Friday, December 01, 2006

Christmas Countdown Ideas

I asked my oldest children to tell their favorite Christmas memories. They both replied with enthusiasm, "The Advent Calendar activities." This surprised me. I knew they liked them, but I never realized just how much those simple activities with mom and dad meant to them. So, in our family, Christmas isn't Christmas without an Advent Calendar. We have kept one every year. My children thrill at the mystery behind the windows, knowing it will reveal the special event of the evening. Most of the activities are simple, with just a few major events. I learned a long time ago, after experiencing Christmas mommy burnout, to keep it easy. Here is a list of some things we have done in the past:

put up Christmas tree

make ornaments

watch a Christmas movie (We have videos of Frosty, Little House Christmas, Drummer Boy, A Christmas Carol, The Original version of the Grinch.

read a Christmas book

go on a family moonlit walk (check the calendar for a full moon)

look at lights

wrap presents

make Christmas cookies

make a giant Gingerbread Man, or small people, or gingerbd houses

family slumber party by the tree (this is still the favorite even with my teen)

play charades with Christmas words or song titles

make fudge

cocoa and popcorn

have a Christmas play

game night

work on handmade gifts

make Christmas cards and mail them

make presents for Jesus (I'll post about this later)

go Christmas shopping for each other

We have made several different kinds of Advent Calendars. One year, a simple paper yellow, glittery star with a red and green paper chain attached, graced the side of the refrigerator. A child ripped off a link each day and read the words written on it. Once, we made round windows from toilet paper rolls cut in thirds. Inside, were pieces candy and activities; tissue paper covered the entrance. I have also made windows from old Christmas cards cut up and glued on construction paper. Behind them, were prophecies of Christ's birth and the each evening's activity. This year I used a picture of Simeon blessing the Babe from an old calendar and added green stiff paper below it. I like having pockets with paper strips inside them because if I have to change the activity suddenly, due to company or other plans, I can secretly switch the activity papers around without the kiddies knowing it. This one should last several years, especially if I laminate it.

Here are some websites that offer even more advent calendar suggestions.,2551,1-10641-10049,00.html (could be made into an advent)

I plan to post more Christmas recipes and ideas throughout this month, so stay tuned!

1 comment:

  1. previous commentors29.12.06

    December 2, 2006 - Thanks, and a tag...

    Posted by CelticMom
    Thank you so much for sharing your Advent ideas... I will be cruising those sites feverishly for the next 24 hours, lol!! :)

    Also, I'm tagging you in the Christmas Tree Photo Challenge, if you'd like to do so. Just post a picture of your tree.

    Christmas Blessings upon you all!

    December 4, 2006 - Advent Calendar

    Posted by Keri

    I have added this to my 'Christmas To Do List'.
    Thank you for the wonderful ideas!

    December 5, 2006 - ooo I love this

    Posted by Jeanne S.

    Comes at the perfect time - my husband and I were just talking about how we can be purposeful in celebrating the Christmas season with our kids. This is perfect. Thanks!

    December 15, 2006 - Hello

    Posted by jones9387

    My name is Tiffany and I was noticing that you are very talented. I would like to learn some things about homeschooling. This is my first year. I would like to make it fun for my children. I don't know how to make it fun. Please help me. I am open for any suggestions. I would like to make reading fun for my daughter so she will want to learn how to read. She is very smart and already knows how to blend her words together. I just can't get her interested in learning how to read. It may not be time for her to read. I am not forcing her to read. I want her to want to read. Is there anything I can do to make reading interesting? The calendar craft looks so neat. I would like to learn how to make a calendar also. I have a calendar for my dd but it's not real interesting to her. Need to think up of some fun things to do.
    Please come to my blog and check it out. I am anxious to hear from you.