For the holiday season each year, we do a countdown to Christmas. Instead of chocolate in a cardboard advent calendar, however, we do a little activity each day. The kids love it. I feel like a good mom. Everyone wins.
In years past, I made individual envelopes for each day. In 2009, I got really ambitious and made 30-some-odd paper cranes, each holding a little scroll with the day's activity. Last year, I'm not even sure we did the holiday countdown. I don't really remember what happened last year. It's all one big blur and a lot of not blogging about it, whatever it was.
This year, I again sort of have my stuff together. Emphasis on "sort of." While out shopping for holiday card-making items at the craft store, I happened upon the sweetest wooden Gingerbread house-looking advent calendar marked 50% off (because it was overpriced to begin with). I have a "teacher's" discount, however, which got me another 10% off and that seemed worth it. So now I never have to make another countdown envelope again.Except that when I started filling up all the little doors and windows today with two Hershey kisses and a little slip of paper with the designated activity on it, I discovered the conspicuous absence of Day 19. I stuck Day 19 in Day 20 and figured I need to buy more Hershey kisses anyway. Oh well.
Our activities for this year:
December 1 - Family Movie Night: Watch A Christmas Story with root beer floats.
December 2 - Decorate the tree.
December 3 - String popcorn and listen to Christmas music.
December 4 - Start borax snowflakes.
December 5 - Make presents for friends and family.
December 6 - Write letters to Santa.
December 7 - Make paper garlands.
December 8 - Go on a walk in the woods, gather bits for the nature tray.
December 9 - Have a fancy dinner with china, silver, candlelight, and guests.
December 10 - Have a Mad Hatter tea party with friends. Read aloud from Alice in Wonderland.
December 11 - Build a gingerbread house (or rice crispy tree house, as the case may be).
December 12 - Go to the Botanical Gardens to see the gingerbread houses.
December 13 - Make gummies (Aleks' idea).
December 14 - Make Lego snowmen (and maybe other types of snowmen as well). (Also Aleks' idea).
December 15 - Buy a gift for someone in need. We usually buy something from Heifer International.
December 16 - Family Game Night.
December 17 - Make or buy an ornament for each family member related to a significant experience from the past year.
December 18 - Drive around to look at Christmas lights.
December 19 - Go visit Santa Claus.
December 20 - Read Polar Express while drinking hot cocoa.
December 21 - Decorate winter table.
December 22 - Bake cookies. Leave some out for the Solstice fairies.
December 23 - Take a food-colored, candlelit bubble bath.
December 24 - It's Christmas Eve! Open one gift (of mom's choosing because she's mean).
December 25 - It's Christmas Day! Enjoy the company of friends and family. Be grateful for all we have.