Here we are, boys and girls, December First! It’s that magical time of the year when we start celebrating all things family, beginning with that special couple 2000 years ago who rejoiced together in a stable over the birth of their new-born son.
One fun tradition of the season is the Advent Calendar. Kids everywhere will be pushing back the flaps on a small door marked with the date. Many will find a sugary candy waiting for them. One gulp and it’s gone… nothing to show for it but empty calories. And so it goes, as they count down the 25 days until Christmas.
But it doesn’t have to be that way. Our family turns to Jacquie Lawson Cards instead. She offers a sugar-free advent calendar every year for our enjoyment. Each day unveils a new musical animation with stories, games or puzzles. Once opened, these animations can be replayed again and again, with no added calories!
This year Jacquie brings to life a winter wonderland in a mountain village. While we wait for the next day of December to arrive, we can decorate a tree in our own special cottage, listen to Christmas music or work a puzzle. There’s a nominal fee for all this fun but we think it’s well worth the price.
If computer animation isn’t your thing, you might like to make your own advent calendar. That way, you can choose your own nutritious treats, like nuts or dried fruit or even coupons for family outings or games, or decorations for the tree. There are many ways you can deliver these treats. You are limited only by your imagination. Check out Martha Up Close and Personal for a few ideas.
Or how about a daily advent treat from Fun Kids? Subscribe to a free podcast and get a new song every day in December until Christmas. Open iTunes to subscribe.
While we’re on the topic of Christmas, perhaps I could shamelessly plug my own offering. How about the gift of healthy eating for a family you know and love? For $4.75 US you can download a copy of Vinny’s e-book Cook Up A Story to your iPad or iPhone. Vinny’s main dish is stories and recipes for the kids, where good food sets the mood. The whole family can sample a side order of basic nutrition facts along with the fun.
This is my gift to you dear readers: four inexpensive and sugarless ways to enjoy the holidays! HoHoHo!