2014 Christmas Advent Activities

For past year’s Advent Activity Lists, here is 2013, 2012, and 2011. I also have an Advent Activities Pinterest board here.

These are in no particular order.

  1. Open Advent Calendars (okay, this one is in a particular order.)
  2. Have hot chocolate with snowman marshmallows. (I am going to use food coloring markers- check your local baking section at the grocery store- to draw snowman faces on the marshmallows. I am aware that the link I included uses icing. I am not going to do that.)
  3. Pom pom ornaments (This is Ryan friendly. Also, the link mentions glass ornaments- I highly recommend the plastic ones. They are more expensive but when you are working with children, get the plastic. Craft stores have them or I’ve seen them at Wal-mart.)
  4. Felt button snake (Ryan can’t really help make this one, that will be for me and Elizabeth, but he can play with it when it is done.)
  5. Felt Christmas tree ornament.
  6. Make gingerbread house. (I bought a kit from Michael’s last week!)
  7. Go visit the giant gingerbread house at the Grand Floridian (sorry, non-Orlando people) and get a cookie and hot chocolate from it.
  8. Peppermint and snow playdough. (We’ve done the snow playdough before. It is very easy (buy white playdough and glitter and mix them together) and the glitter stays entirely contained by the playdough and doesn’t make a mess. I also plan to buy some red playdough and work in a little peppermint oil to make it smell good.)
  9. Play with felt Christmas tree and make some new ornaments. (We made the felt Christmas tree last year and this year it is hanging up in Elizabeth’s hide out.)
  10. Write letters to Santa.
  11. Mail letters to Santa. (This year, there is a mailbox at the Magic Kingdom that is labeled Letters to Santa. We will probably go there. I have also seen Santa mailboxes at Macy’s.)
  12. Visit Santa. (Well, we already did this because Elizabeth had Thanksgiving week off school and I wanted to go before it got too crowded. This one is on the list for the rest of you.)
  13. Pack a thermos of hot chocolate and drive around to look at Christmas lights.
  14. I Spy Christmas ornaments. We’ve done these before and they are fun. This year, I am going to let Ryan make one too, as he wasn’t born yet when we made the last ones. I am also planning on using un-colored Epsom salt for the filler. We used colored (with food coloring) one year and it has faded very ugly and we also used fake snow one year. The fake snow doesn’t move around well enough to let the I Spy objects be seen. The Epsom salt is heavy, so be careful not to put in too much.
  15. Shop for family presents.
  16. Watch a Christmas movie. (This is an easy one to repeat. We have every Christmas Muppet movie ever made, plus three Charlie Brown movies, plus all the other Christmas classics.)
  17. Read Christmas books. (We actually do this every day, since the basket (two baskets- I had to buy a second basket this year) is in the living room, but I am planning on getting them each a new book and wrapping them up to make this into more of an event.)
  18. Make and hang paper snowflakes.
  19. Make Christmas cookies. (I will likely prebake all the cookies and Elizabeth and Ryan can do the decorating with me.)
  20. Make a Santa belly Christmas ornament for school presents. (We have made these ornaments before. They are easy for kids to make and don’t look terrible. So Elizabeth will make one for her teacher this year. Ryan is old enough to help with these this year too.)
  21. Open a present on Christmas Eve. (We have the tradition of letting each kid pick out one present from under the tree to open on Christmas Eve to help them hold out until the next day.)
  22. Make cinnamon applesauce ornaments. (Other people have raved about this one, we’ve just never done it.)
  23. Make Christmas cards. (I’ve bought a lot of Christmas art supplies and stickers on sale and they will make some cards for family and school.)
  24. Make snow from cornstarch and shaving cream. (We did this last year and it was fun. I added some little snowman accessories (beads, carrot nose) and Elizabeth built a snowman with it. FYI- if you save the snow in a sealed container, it eventually molds and gets all disgusting.)
  25. Crafts. I bought several Christmas craft kits on clearance last year. I throw those on the days when I am feeling uncreative. This year I have:
    1. Foam gingerbread house
    2. Clothespin characters
    3. Felt Santa ornament
    4. Foam Snoopy ornament
    5. Make your own candy necklaces
    6. Foam Santa’s workshop
  26. Make a Santa key. (This year, our house doesn’t have a fireplace. So I bought a decorative key from Michaels and we are going to tie some Christmas ribbon on it and a jingle bell. Then we can leave it on the front porch on Christmas Eve and Santa can use his magic to unlock our front door.)

Chips!

Scene:

Matt walks into the house. “Hi, sweetie!” he says to Elizabeth.

Her response? “CHEETOS AND DORITOS!”

I am going to make this our new family greeting.

Friday Night Leftovers- First Report Card Edition

•I’ve been spending my daily blogging time trying to fix the commenting glitch and the picture glitch on here instead of actually writing.
•I have no idea what is wrong or how to fix it. I’ve tried a couple of things and nothing.
•If you know how to fix these things- well, I was going to say leave a comment, but perhaps an email would be better (herewegoajen at gmail).
•I took the kids to a pumpkin decorating contest in our neighborhood tonight. There was dinner too. Fancy delicious dinner.
•When we had to leave (it was bedtime for my kids and my neighborhood attracts mainly older people to these events so they aren’t kid scheduled), the contest hadn’t happened yet. So we went up to the activities coordinator and asked her if perhaps Elizabeth had won the five year old division (hint: only four children attended this party, two of which were mine and the other two were a head taller than Elizabeth) and it turns out she did. And did you know what the prize was for the five year old division? Coincidentally, it was the EXACT same pumpkin Elizabeth had decorated.
•Ryan also decorated a pumpkin but he did it for the glory of mixing all the different colors of paint together instead of the glory of winning. And because of this, it turns out this contest didn’t have a two year old division. Although he also won a pumpkin. One covered in lots of blobby, smeary paint.
•Elizabeth got her first report card today. She did very well. All Os (which means outstanding) except in PE. She’s only satisfactory in PE. Matt and I found this odd, as she seems the type to excel in running around and jumping, but you can’t win them all.
•The weather is almost at the point of the year when the rest of the world becomes very envious of Florida. It’s still a little too hot during the middle of the day to be quite there yet, but I can see it coming and I am really looking forward to it.

To School

Ryan just opened the pantry, got out his lunchbox and three applesauce pouches, and packed them up. Then he went to the laundry room, got his shoes, and then came to get me. He pointed at the garage and said “car car!” indicating that I should drive him to school now that he was ready to go.

He misses his big sister during the day and if she goes to school, he is going to figure out what it takes to get there.