Our kids are at a young enough age that we are still trying to figure out what Christmas is for us as an immediate family of four. We now have three Christmases as parents under our belt, and my son is finally at an age where he has a greater appreciation for the Christmas activities we plan and is able to start remembering some of the yearly traditions we might have.
I have been looking for new traditions to start with the kids this year and two of the ideas I fell in love with is were the Advent Calendar/Christmas Countdown from Urban Daisies:
And the Christmas Eve movie box (source unknown):
The books was easy enough to do after I hunted down all the Christmas books we already owned and bought a few more from Costco and Dollarama. A couple rolls of wrapping paper (Mickey, of course) plus one night of wrapping and we were set!
The Christmas Eve box ended up being a lot more complicated. It is a box packed full with a new Christmas movie, pajamas, popcorn and hot chocolate to be enjoyed on Christmas Eve. It would have been perfect at our house growing up where we typically went to church early and then got new pajamas and enjoyed a quiet Christmas Eve watching a movie (preferably Muppet’s Family Christmas), but my husband’s side does things a bit differently.
For the last several years we have spent Christmas Eve with my husbands family and it isn’t the quiet, relaxing evening I was accustomed to as a kid. We head there in the late afternoon and are there until well past bedtime attending an evening church service and then opening gifts and enjoying snacks. Santa always visited my husband and his brother’s while they were at church, whereas my siblings and I had to go to bed on Christmas Eve and Santa would come while we were sleeping. Our own children get to enjoy a hybrid of both: opening gifts with my husbands family Christmas Eve and then having Santa leave gifts at our own house for them to open Christmas morning.
I did consider doing a Night Before Christmas Eve box for the kids, but that seemed kind of silly. I finally settled on the idea of doing up a slightly different package for the kids to open at the same time we started our Christmas book countdown.
The bedtime care package I put together for the kids included:
- Christmas themed body wash, shampoo, bubbles and handsoap for bath time
- New Christmassy pajamas
- Sippy cups for their milk before bed
- A package of cookies for bedtime snack
- A small bag of Hershey Kisses for a treat
- A new stuffed friend each to snuggle
I also included a somewhat lengthy note explaining their gift and the book countdown:
I am not sure it has help make my children any better behaved, but they are a lot more willing to go for a bath each night and I love seeing their excitement each night as they choose a book to unwrap.
It hasn’t taken my 18 month old long to catch onto this new routine and she has begun bringing me wrapped books throughout the day wanting to open them. If nothing, we are getting good unwrapping practice in so she is ready for the big event next week!
Now that we have all the books, this is something I will definitely do again in the years to come. I have typically waited until Christmas Eve to give the kids their Christmas pajamas but I love the idea of giving them in the care package to wear throughout the entire month of December. The care package was quick and inexpensive to put together and is just one more little way I can bring a touch of magic and excitement to the holiday season.
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