Saturday, December 8, 2012

Our First Christmas Countdown and Advent Calendar

We started a new Christmas tradition this year.  This was inspired by a blog post of TeacherMama Tina Santiago-Rodriguez last year.  I liked the idea of wrapping books about Christmas and our Catholic faith and tying it to the countdown to Christmas by unwrapping one book each day.  So, I decided to adapt the idea this year in our household.  I gathered all of my sons’ Christmas-related books.  I also checked their books about values and chose some which emphasized values usually highlighted during the Christmas season.  Then, I wrapped the books in Christmas wrapping papers.  Since, our existing books on Christmas and values are less than twenty-five (25), I scheduled a trip to the bookstores and Book Sale outlets nearby.   

Yanthy borrowed the guitar
from the display. :)
We began our new Christmas tradition this year last December 1 even though we have less than twenty-five books wrapped.  We also adapted the Love Came Down Advent calendar that was shared by another work-at-home-mom in our Manila Work-at-Home Moms Facebook Group.  Since we were busy moving from one house to another in the past week and didn’t have the chance to have the Advent calendar printed, we before our move, we’ve been reading it from our laptop.  At least we have saved on paper. J  My eldest son and I started our hunt for books the other day when we went to SM Marikina to have a date.  We found one good book only that day.  It’s a pop-up book on the birth of Jesus.  We also found out that the store that used to sell slightly used books in that mall already closed.  So yesterday, my eldest son and I had a date again and part of our date was to go book shopping to complete the books in our Christmas countdown.  We had a great time bonding!  We were also very successful in our hunt for nice Christmas books at bargain prices at the Book Sale.  Hurray!  We bought eight (8) books (mostly board books) from one Book Sale branch which only cost us P430! That’s almost the same price we paid for the four (4) books we bought from St. Paul’s.  In another branch, we bought another eight (8) which cost P274 only!  We went to two Book Sale outlets in Cubao (near Shopwise and at Farmer’s Plaza) after buying faith-based and value-based books at St. Paul’s (Gateway Mall branch).  We also had some snack in between our book hunting.
I’m loving the idea even more as we execute it. The new books we bought not only help us in our Christmas countdown.  They also double as Christmas gifts for our two little bookworms.  Moreover, I loved the idea that I don’t need to buy many books next year or in the coming years anymore; for we have bought a lot of Christmas-related books already this year.  I’m so happy with how this idea/new tradition paved the way for us to save a lot.  Most of all, I loved the opportunity to reinforce the values that I want my kids to learn and practice not just during Advent or Christmas time but every day of the year.
Take a look at the books we have opened so far in our Christmas Countdown this year.
This was Yanthy's Christmas gift to Mateo last year.

This set of Disney Christmas books
was given to Yanthy as a gift
by one of his grandmas.

We read the story of St. Nicholas from this book.
These are the titles of the books we have yet to open.
This was one of our great Book Sale finds.
Another Book Sale find with hard cover!

This was a birthday gift to Yanthy
by one of his godparents on his first birthday.

This was a gift to Mateo during his baptism.
Got this from St. Paul's.
We bought this from National Bookstore ,
SM Marikina branch.
We bought this at St. Paul's also.

These were Book Sale finds.

The Night Before Christmas
A Big Help
Not Too Big
Amelia's Angel
My Lift the Flap Christmas Tree
Birth of Jesus Pop-up book


  1. Hello! I am the author and illustrator of the children's storybook. I am grateful that you and your children have bought and enjoyed Ms. Lumi the Teaching Candle. I wish you all the best. May God bless you more! All the love. -Mary Matias

  2. Hi, Mary! Thank you for letting me know. :) Glad to be in touch with you. I loved the lessons imparted in Ms. Lumi. :)