Now for what we are doing this year!
- Open Advent Calendar- my dad sends a chocolate one every year for everyone and on December 1st, we set it up and enjoy our first piece of pre-breakfast chocolate.
- Make a felt Christmas tree. Here’s one example. I am going to cut a tree out of green felt and attach it to the wall in the dining room and then let Elizabeth make felt ornaments for it that she can use to continually redecorate her tree with.
- Have hot chocolate with dipped marshmallows. Today is Elizabeth’s birthday so we need an easy activity. I am going to put a couple of marshmallows on fancy sticks and dip them in chocolate and sprinkles while Elizabeth is at school. Then she can have hot chocolate with them as part of her after school snack.
- Make Christmas cards. Elizabeth is learning to write, so I am cheating and using this as a way for her to practice a little. I will put out card stock, stickers, markers, and decorations and let her go to town. I’m hoping to get her to make enough cards to send to all the immediate relatives (or at least grandparents) but we will see how long her endurance holds out.
- Make a button Christmas tree or wreath. We tried this one last year and the buttons we used did not make a pretty tree. Too uniform in size. So we are going to reuse the buttons from that craft last year and make something like this instead.
- Candy Cane Hunt- this is our third annual Candy Cane Hunt. We’ve added a little bit to it every year. Last year, we did the candy cane hunt and a reindeer walk (we walked through the woods, scattering carrots and reindeer “food” (dry oatmeal and glitter) and it was a great way to hide the candy canes while the children were distracted). This year we are adding hot chocolate and snack before we all leave.
- Local Christmas event- This one won’t work for any of you, but my town is having a Christmas festival and we are going to check that out.
- Open a Christmas book- We have a bunch of Christmas books and I ordered a few new ones this year. I will wrap one and have Elizabeth open it. We will then spend some time cuddling by the Christmas tree and reading Christmas books.
- DIY Indoor Snowmen- I discovered this one on a blog and I always like a good sensory activity.
- Get Christmas pictures taken and visit Santa- Elizabeth has a half day of school this day so we are going to take advantage of that and get some Christmas pictures taken and visit Santa.
- Reindeer Glass Ball Ornaments- I love a good glass ball ornament (except that I usually buy plastic ones) so this year we are going to try this one.
- Make cookies- I will likely make cut out sugar cookies ahead of time while Elizabeth is in school. Then when she’s home, we will go crazy with the frosting and the sprinkles.
- Ride train- our local museum got a little train that goes around the state park this year and I am hoping they will decorate for Christmas. (They did for Halloween.) We will hop over there and ride it. (And Ryan will sob the whole time.)
- Shop for family presents and Toys for Tots- We will hit up the mall (heaven help me) and shop for presents for Daddy (Elizabeth wants to get him one of those enormous, five pound gummy bears so I will have to talk her into something else) and Ryan and Mama. While we are there, we will also shop for Toys for Tots or the Angel Tree.
- Watch a Christmas movie- It will probably be A Charlie Brown Christmas and we will probably watch it as a family during dinner.
- Make bead candy canes- These are pretty much the most traditional child’s Christmas craft of all time, yet we’ve never made them. Well, that ends this year.
- Santa Belly Glass Ornaments- We made these two years ago and they were the cutest. This year we are going to make a couple for teacher presents.
- Jingle Jog- We also did this last year. My neighbor does a similar Advent Activity calendar and she invited us to hers. She got some jingle bells and some red and green crepe paper and we all went to the park. She gave each kid a jingle bell and the moms took turns holding the crepe paper out as a finish line. And then we let the kids run until they were tired.
- Gingerbread house– I will buy a kit from the store and we will stick candies all over it.
- Make a snow globe- I bought a plastic snow globe from the craft store and we will fill it with water, glitter, and Christmas knick knacks.
- Write Santa a letter- I am still looking for the perfect Santa stationary, but when I find it, we will write Santa a letter and “mail” it. (Then I will steal it out of the mailbox and file it in my Christmas binder to reminisce over in the future.)
- Craft kit- Some friends of ours know that I do the Advent Activities and they brought Elizabeth a little ornament kit to do.
- Snow Playdough and Peppermint Playdough- We did the snow playdough last year and it was great. So much less messy than I thought, considering it involved nothing other than kneading silver glitter into white playdough. This year I am repeating that and adding peppermint playdough.
- Open a present and go see Christmas lights- On Christmas Eve, we go out to dinner (genius idea, the year I decided on that) and come home and open one present. Then after Ryan goes to sleep, Elizabeth and I will load up into the car with a thermos of hot chocolate and drive around looking at Christmas lights.
I also have two back-up ideas this year, in case of emergency. I bought some little Christmas village decorations that we can use to decorate the fairy houses. If we need a back-up activity, I will have Elizabeth decorate them. If not, then the decorations will appear by magic and Elizabeth can discover that the fairies decorated for Christmas. My second back-up activity is to deliver Christmas treats to the neighbors. One of my neighbors and I are considering trying to start that thing where you leave treats on someone’s door and they leave treats for someone else and etc. (I don’t know if it is normally done at Christmas? I always see it at Halloween.) We may and we may not. (We probably won’t. We are tired.)
What are your advent plans this year?