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Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Happy Thanksgiving!

Hope everyone has a Happy Thanksgiving! I will be taking a break the next few days from the bloggy world, but be sure and like Modern Whit on Facebook, I plan on posting discount codes and giveaways all weekend! Gobble Gobble everyone!

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Day Eight: Book Advent Calendar

The past few years I have seen Book Advent Calendars floating around the internet, the kids unwrap a Christmas/wintery themed book December 1st to Christmas Eve, and honestly I thought these moms must be crazy. Who has enough money to buy 24 Christmas Books? Who can remember to actually do this so that come December 1st you have a book to unwrap?

Well 3 years later and I'm one of those moms! I looked at our collection of Christmas books last year, mostly given to us throughout the years, and realized I had 12 and that I was halfway to an Advent calendar. I thought I would give this insane idea a try! I reserved 12 other books from the library, I basically scoured Pinterest and Amazon for book ideas, and now they are wrapped up and ready to start opening!

I put all of the ones from the library near the beginning of the month so I can return them as needed and let other families enjoy them and then kept the ones we own near the end of the month. My plan is to buy a couple of the ones that we love after the holiday (maybe find a sale?) and just keep adding to our Christmas library collection. 
I've compiled a list of all the books I wrapped (affiliate links used) and I will say that there are a couple of more 'baby' type books that won't last much longer but that the kids will definitely enjoy this year. I'm thinking every evening we will unwrap a book together and read it as their bed time story. For Christmas Eve I have something a little more special planned, but you will have to wait to see that! 

I'm really hoping this idea works out as brilliantly in real life as it does in my head! Both C&H love books so I think the novelty of something "new" to read every night will be fun. Plus I think it will be a nice visual to see the book pile get smaller and smaller as we get closer to Christmas. I will let you know if any of these are really awesome and I would love to hear your favorite books for the season!

Monday, November 24, 2014

Day Seven: The Kindness Mouse Project

Meet Ramona the Kindness Mouse! She appeared at our house last week and leaves a note daily for Charlie and Harper (well she took the weekend off but she's back today!) giving them a kind act to do or recognizing something kind they did the day before.

I hadn't planned to do anything like this until I saw this fantastic article on Kindness Elves. An Elf appears and instead of being some kind of North Pole snitch, the Kindness Elf leaves activities for the kids to do that are more in the spirit of the holiday. This is better explained in that post, but basically the Elf asks the kids to make cookies for a neighbor or do some kind of generous act for someone else. I thought this was brilliant!

I grabbed this mouse (elves are creepy and mama is kind of lazy) and set it out the other night with a note that introduced Ramona the Kindness Mouse and told them to look for her notes every day. I wanted to do this before Advent actually begins because we have a few activities coming up that would be good examples of kind acts. Also I'm having the mouse go away a little before Christmas when we travel so I thought it would be a good idea to start early.

Right now I just grab a scratch piece of paper, write out a kind act to do together or praise them for something I saw that day, and put it in the envelope every night. So far we have taken canned goods to a food drive, bought a present for a friend in the hospital, and been praised for being kind to one another. Here are some other ideas I have planned throughout the month. Hopefully between them and all the kind acts I just know I will witness them doing (!), Ramona will have plenty of notes to leave the kids!

-bake bread and deliver it to Ms. Cindy (our neighbor)
- go shopping for our Angels
- make Christmas cards for teachers
- make cookies for Ed and Linda (our other neighbors)
- make baggies to hand out to homeless men and women
- go Christmas shopping for our cousins (I'm thinking of giving them each 5 dollars and letting them loose in the dollar store!)
- make Christmas presents for our godparents
- send something nice to our pen pal and Jade (godparent and friend)
- help mom clean the house (ha! totally self serving I admit it)
- pick out (make?) blankets for the NICU babies (our church has a collection every Christmas Eve)

So nothing huge, just a few nice ways to show the kids what the Christmas Spirit is all about and hopefully start planting the seeds of kindness and outreach.

Does your family do anything like this? I know some families that serve a meal to the homeless together or some other kind of bigger event over the holidays and I hope as the kids get older we can find a significant way to volunteer together.

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