This year I was planning to wait until December first to start decorating for Christmas, but the excitement of the littles got the better of me and we did it early last week. (Still better than last year, where we had our Christmas tree up so early that by the time Christmas came, if someone sneezed in the Mexico, needles fell off the tree.)
We have a lovely advent calendar that my wonderful mother-in-law made for us a few years ago. The kids can hardly wait to pull it out every year and begin the countdown to Christmas. There are 24 little pockets on a quilted Christmas Tree which each get filled with family activities to do together as we anticipate the coming of the Light. For me it is poignant as we enter the darkest days of winter that we are waiting, waiting, waiting for light, hoping for light, and that we can do that together as a family is even better.
So the advent calendar awaits its filling, hung expectantly on the living room wall. The littles have already stuffed small toys into some of the pockets, and they ask every day how many days until advent. In the past we have had some days when little gifts would appear, but this year I actually found playmobil advent calendars that go along with the kids Christmas gifts, so those will be used as well. Our family calendar then, will be focused on family activities (quiet ones) and giving to other people.
Here is our list…
- Snow gnomes come out to play (these are blue and white wood and felt peg gnomes that I made)
- Choose a wonderful tree and be careful not to squish any elves that might be hiding inside
- Decorate the tree
- Christmas event at the library
- Make dragon’s eggs (water balloons filled with food coloring and water and then frozen and peeled)
- Christmas stories by candlelight
- Make crystal snowflakes (with borax and pipe cleaners)
- Orange pomanders (oranges stuck with clove designs)
- CLWR bags (we’ll go shopping for school supplies for refugee kids)
- Make and decorate sugar cookies
- Secret Santa Sugar Cookie delivery to friends and neighbours
- Ice Sculpture Day (pre-frozen colored ice in every container in the house, made into a sculpture on the front lawn using water to stick blocks together)
- Feed our feathered friends (make pinecone bird feeders)
- Breakfast in bed for the littles
- Shop for the food bank and deliver the groceries to the food bank
- Make and decorate gingerbread house
- Winter Hike at Wilmore Park
- Polar Express movie and popcorn night
- Hot chocolate in the woods
- Sunday School pageant and lunch out
- Christmas Light tour in which we drive around town looking at everyone’s decorations
- Make Tin Lanterns
- Night Lantern walk
- Make a family list of 100 things we are thankful for and put it under the tree.
I can hardly wait to get started.