A guest post from Kayla…
We video chatted with Grandma “Go” on Sunday and she said she wasn’t feeling great and was considering a nap. Readers for any length of time know that Mom doesn’t complain and she doesn’t nap, and I felt helpless to be of any use from two hours away. So I’m here with a few guest posts to give Mom some time to relax.
I thought I’d take you on a little tour of Jasper’s first memorable Christmas. He turns two in two weeks so he was a lot of fun and fed into the excitement of the season. He loves Christmas lights, the Polar Express (or anything to do with bells, trains, or dancing), and opening gifts.
Christmas has been tricky for me because I am not a fan of the Santa tradition but my husband’s family treasures it. Here’s what worked for us: We distinguish Advent and Christmas as two separate holidays. Advent is getting excited for a new baby to come. That’s my specialty. Then, on Christmas morning, we find out that the baby came overnight and Santa brought gifts for everyone to celebrate. Lots of people like to give gifts on Christmas to celebrate the special birthday.
Throughout Advent Jasper opened a few gifts. Honestly, we didn’t keep up with the countdown. I found some Christmas books at the thrift store and ordered a few more. On the first day he opened a bigger gift, a piggy bank.It is so cute. It is rubber so hard to break. At first Jasper wanted to carry it around like a pet but he quickly caught on that he could put coins in it. He loved it until he found out he couldn’t get the coins out. That made him mad for a little while, but helped us explain that money is for saving. My intention was to plan the Advent days with the books I found and fill in the extra days with a few coins, but, as I said, we didn’t stick to the countdown.
I thought we would light an Advent candle and read a book each night, but he has recently been hit-or-miss for his ability to sit still. It became that I would have him open a book-shaped gift on nights that I thought he seemed like he would be willing to sit for it.
Besides the books I found at thrift stores, these ones were hits:
The Story of Christmas by Helen Dardik has adorable midcentury-style illustrations that I loved. A Very Merry Christmas Prayer is a nice book about different aspects of the season to be thankful for. I will get the Easter version too, as I foresee myself struggling with the Easter bunny.
I tried to stick to Christian books for Advent, but I love this one. It is the song Here Comes Santa Claus but I love the illustrations. The family has quilts and a Nativity set. Lines in the song say that “Santa knows we’re all God’s children” so it helps with my message that Santa is celebrating the baby.Jasper already loves these books, so we got Christmas versions of Little Blue Truck, Pout-Pout Fish, and Good Night, Good Night, Construction Site.
Last year I got myself and my siblings a Star from Afar nativity set. It comes with a book that very basically tells the Christmas story. Then, throughout Advent, you hide the star around the house. The child finds the star and brings the wise men to find it. Jasper loved this. We didn’t remember it every day but I think he honestly forgot. Whenever we did move the star and remind him about it, he got excited like it was the first time.
I’ll be back soon to share how the Christmas holiday went.