Every year for Christmas, the kids delight in our advent calendars. We actually have three – Sweetie has a Forest Winter Wonderland Calendar by Playmobil, Buddy has a LEGO City Advent Calendar, and together they share a felt pocket calendar that we hand-stitched ourselves. Within each pocket is an advent action card that reveals a special holiday activity or special gift.
One of the cards reads, “Choose 3 favorite Christmas books and enjoy them together with a cup of cocoa.” This card was revealed on Thursday, just before we went to the library. The kids thereby chose to select a few new Christmas stories from the display at the library, one of which was Eve Bunting’s Night Tree.
Night Tree is the story of a young boy and his family who decorate a favorite tree with popcorn, apples, tangerines and sunflower-seed balls as a gift to the animals of the woods. We enjoyed the beautifully illustrated story of this family’s tradition of bring to life the true spirit of Christmas. Earlier today, on the morning of Christmas Eve, the kids recalled this story and shared with us their inspiration to decorate a tree of our own. They said to me, “Mom! We need to do this with Daddy! It is one of the challenges on our nature grid this month!” They were referring to the square that said, enjoy a nature with a friend. They were uber-excited that Daddy was able to join us as he is generally at work when we go on nature walks.
We thereby popped a kettle of popcorn, strung apple slices on a garland, and gathered a few persimmons and tangerines to give to the animals that reside near our home (there is a small open space near our house where we have seen jack rabbits, deer, and numerous birds). We enjoyed the activity so much that I am confidant it will become a new family tradition – they have even asked me to make an advent action card for it. 🙂
We then enjoyed a quiet walk down to the creek where we were inspired to create little drift boats with what we could find in our surroundings. It was a wonderfully peaceful way to spend the afternoon on Christmas Eve.