Every year, just like every parent of young children I know, I try to make Christmas time MAGIC! I remember as a kid seeing Santa, singing Christmas carols, watching Christmas movies, loving the beautiful lights and every year wishing Christmas would come sooner. I was one of those kids that would carol all year round. (This would make my brother CRAZY!) I just wanted that special feeling that only comes from the first little twinkle light that catches my eye. I don’t care who you are, Christmas makes us all feel something special. Even the “Grinches” out there have felt something that pulls on their strings of joy.
This year I have a 7 and 6-year-old. These years are the ones that I want to get the most from. It won’t be much longer and these little’s won’t be obsessing over SANTA. They won’t find every little thing that happens during this time magic. I know I’m kidding myself when I think those preteen and teenage years, we’ll still be able to do all the things that make this holiday special together. An exhausted, overworked mom can dream though, can’t she?
Every year I plan out activities, time together and baking days for our little family of four. This year I decided to take that planning a different direction. I searched Amazon and found a beautiful wooden advent calendar with drawers.
Our kids eagerly await their day to open and read the note. They are both pretty good readers and want to show off their reading skills… of course.
At the end of November my husband and I sat down together, looked through our planner and wrote out notes for our Family Advent Calendar. This included Christmas Movie nights, a night with hot coco/apple cider and a drive around looking at lights, giving away items that no longer serve each of us, seeing Santa, saying family prayers together, taking a self-care day and spending an extra hour doing what is most important to each of us, giving to food drives, donating to the angel tree, making donuts together (in our house this is everything), reading Christmas books together, looking up verses in our bibles that my husband and I picked for our family to read together and talk about along with many more things that speak to who our kids are and what they love most.
If you’re reading this and wishing you would have done this, don’t worry, write a note put them in envelopes, date them and start today! You still have time to get part of December in. Shop for an advent calendar for next year and start yourself a fun tradition doing the things you already do but adding some magic that will help bring you all together even when their getting older. Plus, shopping for one now probably means you’ll get a killer deal for next year.
I’m hoping a decade from now we’ll look back on this year and know we started something with our kids that they will look forward to every year. Something that will give us at least a short amount of their undivided attention every day as they grow and change and slowly leave us. One day when they have families of their own, I hope they will call me and ask me to be part of this tradition just like I ask my parents to be part of our yearly traditions. My parents will get to be part of this tradition when they come a few days before Christmas this year which will make it extra special for my kids. Nana and Papa are the best. They are their warm hugs and their favorites to spend time with.
When Rylee was 2 we started a girls day on Christmas Eve where we go get coffee and stroll through the downtown mostly window shopping and being silly and just enjoying each other’s company. Every year this has evolved. The year we got Kayden, the guys added a guy’s day and they go spend time together just the guys for a few hours. It’s fun and every year as the kids get older, they talk about it a little more. They know to expect it and I don’t think they’ve gone 1 year without their Nana and Papa being part of this tradition. This year since we are starting our family advent calendar, we tied it together and each of us will buy a stranger’s coffee while we are out having our girls and guys day. I just want my kids to remember the holidays the way I do. With joy and family and giving and traditions that make them feel special and loved in this wonderful time of the year.
We also do an advent calendar for each of our kids. This year we got wooden ones with squishy things that the kids love! Unfortunately it’s not available any more but here are some others.
Check out this fun one every kid is sure to love!
If this is more your jam, we are loving this one too!
With Love- Meg