Thursday, December 1, 2011

Holiday Countdown, 2011

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.


Rachel said...

Wow, I somehow feel like I can take credit for this list appearing today! (Not credit for the ideas on the list, but credit for the pressure I placed on you for the list to be posted for public consumption.) I am so happy to have it so I can steal freely. I like the addition of the tea party this year. I was thinking of doing one (we are itching to make scones) but hadn't thought about a Mad Hatter version. I love that! Crazy hats and clotted cream and fancy china (not 1940s heirloom saucers with no matching teacups, but I'll do my best). Thanks for posting it!

Rachel said...

Oh! And I meant to say that it's a bummer about Day 19. Stupid sale price tricked you into inferior merch. I like the ideas to put in a chimney though...and to save you the time from the paper cranes? Worth it.

anna kiss said...

You should take credit! Maybe people should harass me about blogging more often. LOL!