I love this time of year. I love the build up to Christmas much more than the day itself, and I hope to foster the same enjoyment in my kids. It is really easy to get carried away though, and suddenly doing fun and special things feels like a chore.
Last year I think I tried to do an activity a day for all of December. It wasn't horribly stressful or anything, but I decided that this year I'll pare down the list a little and make sure that I'm only doing the things that are ACTUALLY fun, rather than those that just sound like they'll be fun (gingerbread houses, I'm looking at you). So, here's a list of the things I'd like to do to celebrate this holiday season:
1. See Santa (already on the books for December 1st)
2. Take the kids to deposit the change in our change jar into a Salvation Army bucket
3. Participate in a cookie exchange
4. Advent Book Basket - wrap up 25 Christmas books individually and have the kids take turns opening one to read each night. I've wanted to do this for awhile but buying that many books at once is expensive. Then I got smart in two ways: started buying used kids' books on amazon, and realized that library books can totally be wrapped up!
5. Introduce the kids to the idea of The Elves. I don't think I'm going to do Elf on the Shelf (at least not yet) but my parents had a music box they hid and would secretly wind up. They told us that the music was the sound of the elves checking up on us. The elves never visited more than once or twice a season (that I can remember) and it was always so special. I think I'd like to do the same for my kids.
6. Make batches of cinnamon rolls to deliver to friends.
7. Make paper snowflakes and hang them up.
8. Bake and decorate roll-out cookies.
9. Go ice skating.
10. Order personalized letters from Santa for the kids.
11. Take Brighton to see The Nutcracker (lest you think I'm gender discriminating, I can guarantee Pacey would be interested for about 2.2 seconds and a nightmare thereafter).
12. Holiday cards for friends and family (I considered briefly printing the url for this blog on the cards but then decided I already feel like I have to censor an awful lot...no need to make that any worse).
What are you doing this year, and is there anything you are specifically opting out of?