The house is in limbo. The fall decorations are put away and each room is sparkling clean awaiting Christmas festiveness!
Soon the Advent season starts. It is my favorite month of the year and we have so many many fun things planned but so much work to do too. Doing as much as I can in preparation (and without the kidlets knowledge) is the key to making the holiday special and magical for them! Tomorrow night we'll carry in the Christmas decorations after the kids have gotten into bed. I have books to wrap and count down stockings to fill with candy canes. The kids will wake on the first morning of the month to a decorated house and an empty Christmas tree and in the evening, we will decorate the tree.
In case you want to participate this year in a fun advent season here are a few ideas we've done over the last few years!
24 books of Christmas - the first year I used only books from the library and in the day after Christmas sale bought a few. It's been a few years since we started and our collection of 24 books is so much fun. We have had to replace a few last year but this year we are good to go. I start the night before by wrapping all of the books in newspaper and tied with twine or else wrapped in recycled paper sacks from the grocery store. Each evening before bed one person gets the book and we open it and read it. This is very magical for the kids and is something they look forward to all day! These books are kept separate from our other books and are put into storage during the non holiday season. The kids love to say, "I remember this from last year!" or "Wow! This one is my favorite! I remember this!"
We also have several count down items. One is a string of knit mittens and socks and in each one holds candy. We also have a felt christmas chain (which I just finished yesterday!) and I think this will be a new fun addition.
Here are the activities we do each day. Last year I had the ones I knew we would be doing, like a Christmas party written on the calendar and let the other ones be - what do I feel like doing today kind of things. There are lots of ways to determine that days activities. Decide which one works best for you and your family! :) On days when I am especially tired or don't feel like making a mess then we watch a Christmas movie.
Put up tree
Set out the Nativity Set
Christmas Movie Night
Make Salt Dough Ornaments (1/2 C salt, 1C flour, 1/2C warm water - stir then knead until dough like. Make into shapes and bake at 200% for 2 hours. Cool and paint)
St. Nicholas Day eve (set your clean/polished shoes out on the 4th and find a small toy or book plus golden coins from St. Nicholas in the morning)
St. Nicholas Day (perform good tasks anonymously for neighbors or a needy family in the community - donate to the food bank etc.)
Letters to Santa
Cookie Decorating (don't do both in one day, you'll have more patience for messes and it spreads things out a bit more. :)
New Ornaments (The kids get a new ornament to hang on the tree)
Christmas Shopping (kids shopping for each other)
Visit Santa/get a picture
City Christmas Tree lighting
Send out Christmas Cards! (make it special; decorate a fun box or basket and take it to the actual post office to mail the cards - even if you just drop it in the slots)
Travel Day (Driving to and from Spokane)
Big family Christmas
Build a Snowman
Christmas Lights (Find somewhere you can drive and ooh and aah at the lights, maybe a neighborhood or lights attraction)
Christmas Feast (24th!)
I say every year that I will post daily, but let's just say, "I shall keep your abreast." And maybe I'll post at least once during the holidays. Ha!
What fun traditions do you do each year?