Thursday, December 1, 2011

Christmas Advent Countdown

I find the most fantastic ideas around the blogosphere.  I love incorporating the crafts, recipes and ideas into my home-life of raising my kids.  As they get older, it gets more challenging to find things to do together as a family.  Especially with four teens (God help me).  So far I have been blessed to have children who do still enjoy doing things together, as long as it's something they ALL want to do. 

Someone, who shall remain open for debate, left my camera in the sound booth at church so I was at the mercy of a very busy son to use his android phone to take this photo (I did run it through picasa but the sun was an issue).
Change is another issue.  Every year for the last three years, since I bought our advent house at the gift shop in Cracker Barrel Restaurant (don't you LOVE that place?), we have put candy behind each door.  This year I thought I would try something different and put activities inside the little boxes.  

I found this in 24/7 Moms and thought it was the cutest idea.  I'm actually combining a couple of her ideas to create this one.  For the sake of time, I'm copying and pasting most of it.

How to create your own Christmas countdown plan:

STEP 1: First I begin by going through my list I have saved from year to year of various activity ideas. ( list is below)

STEP 2: Next, I then choose 25 ideas I want to do that particular year. A few examples are: decorate a tree, make cookies, visit Santa Clause, read the Christmas story, movie night, serve sparkling Cider for dinner etc. Like I said, many of these are activities you already do with your families. We are just creating a little more Christmas excitement.

STEP 3: Then I look at my calendar and see which days I can do each of my chosen activities and I write them on my calendar.

STEP 4 : Next, I go to my computer and type up little notes to go with each activity such a “ Artists are you ready? It’s time to make a masterpiece in our bonus room” This is for the day I allow my kids to paint the windows with a Christmas scene. Another example is “Get your hammers and nails out it’s time to build and decorate” did you guess this one? Time for my kids to create a ginger bread house.

STEP 5: Then you can do a variety of things with these notes :
* place each note in a separate numbered envelope. Each day your children can open an envelope and read what that days activity is. I do not recommend you seal the envelope until you hand it to your kids because if life goes crazy and you were planning to see Santa but Suzy got sick, you can quickly change it around. Which is also why it is important to keep a list of which days you are doing what.
* Place each note in little numbered boxes or Chinese take out boxes hung on a small tree. You can download 24/7 MOMS 25 day numbers by clicking here.
*Place each note in a numbered Bag. You can download our 25 day count down numbers by clicking here.

*Hang 25 small stockings on a clothes line and place a number on each stocking . Need numbers get our free ones that you can download here.

*Purchase an Advent Calender with pockets to place the notes in.

*Purchase an Advent curio cabinet with little drawers to place each note in.

*Purchase an Advent curio cabinet with little drawers to place each note in.

Keep it simple choose carefully what activities you will do so that you do not become overwhelmed. Make this season a time to make memories with your kids and make it special.

This is the time of year we Celebrate the birth of Jesus, not living each day in complete stress and on overload. Make it Simple. Make it Fun!

Advent Countdown Ideas:

1. Present advent calendars to your children
2. Sing Christmas carols together then eat yummy cookies
3. Visit Santa Clause and have their picture taken
4. Go shopping and allow each child to pick out a new ornament
5. Attend a Holiday event like a local Christmas play or concert
6. Host a family game night and invite another family
7. Take kids to pick out your Christmas tree
8. String pop corn
9. Build a Ginger bread house together
10. Serve Sparkling cider with dinner
11. Bake and decorate cookies together
12. Paint holiday scenes on your windows
13. Coloring night...each year color in the same book and date it
14. Have a happy Birthday Jesus party, invite the neighbor kids
15. Make Christmas cards
16. Family movie night - watch a Christmas movie and either have pizza or treats 
17. PJ Night...everyone gets a new pair
18. Go for a ride and look at all the decorated houses
19. Have dinner by the Christmas tree picnic style
20. December 6th Sinterklaas Night. Have kids place their shoes out with carrots and apples in them and 
while they are sleeping replace with a small gift
21. Make homemade fudge
22. Decorate your Christmas tree while listening to Christmas music
23. Have a gift making day - help your kids create gifts for others (some great ideas: The Happy Housewife: 100 Days of Homemade Christmas Gifts
24. Host a Christmas craft club for your children and their friends
25. Help a family in need ...choose ways to teach your children to give.
26. Make or purchase Thank you gifts for community service workers then take your children around town 
to drop them off.
27. Red or Green night….Serve food in these colors, decorate the table in these colors
28. Tell the Christmas story and place a light in your window inviting Jesus into your home
29. Make paper chain garlands
30. Snowman night—decorate table with snowmen be creative
31. Ice Cream night ..make sundaes or go out
32. Take kids shopping for Daddy or Siblings or Grand Parents
33. Wrap gifts…. kids love to help
34. Bake a pie
36. Elf hunt 
37. Let your kids decorate their bedrooms
38. Bake a gingerbread man and tell the story
39. Play bingo with dollar store prizes...invite your neighbors over
40. Make an Advent wreath
41. Learn about another Countries traditions
42. Celebrate Hanukkah
43. Tell the Christmas story and wear costumes
44. Dec 22nd first day of winter..take a day trip to the snow
45. Have a slumber party by the tree

46. Elf on the shelf arrives.
47. Jingle your neighbors. Ring and Run Christmas fun with You've Been Jingled. click herefor how to instructions.
48. Star your neighbors ( ring and run). Click here for FREE download
49. Create Christmas Blessing Mix for friends and classmates. Click here for FREE bag topper.
50. Make Snowman Soup for family and friends. Click here for FREE bag topper.
51.Write a letter to the child we sponsor
52. Begin a Holiday Blessing Jar
53. Date with Mom
54. Date with Dad
55. Read a book night - Unwrap a new or old book to read
56. Visit a retirement center or hospice center and deliver goodies
57. Host a Hot cocoa and cookie night with friends
58. Go Ice skating or Roller Skating 
59. Deliver donuts to your local Fire Department 
60. Teach your kids to make appetizers and have a dinner of appetizers 
61. Random Act Of Kindness (RACK)- choose an act of kindness to do for others
62. Volunteer at the local food bank or to collect canned food items around the neighborhood
63. Bring your Child's teacher their favorite muffin or baked good
64. . Help in your child's Classroom - Kids love when mom or dad spend the day at their school
65. Build a Shoebox online for Operation Christmas Child
66. Shop for gifts for children in need - Angel Tree or other organizations

Add your own family traditions.

1 comment:

  1. Wow !...That's a lot !...I Love it,especially the "Advent House",would love to see the interior...
    Cool, Blog !!


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