My niece and nephew live in Florida so we only get to see them a couple times a year. I try to find little ways to be a part of their lives and send them things throughout the year (usually books). This was the 2nd year that I did a 25 days countdown/advent calendar for them. I made each of them a decorated blank calendar with 25 spaces and put together 25 little packages for each of them with a daily tag to put on their calendars. Each package is an activity - some are simply coloring book type activities, some are little games or crafts I got at the dollar store or Michael's, and others are things for them to do - popcorn with instructions to pop in their favorite Christmas movie, printed carols for them to go caroling at a friends/family house, and an activity to anonymously do something for someone on the Feast of St. Nicholas. My sister-in-law texted me about how excited they were to put up their calendars in their rooms and Brandon was asking first thing this morning if he could open today's activity. It just puts such a smile on my face to hear how excited they were - a way for me to be a part of their daily lives even though we're so far away.
Then this evening I got a phone call from Brandon! That little boy sure can talk! About 20 minutes later I had to get him off the phone so I could take care of the Christmas cookies I was baking (well and he started talking to me about the Jets and the Patriots, and I don't follow pro football!). My favorite story was that Avery lost her first tooth today (she's 4 1/2!), and it bled, but she fell asleep and the tooth is under her pillow. Then he goes on to tell me that he's gone upstairs twice now to check and see if it's still there or if the tooth fairy had come. I told him she only comes when everyone in the house is asleep because she doesn't want anyone to see her. He is just too funny! I enjoyed chatting with him and can't wait to see them for Christmas!