Friday, December 3, 2010

25 Days of Christmas

This year we've decided not to travel for Christmas, and thus, I felt we should begin adding to our family traditions. I've always wanted an Advent calendar and contemplated making one like this, but I just didn't make time for it. Well, on Cyber Monday I found this advent calendar and ordered it for myself (50% off THE SALE plus free shipping!!!). It still hasn't arrived yet (Bummer) but it's got me motivated. I also gathered ideas from friends, and have been working up a plan on how to celebrate each day in December with the kids. So far, this is what we've got:
Dec 1st: Jesus' Present.
We found the cutest box we owned & the girls decorated the inside. We talked about making it Jesus' gift and how each day we would put something in the box for Jesus to open on his birthday. We talked about how Jesus likes obedience, love, thankfulness, etc. So far, Ellie put in change from her biggy bank and & her favorite "gold" ring. We've also written notes about positive things we've each done, "Thank you that we got another Curly Joe & Suzy Q story in the mail from Daddy. We give you our thankfulness" "Ellie laughed a lot today, so we hope that laughter made you smile, Jesus." "Saedi was very patient waiting for Mommy to get her a cheese stick. We know you like it when we're patient. Happy Birthday!." This is also a great way for Daddy to be included!
Dec 2nd: The Manger
My girls love playing with this Fisher Price Manger scene. I told them the Christmas story while acting it out with the little people. It gave the girls a visual of the story and words that they had not association with...manger, glory, goodwill, swaddling, inn, wise men, Bethlehem, stable. (I debated reading them the actual story from the Bible, but I decided to save that for another night & start with simpler story telling.)
(This beautiful manger scene is my favorite Christmas decoration. Riley bought this in Jordan and hit the jackpot with me on a fabulous gift. I love this!)
Dec 3rd: Stockings
I finished sewing together Isaac & Jack's felt stockings, so we were able to hang the stockings! Yes, I even made one for Jack, as he will be joining us for Christmas.
Some other activities we plan on doing are:
Reading Christmas story from the Bible & acting it out together
Visiting a nursing home with friends
Making ornaments of states & countries
Making a hand print wreath
Shopping for our angel tree children
Attending the Christmas Parade & possibly running the Jingle Bell Jog (3 mi)
Stringing together popcorn for the tree
Playing on the computer & see how other children celebrate Christmas
Toy Purge- donating old toys to welcome in the new
Hot Chocolate Run- Driving around in our pj's, drinking hot chocolate looking at lights
Baking Cookies
Delivering cookies to neighbors via our wagon
Hosting a Christmas Party/Playdate
Family game night- no movies, just games, pizza, & juice
Making reindeer food
Baking the Happy Birthday Jesus cake

What traditions do you all do? We'd love more ideas, recipes, crafts, etc!



vanessa @ silly eagle books said...

Wow--those felt stockings are adorable, Michelle! I love them. Did you make them from scratch or do you have a pattern?

Michelle G. said...

You are such a rockin' Mom! I love these holiday ideas and will steal some of them! :)

Michelle said...

Vanessa, yes I made them from scratch, but looked at other stockings (like pb) and pics on line and then tried to copy.

Meghan said...

Michelle - you are amazing! i wanted to make the same advent calendar from PB. I have been searching for cheap little muslin or burlap bags to just attach to some fabric b/c I didn't think I had enough patience to sew them all! I never found the time either :) I love the one that you ended up getting! AND - your stockings are amazing!!! great are an amazing mom.