Christmas, in many ways, is a reminder of how LIFE should be, not just a 25-day period. But, while it’s here, you might as well practice making magical, meaningful moments every day because... they do grow up so fast, just like we did. Don’t you remember the magic and wonder? I do.

I remember some of the presents (like the remote-control blimp that got caught by a wind and blown to Mexico on it’s maiden voyage, and the Cabbage Patch kid that my parents had my uncle in Mississippi stand in line for because they were all sold out in Texas), but most of my memories are of being with my family and doing special things together. One of the “rituals” our family started last year is “Counting to Christmas“, starting on December 1st.

This ritual was inspired in part by one of our favorite books, Counting To Christmas by Nancy Tafuri (read about it and 14 other faves in my post, 15 Great Christmas Books for Kids). It was also inspired by the tradition of our former apartment neighbors, a dear German family. They hang 25 small wrapped gifts from a pulley in the living room for each child, and they lower it every day to receive a small gift, helping to cut-down on the BIG expectations for the 25th day.

We mix it up. Some days it’s a family outing, sometimes just a dollar store gadget, sometimes a clue to indicate a special activity. My kids each have a little Christmas tin box to open every day with the gift or clue inside, and on the box I tape the number to help build the anticipation. (Or you could put the clue in the number pocket of the Advent calendar.) Each morning (or evening), as I present it to them, we sing “We Three Kings… bearing gifts… ”

Do what works for you, but be intentional about including time together, time doing things for others, and time enjoying simple pleasures, like reading a new Christmas book or gazing at the tree together. Here are some ideas to get your juices flowing…

Click here to read more!

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