Like most little ones, I adored Christmas growing up. Picking out & cutting down our Christmas tree, decorating cookies, the crunch of freshly fallen snow under your boots. There wasn't anything about the season that I didn't enjoy. Then I got older & things changed.
Christmas became a time of year that I absolutely dreaded. How many people did I need to buy for? What was an acceptable amount to spend? When did we have to be where & what time? Did I need to bake or bring a side dish? So many things to think about, to worry about & thus I became the modern-day Grinch.
For several years the magic of Christmas was lost on me. I didn't enjoy decorating, or wrapping presents like I used to. Instead of being filled with the glitter of tinsel I was filled with a bad case of the grinchy grumpies.
Last year my grinchy heart grew just a little bit. Shelby was almost 2 years old & a bit more interactive than the previous year. She was still terrified of Santa & watching her open gifts was a bit like waiting for a turtle to cross a busy highway, I did have more Christmas glee in my tummy than I had in a long time. This year, however, she is ready & waiting for Christmas so I'm trying my hardest not to be too grinchy.
We already picked out & decorated our Christmas tree which was a lot of fun. To see Shelby short through each ornament & decided which branch would have the honors of displaying the ornament, it was entertaining & provided me with some of those familiar warm & fuzzy feelings from when I was a kid. Plus, Shelby picked out the tree this year & it fits flawlessly in the tree base. In years past we've had to secure the tree to the wall or finagle the base in such a way to prevent the tree from toppling over. She picked a perfectly straight, chubby little tree that fits perfectly in the living room.
Aside from the tree, I was looking for some traditions to start with Shelby that would be unique to our little family. Something I didn't do with my parents, but that she could potentially carry on with her kiddos. I decided to stock up on books over the last several weeks. Some I purchased from consignment stores, & others I snagged on Black Friday from the local book store. Some are Christmas themed, others winter-themed, & the rest have nothing to do with winter or Christmas. Each book was wrapped & placed in a wicker basket I found laying around the house. Every night Shelby picks one book from the basket, opens it & reads it with either myself or Tim. There are 25 books for the 25 days leading up to Christmas. Like an advent calendar but with books!
I thought about doing movies but she doesn't have the attention span to sit through an entire movie (unless it's Frozen) & let's face it, finding time to sit down at the end of each day for an hour or more, well that kind of time is hard to come by. Plus, I have always had a passion for reading & I hope to pass that love of books on to Shelby.
This basket of books is a super fun way to end the day & spend more quality time as a family. Shelby is a very imaginative little girl already so I can only imagine the adventures she will have if she fuels her imagination with good books.
What are some of your families Christmas traditions?