Last year I posted about a few books and toys that make wonderful holiday gifts. I haven't thought much about gifts this year since we are going practical, with things like long underwear, mittens, and lunch boxes. But Santa will bring a few small "fun" treasures...
Advent spiral & ornaments
Everyone has a favorite advent tradition - glittery paper calendars with windows to open, pockets with little surprises for each day leading up to Christmas, advent candles... We always have a glittery calendar (I love glitter) and it is great motivation for kids to get ready in the morning ("Girls who are dressed with teeth brushed can open their window!"), but we also love our advent spiral. It is a simple tradition of moving a candle around the spiral. If we are feeling extravagant, we'll put in 25 candles on Christmas Day and the entire spiral will glow. The kids spend a lot of time moving their ornaments around and counting the days until Christmas. Each year, Santa brings a new advent ornament.
Alexandra's book of choice these days is I Want My Hat Back, by Jon Klassen, who also illustrated one of our all time favorites, Extra Yarn. I Want My Hat Back is a story of a bear looking for his missing hat - with a twist at the end that adults will appreciate. Excellent artwork, of course.
For those of you with kids in the young adult bracket, check out The Conspiracy Game. It was just released last week and the author, Adam Holt, is a phenomenal writer. I had the opportunity to interview him about his book and will be posting that on Wednesday!
I'm not really one for crafts since I have no crafting ability and no patience to help kids with any form of organized project. So my strategy is to put out a few supplies and walk away. A few weeks ago we bought a box of 1000 craft sticks to boost another order up into the "free shipping" category. Huge success. All three kids have spent hours and hours creating little log houses, towers, piles glued together or to paper, dream catchers, and Christmas tree ornaments. A few sticks, some glue and paper and they are off - and they can do it without my help.
What favorite toys, books, crafts do you recommend for holiday gifts? Please share!