How we are celebrating Advent

I love Christmas; always have and always will, and having a child has made this season even more magical and exciting because I am living it not just through my own eyes but also through hers. This is Madeleine's third Christmas but this year she is really showing interest and seems to know that there are special things going on around her.
I wanted to do something fun to celebrate Advent and countdown to Christmas morning with her, so we hung a little calendar from Target that she can move the candy cane date marker around all by herself. We do this each night and then she unwraps a special book for us to read as her night night story.
I checked out a bunch of books from the library about Christmas including ones about Santa, the birth of Christ, the Nutcracker, pirate gingerbread men and everything in between. Then I wrapped each one and put them by her tree for her to unwrap during our bedtime routine. 
I must say it is pretty awesome watching her unwrap a little present each night and then get excited to read a new book; it cost nothing and there won't be a bunch of toys or candy around that she doesn't need. The perfect way to spend the next few weeks before the big day!
Moving her candy cane marker over for the night. 
Books galore in fun wrapping paper!

I could hardly wait until after Thanksgiving to start decorating for Christmas, and truth be told I may have put a few things out the Wednesday before, but I was off work and wanted to make sure the house was nice and festive before I leave town for a few days on business next week. We haven't gotten our tree yet, but we plan on doing that this weekend so we can decorate it together while sipping eggnog and listening to music, as is our little family tradition. Matty and I used to do this together before we had Maddie and now it is so much fun to share this little ritual with her.

Here are a few pictures that I took of our home; I can't wait to share pictures of our tree soon! 
Happy Advent!
I hung up lights and decorated Maddie's room for her; she asks for her "kitty lights" to be turned on first thing every morning now!
My treasured tattooed Nutcracker; I also wrapped our large painting in the living room to give it a more festive feel.
We have had this Santa pillow since I was a little girl and my Mom let me take it when Matty and I moved into our first apartment together, He has a special place in my heart - thanks, Mom!


Came over here from Girls Gone Child, I've also done a book advent this year - from books we had and a few new-to-us ones from charity stores. My girls are loving it and it's a nice slow way to bring in the season. Merry christmas!

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