Saturday, November 30, 2013

Our Advent Calendar

Last year I tried to do an Advent calendar with Mason, but, well... it didn't quite work out. I didn't have any time devote to it with two new-ish babies. This year, while my time is still not in abundance, I have come up with some activities for us to do. Simple activities. Things I will be able to do with the kids since I am mostly alone with them this time of the year. I found this article spot on when it comes to holidays with little kids.

"Lower your expectations for what is humanly possible in one day. Now think about how many toddlers you have and lower them again."

Words of wisdom, my friends. That advice is good year round, not only during the holidays. Cleaning the can apply to so much.
So after lowering my expectations a total of five times (I lowered an extra time since it is basketball season and we see very little of my husband), here are the activities I settled on. 

1. Go buy a tree.
2. Decorate the tree.
3. Send out Christmas cards.
4. Donate toys.*
5. Make paper snow flakes.
6. Go Christmas shopping.
7. Wrap gifts.
8. Decorate Christmas morning t-shirts.**
9. Make hot chocolate.
10. Color Christmas pictures and send them to people.
11. Make candy cane ornaments.
12. Make homeless care packages.
13. Make paper plate snow man.
14. Read a new Christmas book.
15. Drive around town and look at Christmas lights.***
16. Watch a Christmas movie with popcorn.
17. Sing Christmas songs together.

18. Make button Christmas trees.
19. Bake Christmas cookies.
20. Our "Christmas morning".

* We have already purchased them, all we have to do is drop them off. And of course talk about what we are doing and why.
** Each Christmas morning at my parents' house we have a dress code. Last year was head to toe patterned outfits, year before was ugly Christmas sweaters, this year is DIY Christmas t-shirts.
*** This may just be Tyler and Mason, the girls hate riding in the car and bedtime is shortly after dark.

There are only 20 things on the list because I don't want to do activities in addition to the travel we will do to visit family and celebrate. That would be too stressful and just unnecessary. As the kids get older, we hope to incorporate a lot more service activities. For now, we just have a couple that are easier to understand.

Do you do an Advent calendar? What does yours look like? Any creative activity ideas for me for next year?