I have done lots of things over the years, and now have a few favourite advent calendar traditions. Yes, I said traditions with an 's.' We have several advent calendars going during the month. So I thought I'd take a post or two (or three or four) to show you our advent calendars and then if you see something you like, there will be time for you to put it together before December starts.
This first one is a storybook advent calendar. Every December evening when I tuck the kids in bed, I like to read them a different Christmas story. Some I have fallen in love with, have purchased, and make sure we do every year. Others are just whatever I have found at our local library. These are usually the ones that are character based, like Fancy Nancy or Franklin. They aren't my favorites, but my kids really enjoy them, and since that is the whole point, I go along with it. When setting out the order, I try to mix up classics with new stuff. A few based on songs they love, a few that teach a nice Christmasy lesson, and some that are just silly and fun. I like to have things jumbled up together.
Here is what our line up looks like this year:
December 1st: The Polar Express by Chris Van Allsburg.
-I have always loved this book. It was the first Christmas story book I ever purchased, and I didn't even have kids yet.
-Who doesn't love this holiday classic?
-Cute enough. Not something I'm going to order off amazon though.
-The text is the words to the carol, and the illustrations are amazing. Beautiful!
- A cute story about Bear. My littler ones love it.
-Sad story, really. But very beautiful to look at as you read.
-Takes place in the stable where Mary and Joseph rest. A nice, gentle story.
-Not a real fan of it, but my kids were given it several years ago from a friend and they just love it, so what else can I do?
-Has a positive message about the spirit of the season and its ability to change you.
-Fun illustrations of animals acting out the action on each day.
-Original lyrics to the classic song, with sweet illustrations.
- Because I love my six-year-old daughter.
-We read a short, abbreviated version every year, but I think that my big kids might be old enough to read a chapter a night with me. We'll see....
-I am a sucker for almost anything Jan Brett.
-Completely wonderful. Charming.
-Because I love my eight-year-old son.
-A warm your heart and make you tear up story.
-Christmas means giving something up to make someone else happy.
-Kind of the same situation as the Clifford's Christmas book. Nothing really wrong with it, just not my thing.
-Have to read a version of this on Christmas Eve, right? I like this edition for it's black and white pencil drawings. Amazing.
So that is my plan for the countdown this year. Obviously, there are more stories out there that are great, and we'll read some of them too, I'm sure. But these are the ones that I am specifically saving for the advent calendar.