When I was a kid, my Mom started the tradition of doing the 12 days of Christmas. She would set aside 12 small gifts (inexpensive). Then for each of the last 12 days leading up to Christmas, we could choose one to open. I always remembered the excitement we felt when those days arrived. A gift to open early! It was our count down.
Last year, we started this same tradition with our kids. However, we modified it slightly. Each of them had a stack of books, wrapped up. Part of our bedtime routine for those nights included choosing a gift, opening it, and then reading them together.
Today, I started (and almost finished) my 12 Days of Christmas shopping for this year. I love that this gift builds our library. My kids love books! The best part? It is so inexpensive! I get them all from thrift stores/second hand shops.
Each of my big kids ends up with 12 new books (24 new books total). Today, I found 22. Total cost? So far only $13.27! And that is actually a bit expensive based on where I shopped today.
I went to a total of 5 stores. Goodwill is typically my favorite as they tend to have a large selection of kids books. Typically I will pay 25-60 cents per kids book. However, today one of the places I stopped was Once Upon a Child. They have a great book section, but the prices are a bit more. Typically 50 cents up to $1.50 each.
This tradition has already made an impact. Just the other day the kids were talking about opening their books last year and hoping we could do it again. My goal was to make memories. I think we succeeded!
Does your family do the 12 days of Christmas? What gifts would be part of your tradition?