Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Wrapped Advent Calendar

I read a wonderful parenting idea some years ago -- maybe it was in Family Fun magazine -- and my girls are now old enough to really enjoy it, I think. The idea was to create your own Advent calendar. We already have a simple 24 pocket linen Advent calendar which holds the 24 ornaments that fit nicely on our tree (a five tier Smith & Hawken hand forged iron tree) and each day we take an ornament out and hang it on the tree to decorate it. This takes the pressure off a mega tree-decorating session and is a nice way to count down the days. The idea I want to try in addition to this one is 24 wrapped picture books. Most of the suggestions I've found online talk about labeling each one with a tag that tells which day you are supposed to read it (presumably so you can end up with The Night Before Christmasas the final book) but I think it would be more fun for the children to simply choose a book from the basket.

My plan is to wrap 24 Christmas/Winter books and place them in a basket and, beginning on December 1st, the children can take turns choosing a book from the basket and we will unwrap and read it at bedtime. By that time we should be finished with Ballet Shoes, our current read-aloud.

I looked through my Christmas books and at first I thought I would have to pad it with books like All Year Roundand Festivals Family and Foodand the "Winter" volume of the Wynstones Press series but, as it turned out, I had plenty of stories. Here are the ones I am wrapping tonight:

The Twelve Days of Christmas: A Christmas Carolillustrated by Sheilah Beckett

Hans Christian Andersen's The Fir Treeillustrated by Nancy Ekholm Burkert

The Way Down: Christmas Poems for Children of All Agesby Isabel Wyatt

Poetry of Earthselected and illustrated by Adrienne Adams
("Velvet Shoes" by Elinor Wylie)

Bring a Torch, Jeanette, Isabella: A Provencal Carolillustrated by Adrienne Adams

1 comment:

Kestrel said...

What a fantastic idea. I need to balance the fact it's summer here next week with the Christmas season. Perhaps this is one I need to tuck away for next year so I've got a little more time to plan.

Thank you!