Guest Post ~ Clean and Scentsible

Hello Shabby Art Boutique Readers!! My name is Jenn and I blog over at Clean and Scentsible.
I am SO excited to be "visiting" Australia today! 
Even though we are continents apart, Kerryanne and I both share a HUGE love of Christmas and it is fun getting to spend the holidays with her through her beautiful blog and amazing Christmas series.
Christmas is my favorite season of the year and I love celebrating this time with my two boys.  I have so many fond memories of the Christmas holidays from when I was a child and have really enjoyed passing on traditions from my childhood as well as creating new ones with my own kids.  This really is a special time of year and the pure "magic" of Christmas only stays around for so many years.
Today, I wanted to share some of our Christmas traditions that we enjoy around our house...

Christmas Activity Advent Calendar
 I always love advent calendars during the holidays and I created this one a couple of years ago.

Each day the kids get a little note and an activity that we will do during the day.  Activities can range from a fun outing, to something simple like watching a Christmas movie or learning a new Christmas song.  I always have a few new things planned each year, but the boys really look forward to doing a lot of the same activities that they have done in years past.  They love guessing what I have planned for the day and it really builds their excitement!  December is a crazy month so I make sure I plan things out well ahead of time to ensure that we will be able to fit in all of our favorite Christmas activities.  You can click here for a list of our activities this year.

12 Days of Giving Tree
As much as the kids love their presents, we do want to teach our kids about the true meaning of Christmas.  This 12 Days of Giving Tree is filled with little ways to give to others - from donating to the food bank to creating a special treat for a neighbour.  Each little tube is filled with a Christmas message and a note. It is a good way of reminding the kids that the gift of giving can be much greater than receiving.

Book Advent
I love the anticipation of counting the days down until Christmas.  Last year, I started doing this book advent as another way of creating family time while still enjoying the fun of a countdown.  I wrapped up 24 books and each night in December we would cuddle up and read a Christmas story together.  This is our book list from last year but I will be updating our list for this year as some of the books are now a little too young.  Remember to check out your local library if you are having trouble coming up with enough books!  You could also make this into a 12 Days of Christmas advent if you were just starting out.

Elf on the Shelf 
I believe that this will be our 5th year with our little Elf on the Shelf, Paint {I have no idea why Matthew named him this!}. The kids love trying to find our elf each morning and it is always fun to see what mischief the little guy has gotten into!  I think that I almost have as much fun with this as the boys do!

No matter how you choose to create your own traditions with your children {or grandchildren!}, remember that it is just about spending time together and enjoying all of the joy that the season has to bring.  It can be baking cookies together or creating a Christmas craft.  Maybe there is a favorite Christmas TV show or movie that becomes a big family night each year.  December can be an overwhelming month, so whatever you do, make sure that you leave some time to just focus on your kids and that Christmas magic!  It is always the best time spent!

If you get a chance, I would love for you to visit me up in Canada at Clean and Scentsible or join me on Facebook and Pinterest.  I wish you all a wonderful holiday season filled with love and Christmas joy!
Christmas line
Thanks so much for sharing your special Christmas family activities with us Jenn.
There are lots more creative Christmas ideas to inspire you over at Clean and Scentsible 
. . . and make sure you catch Jenn’s Trim the Tree series that is on all this week.