There are quite a few fun ideas for family Advent traditions and for a few years I've been meaning to have some organization to our December plans. I like the looks of the fancy wooden advent calendars with a box for each day and there is also the idea of putting family activities on 24 strips of paper to make an Advent chain. Several friends have fun with an Elf on a Shelf and plan activities for the whole month.
I'm combining a few of those ideas this year and so far it has been going well! I didn't want to spend a lot of money or time on the set-up. I also wanted some flexibility in case our plans would need to change.
I put my ideas for the month onto a calendar, trying to get a good mix of projects, doing things for others, and family activities each week. Each morning the kids find the day's activity written on a slip of paper in a glass Christmas tree we already had. I also set out any supplies we'll need.
So far we've had a great time. I like the accountability and anticipation. Late afternoon is never a good time for me to think of fun group activities, but having the plan already made gives us a chance to enjoy that after school time together. In creating a rough plan for the month I can be prepared and not be searching for a recipe or glue sticks when the kids are excited to get started.
Here are our activities for this week:
1st Sunday of Advent: We arrived home from our Thanksgiving road trip right at supper time. We lit the first candle of our new Advent wreath and read the very short ceremony I had pulled together with a reading and prayer.
Monday: After school we dug into the boxes of Christmas decorations, books, and CDs and spruced up the house.
Tuesday: Snowflake window clings!
To prepare I printed a few snowflake clip-art in black and white. We put the templates under glass baking dishes and traced them using 3d fabric paint, being sure to connect everything fully. (We used Scribbles Glittering in crystal, night star, and sapphire.) We let them dry overnight and then I pulled them off the glass and stuck them on the window.
I have mixed feelings on this project. The kids were too young to control the paint and we used up a lot more paint than I expected. They both lost interest after a few attempts.
But, they both were excited to see the finished product on the window and asked if we could make more. This might be more fun in a few years.
Wednesday: We purchased gifts to donate for kids in need.
Thursday: We had a downtown adventure. The kids helped me pick out holiday stamps at the post office and we dropped off one of the toys we had purchased on Wednesday. Then we met up with a friend to play at the museum.
Santa was visiting the museum and the kids were excited to see him. R was brave enough to sit with Santa and the kids came home with treat bags.
After supper the whole family went downtown again for the Parade of Lights!
Friday: Tonight we are having a picnic supper of apples, popcorn, cheese, and other treats in the living room while watching the movie Elf together.
Saturday: The plan is to pick out our Christmas tree!