Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Advent Calendar Ideas

The Christmas season is in full swing at our house!  Almost every room has some sort of Christmas decor, which I love and seriously want Christmas to get here NOW because I think I'm more excited then our kids!  I love seeing their excitement and joy with every holiday song, book, card, present, and movie (we're a little addicted to Christmas movies here!).

The one thing I'm lacking on this year is our Advent Calendar.  Last year, I did awesome and had an activity, present, or something special for each day of Advent.  Not so much this year.  I had good intentions but in addition to my excitement for Christmas and the holiday season, life is crazy and doesn't seem to give you a break when extras are added on!  We're still changing the day on our Advent Calendar and we'll do extra fun things, but I'm not doing something everyday, just can't this year!  So, I'm going to share with you what we did last year!

First, our Advent Calendar from my mother-in-law!  I think it's adorable!
Last year I printed off these tags and on the back wrote the fun activity, book, or special treat! The kids loved seeing what their surprise was each day!
Here is a list of what we did or plan on doing in the future!  (I kept my list from last year in hopes of repeating, next year, I promise!)  We really do try to keep the focus on Christ and His birthday, by giving, doing things of service and helping others, but we also mix in Santa!

*Read The Christmas Story
*Bake cookies for our teachers:  Preschool, Kindergarten, and Sunday School
*Dance to Christmas music
*Feed the ducks because animals need special treats too!  May head on over to Deanna Rose for this one, the kids love going there!
*Picnic dinner in front of the tree or fire place (my kids LOVE this one!)
*Make our gingerbread house or trees (love the trees, so easy!)
*Watch a Christmas movie and eat popcorn (Polar Express, Elf, and Mickey's Christmas Carol are popular favorites, but Jack loves Home Alone!)
*Make cards for our teachers
*Create Snow (the kids loved this but now that we're in a colder climate, we'll just play with snow when it arrives!  Hurry up and snow!)
*Make snowmen with shaving cream
*Eat dessert 1st for dinner
*Candy cane name craft
*Invite a friend over
*Write letters to Santa
*Act out the Christmas story
*Unwrap a present early (this is for Christmas Eve, they open pajamas)
*Make reindeer food~oatmeal and glitter mixed together!
*Bake and decorate cookies
*Drink hot chocolate by the fire place and retell our favorite Christmas memories!
*Look at Christmas lights!
*Pay for a strangers meal, drink, or gas
*I wrapped up our Christmas books and let them randomly pick a book to unwrap and that's the book we'll read at bedtime (they love this!)
*Make Santa Snack Mix (don't do it, it's so good) or Christmas Trail Mix (I maybe ate all of this last year!)
*Make our neighbor gifts, this year I'm leaning towards homemade hot cocoa mix! (Hope our neighbors don't read this and can you tell we like our new neighbors a lot?!)
*Pick out annual Christmas ornaments (Eric grew up with this tradition and I love it!  We take the kids to Hallmark and they pick any ornament (within reason)!  They love seeing their ornaments they collected throughout the years!
*Make ornaments!
*Operation Christmas Child (LOVE THIS!  Fill a shoe box for a child, my kids use their own money to buy things for kids their own ages.)
*Adopt-a-family in need
*Make Nativity pictures, usually with stickers!

Ideas for Houston:
*Fulshear Cowboy Christmas Parade, sad to miss this one!
*River Bend drive-thru Nativity (they do an amazing job!)
*Outdoor movie at La Centerra, one or two Saturday's in December
*Monday's with Mommy with Kindermusik with Kathy and Friends (always will hold a special place in my heart!)
*Second Baptist Christmas puppet show, we didn't go last year because they sold out of tickets but this is an amazing show!
*Winter Wonderland near College Station
*Ice Skating
*Visit Santa at Bass Pro Shop

Ideas for Kansas City:
*Luminary Walk at the Overland Park Arboretum, Molly went with Eric's mom last week and she loved it!
*Crown Center and Union Station~both have amazing decorations, trains, Santa, Winter Wonderland, and tons of activities for the kids!  Plus lunch at Fritz's will be a hit by all the kids!
*Christmas lights at the Plaza!
*Drive-thru Longview Lake, one of my favorites!
*Santa at Bass Pro Shop, a tradition we can continue!  Yay!

I'll admit, we haven't done all of these things, but I love all of these ideas and hope to mix it up yearly!

Here are some of the activities from last year!

Making snowmen or snow scenes with shaving cream!

She loved it!

He did too...eventually!

I think he was in shock that I wanted them all to get dirty!

At first he was hesitant, didn't want to show me his smile, and thought this was for "babies"
 One night!

A little blurry, but hot chocolate and glow sticks by the fire!

 After writing this, I'm more excited for Christmas! Didn't think that was possible but I'll take it!  Here's to a wonderful Advent Season!  What does your family do to celebrate Advent and get ready for Christmas?

1 comment:

  1. Okay! I am totally stealing this idea! What a fun way to celebrate and make memories! Kudos to you for your creativity:)!


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