Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Christmas Storybook Countdown + TIPS - Pink Paislee

Hello December! Tonight is the beginning of one of our favorite traditions - the storybook countdown to Christmas. For the past few years we have enjoyed reading a Christmas-themed book every night in December leading up to Christmas Day.

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This is our first Christmas in our new home, and with the pretty gray walls, my old Christmas decor (mostly gold) wasn't going to work. Inspired by the current buffalo check trend, we are now going modern woodsy in red, black, gray, natural green elements and metallic silver. Deer and my beloved birds are a big motif, too. Anyway, since I'm taking some time to pull together all those elements, I thought a great place to make a quick, big impact with the new design was in our storybook countdown. Twenty-four wrapped books offer a lot of surface area to bring in patterns and colors, so I had fun shopping for a variety of wrapping papers and found several I loved. The sources are mentioned below each close-up.

white stripes (wedding) wrapping paper - Walmart
Yuletide metallic number, sequins, acetate tag

My silver and gold countdown numbers from last year weren't going to work, so I immediately turned to Pink Paislee's Yuletide collection. First of all, the metallic red numbers are GORGEOUS! I knew they would be the perfect centerpiece for my tags.

buffalo check wrapping paper - Target
Yuletide metallic number, envelope

plaid wrapping paper - Michaels
Yuletide metallic number, 3x4 card (patterned paper), and puffy stickers

Yuletide easily coordinates with my new color palette, and the embellishments were a ton of fun to mix and match.

modern plaid wrapping paper - Target Dollar Spot
Yuletide metallic number, gold foil label, sentiment sticker

Have you done this kind of countdown before? I've learned a few things over the years that I'm happy to share:

1. Time management. Before wrapping the books and then randomly assigning numbers, make a list of titles and estimate how long it might take to read them aloud. Look at your calendar and purposefully assign dates to books based on how much time you will have that day to read. You'll be much more successful in actually reading every day, and you won't be stressed out trying to read a long story after a busy night.

2. Borrow books from the library. If your collection is lacking, borrow books from the library. Be careful wrapping them, and pay attention to due dates. Perhaps include library books in the beginning of your countdown so they can be returned before Christmas break.

black/chevron reversible wrapping paper - Walmart
Yuletide letters, 3x4 card (patterned paper), Atlas silver Thickers

3. Include treats or quiet activities with the books. Sometimes the kids need an incentive to listen quietly, and treats do the trick ;). Sometimes the really good stories are long, and having coloring pages to quietly work on can keep hands busy while ears are open. If you're willing to put forth a little more effort, coordinate the treats/activities to the stories. For example, we read one book about a lump of coal. In that package I include chocolate candies that are wrapped in black foil to look like coal.

4. Include books for every level of reader in your home. Having the kids read is one of my favorite parts of this tradition. To make it work for everyone, include books that are the kids' levels. For example, there are a few easy readers in our countdown for my first grader.

5. Want to purchase inexpensive books for your countdown? Try Thriftbooks.com. I bought at least a dozen new stories at this site last year and was very happy with them. I'm not an affiliate, just a happy customer. Used bookstores are great, too!

silver polka dot wrapping paper - Hobby Lobby

6. Provide a crate or large basket for unwrapped books to remain throughout the season. Your family will probably want to read some of the stories again, plus the Christmas books make great decorations.

I'm excited to read tonight with my family! Which reminds me, I need to get some cozy blankets and pillows ready. Oh - and the camera! I need a photo of us reading for the December mini album I'm making. Have you seen Pink Paislee's countdown book? So cute! I'll be sharing my December pages here on the Pink Paislee blog throughout the month. Thanks for visiting and have a great day! Tessa

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