Sunday, November 22, 2009

25 days

I feel like if I blink it will be December and I am entirely unorganized for this time of the year. I usually have Christmas well in hand by this point, as of today I have one or two gifts in the closet upstairs and a handful of things for the big stocking. I think it's the mild weather that is making me think I have all the time in the world.

In just about a week it will be time to start the 25 days of Christmas. A holiday family time movement lead by the fab Andrea from A Peek Inside the Fishbowl. Mike, the girls and I played last year and it was so much fun I cannot wait to do it again. I realize it sounds overwhelming to have an activity planned for each and every night, but it's not nearly as difficult as you'd think. I think to pull it off successfully you need to be kind to yourself. Not every night has to be a huge extravaganza. The time spent with the family is the focus.

Please take a moment and go read how Andrea sets her and her family up for the 25 days of Christmas and when you get back I'll tell you how we set up ours. Just because I need to be a little bit different.

Last year on a whim I invented Elwood, a Christmas Elf who's in charge of family fun. I have a Christmas tree set up in my office that we placed a wicker basket under and at some point each day Elwood would leave a note and sometimes other goodies in the basket that would outline what our family fun activity would be. I'm not sure why I even bothered to invent Elwood. Maybe because I just love the wonder kids have for Santa and wanted to be able to enjoy that through my kids for a full 25 days. Abby loved getting Elwood's notes because he always seemed to know a little bit about her. I love the way her eyes light up as she tries to figure the mystery out. How does he get in the house? How does he know what I'm doing? I just love it.

with Papa and Grandma Linda. I really don't like to be over scheduled, so I kind of flew by the seat of my pants last year. I would write up Elwood's notes daily just so I could keep them topical. We had some "big" activities and some small ones. I also made sure the girls had a special activity with each Grandparent. I hope to continue with the same activities each year so they have a special tradition with them. We had sugar cookie decorating with Grandma Sandi (those were the cookies we used for Santa). Gingerbread night with Granny. And a viewing of The Polar ExpressFor those nights I made the plans in advance with the appropriate grandparent(s) and then when Abby got the note from Elwood she would call, all excited, to tell them what the plan was for that night.

Those were probably our biggest nights. The other nights I filled in with activities like snowman shaped pancakes for dinner. One night we played Christmas themed charades which was a huge hit and a whole lot of fun. Another night the girls built Santa's house out of mega blocks. I also picked up a Christmas chapter book and some nights were read another chapter night. This year I ordered a handful of Christmas themed story books from the Scholastic catalog to read during the 25 days. It shall be fun fun fun!

And what about you? Are you joining us for the 25 days of Christmas?


Merry said...

I love this idea! How old do you think a child needs to be before they can realize what's going on? I'm not sure Evan would "get" it enough this year.

Julie said...

i'm with merry. i think max is still a little too young. i can't wait to do this next year though. i loved reading about Elmwood and Abby's adventures last year.

andrea from the fishbowl said...

I think Elwood makes a lovely addition to this tradition. It's something your family will always remember!