We have really had a lot of fun this year with Christmas traditions. The girls are at such a fun stage to introduce traditions that we will hopefully be doing for years to come, and when they think of their childhood Christmas they will remember the fun they had.
First, we had an advent calender this year. I stole the idea from Pottery Barn (theirs was a much classier version) to hang 24 Christmas socks and number them. Each day the girls would run downstairs to see what was in their sock that day. Every morning would Cambry would wake up and say "We forgot to check our alavent (her version of advent) calender! I should pick first." Of course they had to take turns picking but they found things such as a nickel, dime, quarter, or a dollar on a big day, pens, stickers, candy, chapstick, or their favorite finger puppets that were baby Jesus, Mary, Joseph, shepherds, and three kings. Nothing fancy for them, but everything was a huge crowd pleaser.
Second, with the money that they collected from their calendars they saved in their piggy banks and used it to buy their sister a present. When they had collected $6 each we went to Walmart for some big spending. Drew shopped with Colbie while I shopped with Cambry and we both kept them from seeing each others gifts. It was a good lesson in many ways because they had to try not to buy things that they wanted but really think of the other person, and an early financial lesson as they kept picking the biggest items on the shelf that they couldn't afford and we got to talk about their budget. Cambry picked out some dinosaurs for Colbie that is probably one of Colbie's favorite gifts that she received, and Colbie got Cambry a ball and some candy. Can't go wrong with that.
The third tradition is my favorite tradition: Elf on a Shelf. It's a book that comes with a magical elf that enters into your home. (There will be a future post on the disaster that happened while I was purchasing this book. Stay tuned because it's a doozie.) Anyways, your kids find the elf, name him, and he reports back to Santa if the kids have been good or bad throughout the day (we always focused him telling the good stuff, not like a tattle tail) , and then he flies back and lands in a different spot every morning and the girls have to find him. Per Santa's rules the elf isn't allowed to talk he can only listen, and the girls cannot touch him or he looses his Christmas magic. Bringing him into the home was fun. The girls and I had coincidentally just finished reading the book Elf on a Shelf for the first time, when we went into the next room and our elf had appeared! Sneaky elf. I asked the girls what they wanted to name him and I let them each pick a name. Cambry picked Gumdrop (it was actually her second choice after I wouldn't let her name him Nose Ring), and Colbie picked Piggy. They both agreed on the last name Elf-Elf. So our elf's name is Gumdrop Piggy Elf-Elf. I love it! The girls loved finding him every morning and seeing what mischief he had been up too. Their favorite was the day he was sitting with marshmallows all around and had some stuck on his face. He was loads of fun but next year I'm going to have some elf shoes made for him to see if he will wear them because his lack of feet freak me out!
One day we couldn't find him so we gave up and went to eat breakfast, and when we opened the pantry door look who was hanging around. :)
He is gone until next year, but we already miss you Gumdrop!