Sunday, December 9, 2012

My Christmas Countdown Attempt

While I was on bed rest at the end of my pregnancy I stumbled upon an excellent pin on Pinterest counting down Christmas by reading a Christmas story every night.

With my love of books I thought this would be an excellent tradition to start with our new little family this holiday season. The original pin is from Sew Sara via Pinterest.

Then I had the brilliant idea to sew 24 fabric bags so I wouldn't have to wrap them every year...I dislike wrapping very much. Do you see where this is going....

I bought my fabric early this fall, like as soon as the fabric store had put out any Christmas material and there it sat until November 30th. Have I ever mentioned how much I hate sewing with a machine! Hand sew any day of the week but my sewing machine intimidates the crap out if me. So I procrastinated and waited for the last possible day to start sewing.

I quickly realized I was going to run out of Christmas fabric so that got me frustrated, I ran out of bobbin and it took me way too long how to remember to wind one. Yes, that sentence fills me with shame. Then I ruined a bag and threw it across the kitchen floor, where it laid for days because I was too angry to pick it up. So after my frantic day of sewing, I had 18 ugly, crooked seamed, hideous Christmas book bags tied with too short ribbon.

Yet I dutifully went out and bought more fabric to finish making them. I took a few days off and was whining to my good friend about how the last thing I wanted to do was sew more bags. I have 1,001 other projects to finish in the next week or so and the bags were making me grumpy. So I decided that I wouldn't finish them. Oh the horror!

But being imperfect is what this blog is all about...nothing is perfect! Not even Violet's 1st Christmas. So on December 1st.....I totally forgot to read a on December 2nd we started our first tradition as a family and read two books. I also discovered that one of my bags already had a hole so into the trash it went with some angry flair on my part and I have promised myself that I will make 24 well made bags for next Christmas. This year we are doubling up bags and making it work. Nothing is perfect!

As far as the books, I bought the majority of them for about $20 at our local used bookstore. I didn't want to spend a small fortune on all brand new books. I know that over time we will build our collection up and books will be rotated or we may even put a few books in each bag. I would even like to include books about other holidays like Hanukkah. The one book I bought new was Christmas in the Big Woods based on The Little House on the Prairie series.
  1. Elmo's 12 Days of Christmas
  2. Clifford's Christmas
  3. Room for a Little One
  4. Madeline's Christmas
  5. Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer (golden book)
  6. Merry Christmas Amelia Bedelia
  7. Jingle Bells (golden book)
  8. The Pokey Little Puppy's First Christmas (golden book)
  9. The Nutcracker (golden book)
  10. The Cat That Climbed the Christmas Tree (golden book)
  11. Donald Duck's Christmas Tree (golden book)
  12. Winnie the Pooh and Stories for Christmas
  13. Peat Moss & Ivy Meet Santa Claus
  14. Merry Christmas Mom & Dad (Little Critter)
  15. Arthur's Christmas
  16. Christmas Cats
  17. The Night Before Christmas
  18. A Cobtown Christmas
  19. Bear's Christmas Star
  20. The Teddy Bears' Christmas
  21. A Charlie Brown Christmas
  22. Elmo Saves Christmas
  23. Christmas in the Big Woods ( Little House Book)
  24. The Very Snowy Christmas
So now as I write this blog post I am waiting for Violet to wake up so I can feed her dinner and then read 5 Christmas it is December 9th and we have only read 4 books so far....

....Nothing is perfect!




i love you more than carrots



  1. Love that your doing this too! I love the little golden books. Does The Donald Duck book feature his nephews? My son loves Huey, Duey and Louie and its impossible to find anything with them in it.

  2. You are a hot mess and that is why I love you and this was awesome!

    And that is all!


  3. Actually laughed out loud - 5 books to someone who really has no idea, just drink some wine or hot chocolate and realize she wont be that into it for another 2 Christmas's. She looks perfectly happy with life. Although I am sorry about your bags, it was a great idea and I had a few sewing mishaps of my own over the weekend.

  4. I think this is a cute idea. I laughed when you said you threw it across the room and it sat on the floor for days. LOL I can just picture it. I can imagine the frustration. I get myself into dilemmas like that all the time.

  5. Aww I love Christmas books! My eldest refuses to choose them in favor of trucks and tractor books however :(...I may have to try this next year though!

  6. What a fun idea, and a great choice of books too!

    I have a sewing machine that I rarely ever use because I forget how. And now that you've mentioned it, I'd have to Google how to do the bobbin too, it's been just that long, lol.

  7. Make it easy on yourself. There's no-sew ironing strips that do seams great. Then hand sew loops for the ribbon. Great idea!

  8. This was hysterical! I can so sympathize with you. I know that angry, throw it across the floor feeling oh too well! I made bags too, only mine were small and had drawstrings. I may of had a hissy fit or two. I love your new tradition and it's something she will remember always.

  9. Thank you, thank you Leslie :) I DID need to read that post! I'm so glad that I'm not alone in this whole trying to overcome my perfectionist tendencies. Back in November I saw a pin on no-sew fleece blankets and pillow cases and I wanted to make them for gifts. Went out and bought all the material and it's been sitting downstairs for a month. And now I need to rush and make the pillow for my sister for when I see her this weekend.

    So love your Christmas book-a-day idea though. I'll put that on my list for next year, as we only have about 10 Christmas books to read. I don't think Sofia will mind us doubling up this year :)

  10. 'It's the thought that counts' :) I loved this post.

    Your book list is awesome, I'm planning on taking out a few from our local library this week and I'm writing a few of your book ideas down.

  11. I was smiling throughout this post. nothing is perfect - but you are an awesome mommy! violet will love this tradition for sure!

  12. What a great idea!!! I LOVE this!!! This would have been a great idea when I was a teacher!! The kids would have loved it!! So cute!! Thanks for sharing!!! Hugs!!

  13. You are so smart! Perfect way to do this every year and keep it simple. Love this! Thanks for linking up with the #MTMmixer :)

  14. this is sucha fun way to countdown for the little ones!

  15. we started this tradition with Ivy last year. it's really fun. i wrap them in paper from brown paper grocery bags with ribbon tied around them. but i love the idea of bags made out of Christmas fabric! maybe I'll have to get all the christmas fabric on sale and do it for next year...!

  16. Leslie that is such a neat tradition! :-D I'm trying to think of what might be a better solution for next year for you so you don't have to go through that again with the bags. Maybe find 24 people to sew them for you? ;-D Thanks for sharing such a great idea!

  17. I think the bags look beautiful! I really didn't even notice imperfections, although they would have been welcome if I did. It's a cool tradition.

  18. things hardly ever work out as planned, right?!?! But I am in love with this idea ... the start of a fun tradition! Thank you so much for linking up to our party!

  19. I run into you twice in one day! I am following via FB, Twitter, & Pinterest now too!

  20. What a great idea! I despise wrapping presents too, i gift bag everything to avoid this little pet peeve. Aww, look at that bundle of cuteness! I found ya on the blog hop. I'm a new follower via Bloglovin. I hope you and the fam are having a great Sunday!


  21. It doesn't matter if they'r perfect - I love the idea of using bags instead of wrapping. What a fun idea!! So cute.

    Thanks so much for sharing this at Artsy Corner. Hope to see you again this week :)


Thank you for your comments!