Tuesday, December 10, 2013

25 Books of Christmas - Days 5-10

I went to an ornament exchange the other day and quite a few moms mentioned that their family did this 25 Books of Christmas thing. I'm glad that we are doing it with our family. I hope that seeing what we do makes something like this seem easy and doable for your family.

One tip that I got was to use left over gift wrap to wrap the books for next year. I love this idea for more than one reason. First, I am very cheep frugal and the idea of reusing gift wrap is very appealing to my frugal side. Second, after Christmas things seem to slow down, if only just a little bit, where as the month before Christmas seems to be extra busy. I think it will be easier to just pull out a bag of pre-wrapped books on December 1st next year.

Here are some highlights from the last few days:

Book 5 & 6 - We were out really late on day 5 so we opened two this night. I don't think she could have picked two books that were more appropriate to go together. The first was the classic The Night Before Christmas. Ours was illustrated by Tom Newsom and is a shortened version of the original...but it was just long enough for us! The pictures are beautiful and the story lends itself to a great vocabulary lesson - St. Nicholas, nestled, clatter, miniature, soot, droll - great vocabulary!

That same night, totally coincidentally, she also opened The Night Before Christmas in Florida by Sue Carabine with Rochelle Lynn Hold. It was so perfect for us in so many ways! We have been traveling recently to Tallahassee to do some camping and have been talking about the cities in Florida. The story is all about Santa taking a quick vacation around the state and enjoying very Florida things like Epcot in Orlando, St. Augustine's Fountain of Youth and the gators in the Everglades. He ends up running late and borrowing the shuttle from the Cape to quickly complete all of his gift deliveries. I just did a quick search and it seems that there are many Night Before Christmas in whatever state you live in. I highly recommend finding one for wherever you live.

Book 7 - Big sister had not been feeling well today and slept through dinner and missed our book, but when you are sick, you need to sleep. Baby W picked out his own book and it turned out to be a great book for him. He liked poking the glitter on the pages of Sparkle Fun! Christmas Shapes illustrated by Dee Texidor. And if you look down a little farther, he enjoyed chewing on the book too!

Book 8 - Baby Jesus is Born is a sweet poem style book that talks about all of the highlights of Christ's birth. This book was given to us last year by her teacher and so it has sentimental value to us! I also appreciated the note to parents in the back of the book reminding parents to take the time to remind our Children why we really celebrate Christmas.

Book 9 - Bethlehem Night by Julie Stiegemeyer was beautiful in words and illustrations. It also tells the story of Christ's birth but has a slightly different way of telling it. I love the refrain "on that Bethlehem night so starry and bright" that is sprinkled throughout the story. On the very back page, past the end of the story, it has the bible verse: "the word became flesh and made His dwelling among us. John 1:14" How powerful is that! Thank you, God!

Book 10 - I love how this 25 Books of Christmas has turned from my children participating separately to them engaging in this together. I will say that Big Sister was a little disappointed to get another "baby book" but this one is so cute, she fell in love with it, too. The story of Santa, Christmas Jingles is simple, Santa wakes his napping reindeer with some jingling bells (and you get to shake the book to make it jingle, too). It was a little wordy for a baby book, but I just kept shaking it to keep Baby W interested. Next time, I'll modify the words a little. And shake it a lot!

Do you have any tips that have made the 25 Books of Christmas successful for your family?

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