24 days of Christmas Kindness
This was our second year of forgoing the traditional count down to Christmas and embracing what I have coined our "Acts of Kindness" advent calendar. You can read all about how this came about in the post I wrote last year, and I am so happy to report that the second year went even better! I still targeted the idea primarily at my oldest son (next year I hope to be able to fully include the little one) and he is actually sad that the month is almost over and he won't be getting his special notes from Santa any more. This time I'm going to try harder to keep these acts going throughout the year and probably tie them into starting an allowance for him.
I've had a few moms mention to me that they'd like to try this idea with their kids so I'm thinking of maybe putting together some kind of kit next year that others could use. I'm still brainstorming but hoping to have something to share around Halloween next year - fingers crossed.
Our Mini Basement Makeover
Every year we like to get the boys a bigger Christmas present, something sentimental or something that they can enjoy all year. Two years ago we got them their outdoor playset, last year we got them some personal artwork, and this year we we did something slightly different and worked to make the basement a little more "friendly" and become a space they could go during the winter when they need to get out some extra energy. Our basement is unfinished and although we have grand dreams of what the space will eventually look like, right now the unfinished-ness works in our favor as I use the space for painting, and the boys don't have to worry so much about getting things dirty. That being said, the way it was set up really didn't make them want to spend much time down there, so we set about doing a few easy fixes to change that. 1) We moved the couch and their toys closer to the staircase and created a small living space around a new outdoor rug from IKEA 2) I moved anything I didn't want them getting into onto higher shelves that I built our of scrap wood and our old kitchen cabinet 3) We bought them a small TV so they can watch Netflix and movies (we bought this one on Black Friday) 4) We bought a small space heater (it's cool to the touch and has an automatic shut off) that they can operate if they get cold.
While it's not pretty, and it's seldom clean, but it's a space that they can hang out, play, and feel a little independent from mom and dad. It's been a lifesaver on these cold, dark nights and I think it'll work great on rainy spring/summer days too.
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