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Thursday, November 17, 2011

Counting Down to Christmas Part 3: Advent Book Calendar

This is our third (and final, I think) part of Counting Down to Christmas!  Be sure to check out our homemade Jesse Tree and how we enjoy Christmas books throughout the month!

The Story Of Christmas Story Book Set and Advent CalendarWe LOVE the tiny little books that comes with The Story of Christmas Book Set &Advent Calendar.  The books tell the story of how the birth of Jesus using scripture.  Each of the twenty-four board books is just four pages long (with small print) and attached is a silver loop, making these books easy to hang!  The Story of Christmas Advent Calender is perfect for families with younger or older children who want a daily reminder of what Christmas is all about.  Each book is numbered, too, so they are easy to keep track of the books.  Some families may choose to hang a book daily on a tree, but we use them in a different way.

I use The Story of Christmas Advent Calendar with a homemade mini-craft stick manger.  I place a piece of brown yarn and the appropriate day's book in a small, decorative box with a lid.  The children check the box throughout the day to see if the "hay" and book are there.  The "hay" is preparing the manger for Jesus.  As you might suspect, Jesus arrives Christmas morning.  You could use a Little People (or even just a drawing) Jesus, but I made a special little felt "doll" to represent Jesus, swaddled in his manger.
Jesus was made with two gray felt ovals and a medium brown oval.  I stitched eyes, nose, and a mouth onto the brown oval and then stitched it to a gray oval.  To make it appear that Jesus was swaddled, I also stitched some simple lines, as you can see (I hope) in the photo above.  I used cotton balls to stuff this little Jesus doll, if I remember correctly.  Below you can see another view of the manger.
My five year old recently brought up the ways that we celebrate Christmas!  They certainly left an impression on her last year and she is eager for the little ways (not just the gifts!) we celebrate throughout the month.

How do you celebrate Christmas during the month of December?


Carrie said...

We don't have this particular book. Interesting. I was just thinking about finding/making a manger for our house this year to help us visualize things a bit better.

I love this series of posts, btw. (Shocked and surprised, aren't you? I know.)

Nicole {tired, need sleep} said...

I just love your baby Jesus and manger. I think we may make a craft stick manger this year too. I'd almost forgotten about the piece of yarn each day to line the manger. I'm sure I would have remembered when we get out our Advent things, but thank you for reminding me too! :)

Ticia said...

I got that book last year, but didn't follow through on it. I'm hoping to be better this year, as you saw from my post......

Jackie H. said...

What fun ideas! I've never seen this series of books but it sounds like a great way to make sure the true meaning of Christmas is present.

Jess said...

Wishing I would have seen this post before advent began... but maybe we'll make a little manger for Jesus anyway, SUCH a great idea!

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