Invent an Advent

Years ago I made an advent calendar. It filled our December days full of family memories and fun. I’ll be honest, it takes a lot of work to pull off and the nights where we color a Christmas picture or watch a Christmas movie are some of my favorites. Bonus – Those nights take little effort and planning and the kids still love them.

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Everything on out list must be for the whole family to do together. Everything on our list must be completed with the true spirit of Christmas in mind and everything is an opportunity to teach my children about giving, not receiving. This is a diificult lesson for little kids and big kids alike.

I spent a great deal of time making a beautiful advent calendar that my family loves preparing for the December first start date.

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This year, we are reusing a few favorites from Christmases past and a few new ideas to try out this year. Our list changes each year, but the anticipation of pulling the card and uncovering the days activity is exciting. The look on my kids faces are priceless and I get to act like a little kid for, almost, an entire month. Seriously, what could be better. There are a ton of options for these calendars, but we settled on these 24 for 2015. Jingle those bells, time to get your merry on!!

1)Write a letter to Santa and a thank you to Jesus.
2)Make a Christmas fort.
3)Decorate the Halls (put up tree).
4)Make the House Smell like Christmas (make cookies).
5)Reindeer games (snowman bowling, marshmallow cup toss, dance party).
6)Make reindeer food and sprinkle it in the yard.
7)Buy gifts for boys or girls less fortunate. Salvation angel trees are great options.
8)Call grandparents (or visit if possible) and sing Christmas carols.
9)Take a PJ ride for ice cream.
10)Drive around and look at Christmas lights.
11)Community fun: Bethesda Winter Wonderland.
12)Take Christmas goodie bags to our neighbors.
13)Volunteer with a neighorhood food pantry or the Salvation Army.
14)Tell the story of Jesus.
15)Deliver cards and gifts to friends, co-workers, and teachers.
16)Have a marshmallow fight.
17)Community Fun: Zoolights DC
18)Christmas Crafts. Make a snowman, color a picture, etc.
19)Random acts of kindness. (Pay for the person behind you in line, leave holiday greetings on cars in the parking lot, deliver cookies to a local firehouse).
20)Comunnity Fun: Matilda at the Kennedy Center (we just finished the book), you may checkout The Nutcracker or another Christmas show.
21)Go for a sleigh ride.
22)Watch a Christmas movie and drink cocoa.
23)Camp out under your Christmas tree.
24)Open your night before Christmas gift (ours is always new jammies)

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Here is where I admit to having help with my advent calendar. There is a new man in our house and we call him Rocker. The Elf on the Shelf has become popular with Rowan’s class and he hoped that he might get an elf himself this year. I did not want an elf or the extra work that came with him, but Rowan wanted one so badly, I gave in. Rocker has joined our family.

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The excitment in his eyes when our elf showed up was priceless and we will find our own way to use the elf this holiday. The first few days have been amazing. Both of my sons love finding him and sharing Christmas wishes with him and I love finding creative ways to make them smile with Rocker’s new locations every morning.

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I love my calendar and love creating these calendars. Having them framed is expensive, but I’m thinking a new one for next year would be fun. Do you have an advent calendar? What are some of your favorite activities? I would love to hear some of your ideas and trade thoughts. Just message me below. Remember to follow and like my page to receive great Christmas craft ideas, ideas for homemade ornaments, and snow fun every week in December.

Here’s to a wonderful, peaceful holiday where everyone can love and respect their neighbor. Here’s to traditions to make the family bond stronger. Here is to the start of decking your halls and caroling your way to a celebration that started in a manger a long, long, time ago.

Cheers,
Kelly

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