I have one more advent activity to share with you that our family loves.
Remember making those paper chains when you were younger where you would take one link off each day to count down the days till Christmas, as the chain got smaller your anticipation would grow. Well this is similar but mixes in the joy of opening gifts.
I started by picking out the books I wanted to use. Originally I planned to use all of our winter and Christmas stories but after getting them all out I realized that many of these were thinner books. My plan had been to build the books up once they were wrapped to look like a snowman and my thinner book pile really looked more like a melted snowman.
I then moved to plan B, going back to the book shelf to pick out the thickest books and mixing them in with my favorite Christmas stories. I then arranged them in the general shape of a snowman head with a hat.
I picked out two different wrapping papers for this project and while Eli was napping got busy wrapping 25 books. I used a white snowflake paper for the body being careful when I wrapped to not have too much of a red snowflakes showing on the spine. I then used a red plaid for the hat and a large piece of black construction paper for the black band.
Both kids love the snowman.
Each night the kids take turns taking a book from the top of the pile and unwrapping. We don’t do a ton of gifts on Christmas morning so this is a fun way to experience the joy of tearing paper apart to see what is secretly waiting inside without spending a bunch of money.
I anticipated a fight each night over who got to open the package but thought it would be good practice in waiting turns and being excited for our sibling. But there really has been no issue; some nights they do it together and sometimes they take turns.
Once the trash is thrown away, Eli really likes running the trash to the trashcan, the kids snuggle in with dad to read their story.
We tried this last year but I wrapped our books with the snowman design. While I think he turned out really cute and the kids had fun with him the first day I am not sure the extra work of making him into a snowman was worth it. The kids mostly enjoy unwrapping the books and it makes me sad to see our snowman slowly disappear. I know we will continue this tradition but I might go with a simpler design next year.