Countdown to Christmas

imageIt’s getting closer and this year I’m feeling far more excited than usual! I’ve always steadfastly avoided embracing the festive spirit too early. It seems slightly crazy that supermarkets start selling the Christmas chocs when we’re still trying to enjoy the final dregs of British summertime. OK, I will confess that I bought a present back in September but that was purely a budgetary decision – it was a big item and on a really good deal. Otherwise I don’t usually think too much about Christmas until at least late November.

This year, though, my festive spirit has been starting to waken much earlier than usual. Our daughter is now almost 20 months old so, although this will technically be her second Christmas, she will be much more aware this year and I’m really looking forward to sharing some magical moments with her.

Once December 1st hits, I want to make sure she has as much fun as possible and enjoys this special time of year. Here are some of the things I’m looking forward to.

Starting her advent calendar/book

I bought it this week, as you can see from the picture above. We wanted to get something quite traditional, rather than chocolate-based, and this has loads for  her to look at. The book opens out into a big, free-standing nativity scene cartoon. The  windows to open are all sorts of shapes and sizes and  the nativity story is told on the back of the book flaps to help children understand the importance of the festive season. It also comes with a colouring sheet. We bought ours locally but you can also buy them on Amazon.

Putting her nativity set out

Little Miss was Christened on December 2nd last year (another reason the beginning of December will feel even more special) and we bought her a lovely little nativity set as a present. It has a few small bits in so is still more of an ornament than something to play with but having it out again will bring back happy memories of sharing her special day with family and friends.

wpid-20131123_114816Decorating the house

This one is also making us slightly nervous! I love getting the decorations out and buying a new tree. Little Miss will be absolutely fascinated by all the lights, tinsel and sparkly baubles  and I’m sure she’ll want to join in with making the house look festive. Our challenge will be to find a way to make it toddler-proof at the same time! This week Daddy came home with this stylish but sturdy wooden owl from Sainsbury’s – a real hit as Little Miss loves owls!

Twinkling lights on nearby houses

We’re lucky to live in an area where a lot of people make a big effort with their outdoor decorations. We don’t as it must cost a small fortune. But we love driving home when it’s dark and looking at everybody else’s lights, especially those on the biggest houses. I’m sure Little Miss will love coming home from nursery past the lights.

imageReading festive stories

It will be great to read some Christmassy books together. We’ve already got In The Night Garden: Everybody Loves Christmas, which Nanny bought, and the more traditional It Was the Night Before Christmas, which I adored as a child (I can still remember most of the lines!). I’ve also spotted a well-stocked special Christmas section in our local library with plenty of toddler-friendly titles so we’ll have lots to keep us busy.

Seeing Santa and his reindeer

I’m looking forward to taking Little Miss to a Christmas event at one of our favourite local garden centre haunts. I’m very aware things could go either way in terms of her meeting Santa as she tends to be very wary of strangers at the moment, but we’ll give it a go. And given her love of animals, I’m hoping the real reindeer will at least go down well.

Next setFestive fashion

I always said I wouldn’t get sucked into it but I find it hard to resist some of the cute Christmas clothes for small people. I won’t buy much as, let’s face it, they can only wear it for a very limited time but I figure if I get a few bits early on then we can get more use out of them at all the festive gatherings in December. I like to keep it a little bit subtle so I love this top and tights set from Next.

Christmas music

Little Miss loves her music and now requests we put the stereo on for her, so I’m looking forward to getting the Christmas CDs out and having a sing and a dance. I may even buy a new one so we have some toddler-friendly tunes to enjoy.

Opening presents

Of course I’m looking forward to this. We’ve bought Little Miss some things we’re sure she’ll love. Her main gift is a play kitchen (shush, don’t tell!) and we know Granny is getting her a new doll. We’re always told she loves playing with the dolls, or ‘babies’ as she calls them, at nursery. She has one doll at home too but it is quite small for her now so I’m sure she’ll be thrilled with one that’s more her size now and I’m looking forward to her pretending to cook us dinner!

What are you looking forward to most about the Christmas season?

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