I can’t believe we are already at December 8th!! This Christmas season seems to be flying by but this year, I can honestly say we are taking time out of our busy lives and enjoying important family moments, thanks to the #25daysofchristmas challenge set out by Andrea at a peek inside the fishbowl.
I will admit that our advent activities got off to a rocky start when our first activity – write a letter to Santa – fell on the 1st day. Being a school day, the last thing my son wanted to do was “more work”. Being almost 7 I think he is beginning to outgrow (sniff, sniff) Santa :( But I do love how flexible the envelopes are. Makes it easy to switch activities the night before so we end up doing something that everyone will enjoy. So here is a recap of our first 7 days.
Day 1 – Write a letter to Santa. Surprisingly this did not go over well. Could be that we attempted to do this after homework and my son was just burnt out. So I just substituted a Christmas story at bedtime and everyone was happy.
Day 2 – Hang outside lights and decorations. We took advantage of great weather to finally hang some outside lights and decorations.
Day 3 – Read a Christmas story. As December 3rd fell on a Beaver night, our activity had to be something simple and quick. So a bedtime story about Christmas was perfect. This time we read My Christmas Stocking which is a great little story about how Saint Nicholas started the tradition of presents in stockings.
Day 4 – Christmas craft. Since Friday was a PD Day, I thought it would be the perfect opportunity for a craft day. So I found these great little kits at Michael’s to decorate your own Christmas tree. Was easy enough for the 3 year old but not too boring for the 6 year old (hard to find the right combination sometimes!). I think they turned out pretty good.
Day 5 – Pick out a tree. For me, Christmas is not Christmas without a real tree, a trait I seem to have passed onto my son who was very excited to pick out “the perfect” tree. Felt a little weird picking out a tree without snow on the ground. But I think we picked the right one.
Day 6 – Decorate the tree and house. The kids absolutely loved decorating the tree!! And this was the first year I didn’t worry about broken ornaments or the tree being knocked down. It would seem I no longer have any babies in the house. Didn’t they do a fabulous job?!
Day 7 – Make Paper Chains. Since the kids are older and less likely to knock over a Christmas tree, I have started a kids tree. This is one they get to make or hang any kind of ornament they want on it and they had a great time making the paper chain for it.
We are all having so much fun with this and can’t wait to see what is coming next!
I love the holidays. Always have but now that I have children I love it even more. The one thing I don’t love is the stress involved in getting ready. Every year I vow to be more organized when it comes to getting ready for Christmas and every year I fail, especially since having children. But since I want the holidays to be happy memories for my children, full of family time and traditions, I am determined to be organized and ready to go by December 1st. This way we can all enjoy the month of December without being stressed!
In our house we have always had an advent calendar and not a character one with chocolate, but one with the whole nativity scene. It’s always been important to me to teach my children the real meaning of Christmas and to include Santa as an extra bonus.
I first came across the idea of the Family Activity Advent Calendar when I saw it in the November issue of Canadian Family. Then I got more excited about the idea when I read Andrea (aka @missfish) at a peek inside the fishbowl ‘s post on the 25 Days of Christmas Challenge. I thought it was a great way to enjoy all the days leading up to the big one, while at the same time teaching my kids that Christmas is not all about Santa!
I have already made up all the little envelopes and am ready to fill them up with these activities (in no particular order):
1. Go to the market and pick out our Christmas tree
2. Decorate our tree and house
3. Write and mail letters to Santa
4. Think of 10 things we are thankful for and post them where we can seem them
5. Take the new toys we have bought to Toy Mountain
6. Make paper chains and snowflakes to decorate the kids tree
7. Decorate a gingerbread house
8. Make kitchen gifts to give to family
9. Take a trip to see the lights on Parliament Hill
10. Make Christmas cookies
11. Light the 2nd candle on the Advent Wreath and read the story that goes with it
12. Snuggle up with some hot chocolate and read Christmas stores under the tree
13. Make bread for our neighbours and deliver
14. Watch a Christmas Movie for Family Movie Night
15. Sing and dance to Christmas music
16. Visit Santa at the mall
17. Hang outside lights and decorations
18 Light the 3rd candle on the Advent Wreath and read the story that goes with it
19. Attend a Christmas service at Church
20. Do a special Christmas craft
21. Make snow angels
22. Buy food and bring it to the Food Bank
23. Set up the Creche
24. Enjoy Christmas Eve dinner and presents at Oma’s, then set out cookies and milk for Santa and carrots and water for the reindeer.
25. Christmas Day! Remember you have a family who loves you. And that’s the most important gift of all.
Most of these activities are ones my family and I already do during the month of December and others are “borrowed” from others lists. Check out these list from A little bit of Momsense, and Thoughts from a Lite Mocha Mom .
Would love to know if you are going to take the challenge.