Saturday, December 8, 2012

Advent Tradition

When I was a kid, each year my mom would take my brother and I to pick out an Advent Calendar.  Each night at the kitchen table, during dinner, we'd get to open one of the doors on the Advent Calendar and read what was behind the flap.  It was thrilling!  (Although I think most of our excitement came from counting down to Santa, not from counting down to Jesus' birthday.)

Now that my husband and I have our own (young) family I've been thinking about what Christmas traditions I'd like to establish.  On Pinterest a few months ago I came across the idea of wrapping up 24 Christmas books and counting down to Christmas by unwrapping a book each night and reading it together.  I LOVE THIS IDEA!  It combines all of my favorite things: unwrapping items, reading aloud, and Christmas.  The only problem is that this could be an expensive tradition to establish.  Buying 24 books can cost a lot of money.  So I thought I'd start to plan ahead.  My son will be 5 months old on December 24, so this is not a tradition I need to start this year, but if I start planning now when he's old enough I just may have what I need without having to endure the burden of buying all those books at once.

1) I went through the house to see what Christmas books we already own.  We own three already.  The Other Wise Man by Henry Van Dyke and A Tale of Three Trees by Angela Elwell Hunt, and The Polar Express by Chris Van Allsburg.
2) I plan to buy just 2 Christmas books this year.  I hope I can pick them up at my local used book store.  I'd like to buy Song of the Stars: A Christmas Story by Sally Lloyd-Jones and The Crippled Lamb by Max Lucado.
3) Now that I know this is something I want to do as an Advent tradition I plan to keep an eye out for Christmas picture books at garage sales, thrift stores, flee markets.  I'll also put my friends and family on the hunt.  Hopefully this way I can pick up a few more Christmas books over the next 365 days without having to pay more than $1 per book.

My master plan over the coming years is to acquire about 12-15 Christmas picture books and then check the others out from the library.  This way there will be a nice mix of traditional books that our family reads together each year, and new books for our family to be surprised with.  (Plus, library books are free so it will help keep the cost down!)

I can't wait for next Christmas so our family can begin a new Advent Tradition!

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