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.
12 thoughts on “Jasper’s Advent”
Super post…nice that someone got to rest! You are a good daughter. I have grand nephews/nieces so I love getting gift suggestions! Thank you for the books. I think it is time for more reading pillows next year!
Do you know the book Santa’s Favorite Story by Hisako Aoki? It is Santa telling the Christmas story. It’s a favorite of mine.
My son’s birthday is just two weeks before his birthday. He did pretty well with a different story every night, some were secular and some were more religious. But, he was already crazy about books. Chrisrtmas day was hilarious. He opened one gift and he was done, he wanted to play with that gift. It took us days to get all the gifts open.
Sorry to learn your mother wasn’t feeling so good as it is so unusual as you said. It sounds like you have a good plan for combining the two Christmas celebrations. The books look real good and such a good gift to go with Advent calendar. I have an idea that in another year Jasper won’t forget but will remind you if you forget a day. They are so smart! Darling picture of Jasper!
Glad to hear that you guys had a good Christmas, Kayla! Jasper is at a fun age for any holiday. LOVE that you made his Advent mostly about reading!!
Wonderful celebration of the Advent season!
I hope Jo gets to feeling better. Will be sending up some prayers for her.
Hope Jo is feeling better soon and thanks for doing the blog. Its so nice to see Jasper and how he has grown this past year. I love books as a gift for the young and the old. My mother was the book giver to our children and to this day they cherish some of those books. Merry Christmas to you Kayla and your family.
Books are awesome. My late Aunt Frances used to give me a book for my birthday & one for Christmas each year. Most were educational series books. I looked forward to receiving them each year.⭐ I’m glad Jasper enjoyed the holidays. He’s so precious. Thank you for doing the blog so your Mom can rest. You are sweet. I will be thinking of her & praying for her. Take care. Cool piggy bank too.
He is too cute for words!
It’s good that you can step in for your mum when she needs it, and it’s lovely to catch up with Jasper’s progress!
Love this post…so wonderful to see parents trying to teach such good values to children. (I won’t tell you how spoiled my own grands are!) I thought I’d tell you about how we separated Santa Claus from the Christian holiday….we lived in the Netherlands when my youngest son was born. They have a separate day for Sinter Klaus (I don’t think I spelled that right)–seems like it was Dec 6th, but it has been 46 years since my son was born there so it’s a bit fuzzy! So we decided that Christmas Eve after candlelight service, we would read the Christmas story and our two sons would open their gifts from relatives…we felt that this way the boys would know who gave them what. Then Christmas morning Santa Claus came. Since we were fairly poor there wasn’t much chance of spoiling them! I feel so strongly that children get too much these days…makes them believe in instant gratification and they don’t think they should have to wait for/earn things they want. You get my drift. Great parenting with Jasper!