Mark my words, there will be no shelf elves in this house. Not because you elf moms aren't stinkin' cute, but because I am not the mom who can keep up with the daily adventures of an elf.
However, this year we decided to hop on the advent bandwagon. And, by the way, it was not a graceful hop. It was more like a rushed, frantic plop onto the bandwagon as it rushed by. But WE'RE ON IT. Actually, we started 2 days late because I ran out of ink and didn't get the cards all printed. There have also been several days already where we've had to catch up on the day before. So I'm really on top of things.
The number one goal was to do something simple that would remind & teach us all of the true reason for the season. I liked the idea of a book gift a day, because that's something I knew Buck & Chuck would both get excited about. Brian and I wrapped 25 books, most of which we already had. On the front of each I taped a number to correspond with the date, starting with 1. On the back of each number I put a verse. I used this blogger's verse order for reference, and I made my own cards.
Because I am a big teacher-nerd and can't pass up a chance to incorporate some extra tidbit of knowledge, I made Beckett a big calendar to go along with our daily gifts. Each day, we're talking about today's date and then finding the gift that corresponds with the date. We read the verse, talk about it, and use pictures from books to put it in the context of a story. This seems like a long process but really, it's not. After we're done, Beckett tapes the verse on the appropriate date on our calendar.
We're 15 days in and so far so good(ish)! This is our first year truly introducing the story of Christmas to the kiddos. I worried about doing it justice but I have been so encouraged and pleased with the verse a day idea. I worried that it would be difficult to explain or elaborate on one single verse, but we've actually had nice little interactions based on the verse and corresponding images. Not only do I feel like Beckett is grasping the basic concept of the verses, but I am also deeply enjoying re-experiencing the Christmas story verse by verse. The experience has likely been more meaningful and special for me than for Beckett.
So far, Beckett can name the "characters" and give their very basic role in the story. He knows the angel Gabriel said, "Don't be afraid!," he knows that Mary has a baby, and he knows that we're working up to Christmas day, which is the day Mary had the baby. Also, if you ask him whose birthday we're celebrating, he'll answer enthusiastically, "Is Bay-ee Jeeyus!" MELT.
Charlie has spent most of her time ripping apart my cute board and opening books before it's time, but whatever man. She's having fun too.
I hope we continue to do something similar every year!