Last year my friend, who blogs as When you ARE that woman, wrote a lovely post about a book and DVD advent calendar she had made for her sons, where they had a Christmassy thing to read or watch each December evening in the run up to the big day.
I loved the idea of this and from January-March I pounced on any Christmassy reads in charity shops hoping to make my own. I got so many I thought perhaps I would make them for friends' kids too. It wasn't hard - as That woman had pointed out to me, many books you don't automatically think of as a Christmas book is actually set at Christmas - Cops and Robbers takes place on Christmas Eve, That's not my penguin might as well be and the wintry scene of The Gruffalo's Child is ripe for a North Pole interpretation.
But all this was before I knew a second one was on the way, due the week before Christmas and within days of the first one's birthday. A birthday, a birth (hopefully), Chanukah (a present a day for eight days!) and Christmas itself suddenly seems an awful lot to contend with without having to summon up enthusiasm for an extra twenty-four presents, and not just opening them but reading or watching them too.
So whilst I am looking forward to watching The Snowman and introducing my daughter to the comfort of an annual tearfest, and Father Christmas Needs a Wee tickles me despite poor rhyme and an unlovable Santa, and Brigg's Father Christmas is fit for both reading and watching, and Cops and Robbers will do me any day of the year, and I'm rather taken by Penny Ives' Mrs Christmas, and the tactile That's not my..., be it snowman, penguin or santa, still pleases us all, an organised once a day advent thing is proving a bit beyond me this year.
Of course birthdays and Christmas are immovable and Chanukah moves though is beyond my control, so this will be the case forever more,. But I still love the idea. One day I shall be brave enough to try it.