Old traditions ...
I always pounce on the $5 amaryllis and paperwhite bulbs at Walmart the minute they put the Christmas stuff out. Not sure if I planted them early enough to get blooms by Christmas, though!
This year I lucked out and got a bulb sending up two flower stalks (!!!). That's never happened for me before!
.... and new traditions! I first stumbled upon the idea of using books for an advent calendar at the cute craft/art/family blog, Jupiter Buttons (she discovered the idea on Ohdeedoh). I've always loved advent calendars, but wasn't into the idea of candy and presents everyday. Books? Now that's a tradition I can wholeheartedly support. I tried to keep them all holiday/winter themed, and have displayed them in descending order so you can always see how many days are left until Christmas by looking at the mantle. We started a few days late this year, but here are the books we're using:
- A Wish to be a Christmas Tree, by Colleen & Michael G. Monroe
- Snowmen at Night, by Caralyn & Mark Buehner
- Llama Llama Holiday Drama, by Anna Dewdney
- Bear Stays up for Christmas, by Karma Wilson & Jane Chapman
- Merry Christmas, Mom and Dad, by Mercer Mayer
- Cross-Country Cat, by Mary Calhoun
- Little Critter: Just a Snowman, by Mercer Mayer
- Auntie Claus, by Elise Primavera
- Madeline's Christmas, by Ludwig Bemelmans
- The Gingerbread Pirates, by Kristin Kladstrup
- Olive, the Other Reindeer, by Vivian Walsh
- Cajun Night Before Christmas
- How the Grinch Stole Christmas, by Dr. Seuss
- Mr. Willoughby's Christmas Tree, by Robert Barry
- The Christmas Cookie Sprinkle Snitcher, by Robert Kraus
- Snowmastodon! Snow Day Adventure, by Aimee White Beazley
- The Night Before Christmas, illustrated by Clement C. Moore
- Red Sled, by Lita Judge
- Jingle Bells, by Kathleen Daly
- Mystery of the Missing Red Mitten, by Steven Kellogg
- Morris's Disappearing Bag, by Rosemary Wells
- Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer
So far, it's been a great success! We're keeping the books out in a basket in the main living room, and they're getting read over and over and over. I can see this tradition continuing for many years to come!