Christmas Countdown

Now that Eddie is old enough to properly anticipate Christmas, but not old enough to understand how long it is until Christmas is actually here, I decided it would be best to do a more extensive Christmas countdown. Last year, we did a book advent, where we unwrapped a different Christmas story each night leading up to reading the story of Christ's birth from Luke 2 on Christmas Eve.

This year, I intend to do the same thing, though I have extended it to include 24 books in all, one for every day leading up to Christmas. We will start on Saturday, the 1st. Last year I bought several Christmas books, but most of them are borrowed from the library. If you do this, just make sure that you plan the books to be opened before they need to be returned. Here is a list of the books we'll be reading this year, in the order we will open them:

Mr. Willowby's Christmas Tree by Robert E. Barry
The First Night by Barbara G. Hennessy
How the Grinch Stole Christmas by Dr. Seuss
Olive, The Other Reindeer by Vivian Walsh
Russell's Christmas Magic by Rob Scotton
Elton the Elf by Lisa Mallen
If You Take a Mouse to the Movies by Laura Numeroff
Here Comes Santa Claus by Gene Autry
Sad Santa by Tad Carpenter
The Sweet Smell of Christmas by Patricia M. Scarry
Oh, What a Christmas by Michael Garland
Sharing Christmas by Kate Westerlund
The Great Reindeer Rebellion by Lisa Trumbauer
Santa's Favorite Story by Hisako Aoki
Together at Christmas by Eileen Spinelli
Mickey's Christmas Carol
Mooseltoe by Margie Palatini
The Christmas Magic by Lauren Thompson
The Polar Express by Chris Van Allsburg
Snowmen at Christmas by Caralyn Beuhner
Auntie Claus by Elise Primavera
Bear Stays Up for Christmas by Karma Wilson
Olivia Helps with Christmas by Ian Falconer
The Night Before Christmas by Clement C. Moore

I tried to coordinate some of the books with some of the holiday activities we have planned. For example, on the day we plan to go to the Festival of Trees, we will read Mr. Willowby's Christmas Tree and on the day we visit Temple Square, we will read Santa's Favorite Story (which is about Santa telling the Nativity story).

That brings me to the other Christmas countdown activities we plan to do. I made a list of various holiday events going on in the Salt Lake area, then put them all in a calendar so that we have at least one holiday thing to do each day during December. Some of the things we plan to do are going to holiday story times at nearby libraries, making cookies, watching classic Christmas movies when they are on TV, family game night, seeing the elves at Gardner Village, meeting Santa, taking a drive to see Christmas lights, etc. The point is that we don't spend so much time irritating each other in the house, but we plan outings in advance to (hopefully) reduce the stress such things involve for me.

I am excited for December so that we can get started. Leave comments telling me what you do to countdown to Christmas with your kids.


Hali said...

I love this idea! We too made a list of things to do, but I like having one to do each day and that coordinates with the book. We actually went to the festival of trees today. I told Marc we should have called you guys and see if by chance Dave had this Friday off, but he thought it was too short notice. If you wanted to make the journey you could also include the Christmas Villages up in Ogden. We go every year, and the kids love them. Maybe we could make a night of it??

Caitlinp said...

You are crazy cool. I got tired just reading about all of your plans. Way to go!