Thursday, December 18, 2014

Our Advent Calendar

Per my perusal of pinterest, advent calendar are all the rage.

Now, I grew up with advent calendars.  Mine were like this:

Yummy, somewhat chalky, choclate for every day in December leading up to Christmas!  Yay!

Because I'm a first-time Mama and feel pressure to make the most of the holidays (both in a good point Hudson to Jesus way and in a not-so-good I need to do this to be a good mama way) I make my own advent calendar.

Last year, it looked like this:

Each day had either a treat or an activity to do such as read a Christmas book, watch a Christmas movie, etc... It was great fun.

This year I made it a little more complicated because Hudson is older and I am a glutton for punishment.

First, I made a tree out of green butcher paper.  Then I wrapped 24 presents because Hudson's really into opening presents.  They were things like candy/treats and activities, sometimes just a paper with what we are doing inside a box.  I reused last year's envelopes to help label each one but this year, I added a printed ornament inside the envelope that corresponded to a story in the Jesus Storybook Bible.  We'd read the story, tape the ornament to the tree, then open and enjoy the present.  It was somewhat tedious to set up, but really didn't cost much money as I mostly used what I had on hand from Christmas past.

I found the ornaments here and can I say I am so thankful for the internet and all the amazing things people do and share there.

All in all it was fun and fairly easy.  Here's what we did/are doing:

December 1- Open Fisher Price Nativity Set from his first Christmas
December 2 - Watch Veggie Tales Christmas movie he got last year in his Christmas Eve box
December 3 - Decorate Gingerbread Train
December 4 - Enjoy a Chocolate Orange
December 5 - DIY Fingerpaint Christmas Tree
December 6 - Make and Decorarte Sugar Cookies
December 7 - Watch Bob the Builder's White Christmas movie
December 8 - Open this year's Special Ornament
December 9 - DIY Snowman Ornament, purchased on clearance at Hobby Lobby
December 10 - Watch Dr. Seuss' The Grinch movie
December 11 - Enjoy Candy Canes
December 12 - DIY Candy Cane ornament (pony beads on pipe cleaner)
December 13 - Enjoy Hot Chocolate
December 14 - Open (and wear) new Christmas sweater, bought on consignment
December 15 - Go see Christmas Lights at Avenue of Lights
December 16 - DIY Nutcracker Ornament, purchased on clearance at Hobby Lobby
December 17 - Watch Mr. Magoo's A Christmas Carol movie
December 18 - Enjoy Chocolate Marshmallow Santas
December 19 - DIY Christmas Cat ornament, leftover from teaching days
December 20 - Make Christmas cupcakes
December 21 - Watch Charlie Brown's Christmas, that I got for free from the library's discard pile - score!
December 22 - Listen to Christmas CDs
December 23 - DIY Foam, Oriental Trading Natvity Scene, leftover from teaching days
December 24 - Christmas Eve box with new PJs for all and a new Veggie Tales Christmas movie

We also read a Christmas book a day, because when your mama is a former elementary teacher, you have a lot of books.  It was really sweet this year as he is retaining more about the Christmas story from the books.

18 days in, here are some pictures of what we've done so far.

This advent calendar thing is a lot of prep work so we aren't preschooling for this month.  It is tiring to do each thing each day, however, it's been such a blessing to see his little face light up with whatever we're doing.  He's so excited, even over silly (cheap) DIY ornament things.  I hope he keeps that sense of wonder forever.  

But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart.
- Luke 2:19

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