Wednesday, November 30, 2011

it's that time of year...

last year we did an experiential advent calendar for the first time! plus, my sister handmade the girls a really cute magnet advent calendar that we stuck up on the girls lockers in their room (yes, they have lockers). i'm whipping both out again this year, although i reconfigured my activities one, because it wasn't as usable as i thought it would be. namely, the take out boxes kept falling off all of the time. i want my girls to grow up and know the fullness of this holiday, and not get focused on the gift part of it. we also have a couple of nativities out for them to play with, and a bunch of christmas books that only come out at christmas.

this year, my advent calendar was very low key:
1.write down the 24 activities on 3x5 cards (i'd probably leave the number of the day off in the future so i can swap them around if i need to):

2. write or stamp the number of each day on a plain envelope:

3. use some string or twine to hang it along a wall (there are many ideas of how to do this. i just wanted easy. if you need some twine, i have plenty as you can see):
 4. i taped the envelopes to the envelopes (i used cute tape, but you can use scotch tape or paper clips or just put them all in a basket or in a stack if you don't want to hang them):
 5. finished calendar!

(i should add that last year we missed a few days. i try to schedule the easy ones for busier days, and the bigger projects for weekends or days that are low key. we'll see how successful we are this year!)

here are some ideas, compiled from my own list, and a couple of other bloggers. i threw in some extras in case you wanted to pick and choose:

-drive to look at christmas lights (the best ones i've found in oakland are at the mormon temple-one stop, lots of wonderful for a toddler to run in the midst of christmas lights!)
-make paper snowflakes & eat "snowflakes" (yogurt covered pretzels)
-get our christmas tree as a family
-count all the money in m's piggy bank; count & use money to buy socks for homeless
-go pick out nonperishable/canned food together and take to donate
-string snowflakes into garland in girls' room
-read story of st. nicholas & talk about it; draw a picture for someone elderly or sick; put girls shoes outside bedroom door (dec 5)
-for St Nicholas day fill girls shoes with sweets and straw (dec. 6, St Nicholas day)
-make salt dough ornaments for tree
-make peppermint or regular hot chocolate & read christmas books
-read the little house christmas in the big woods & eat maple candy
-make christmas art project
-mail someone elderly a card
-make a gingerbread house
-go to living nativity
-read the christmas story (kids version) & color a picture of the nativity
-make wrapping paper (using stamps or markers on white kraft paper or large construction paper)
-make a present for someone
-go on an adventure with someone special like grandma or another grown-up
-draw on the windows with window markers
-call grandparents or another relative & sing a christmas song
-make popcorn balls (or if it's been a busy day, just popcorn)
-decorate sugar cookies
-act out the christmas story at our house
-go to zoo lights at oakland zoo
-read christmas stories & have snacktime by the christmas tree
-go to fenton's & get peppermint ice cream
-go on a family walk
-open a special ornament
-make ornaments for someone far away & mail
-distribute decorated cookies to neighbors (ones you know and ones you don’t)
-eat dinner by candlelight
-open christmas pj's!
-hang mistletoe & kiss under it
-hug every family member for one minute
-listen to handel’s messiah or go to a messiah sing along
-make spiced cider & watch a holiday movie
-put up a wreath or have kids make a wreath for their room(I made an easy version last year with Monrovia- cardboard and colored puff balls from michael’s)
-make a cranberry or popcorn garland
-make Christmas cards from friends into a book to look through throughout the year
-make hot chocolate and read The Best Christmas Pageant Ever
-sign up, pick, and give gifts to a needy family or child
-host a Christmas dessert party
-have a tea party
-make an advent wreath
-make a paper chain
-hang candy canes on tree

do you do anything for advent? or have any other holiday traditions that we could add to this list?

1 comment:

  1. i am so excited about this! i adore yours with the washi tape and bakers twine. i made a pinterest inspired advent activity calendar (in old school library pockets). i'm kinda cheating and writing each activity the night before. thank you for all the super fun ideas and inspiration!



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