Friday, December 11, 2009

25 Days of Christmas

Every year since having children, I have ended the Christmas season with regret. I desire to make it fun, magical, and meaningful, yet every year all my good intentions are lost in a sea of shopping bags in a vain attempt to make meaning out of materialism.
But this year, I am hoping things will be different.
I have always loved the idea of advent calendars, but I wanted more than just little doors to open with candy inside. So this year, we made paper chains to help count down the days to Christmas. The girls cut the paper and Kaiden wrote the numbers on each slip of paper. (Homeschool hint: you can practice odds and evens with the red and green alternating days!) Then I wrote an activity on each slip of paper. Each morning, the girls cut the next link of the chain and find out the Christmas activity for the day. Now we truly celebrate Christmas for 25 days!
The great part is the simplicity. Some days, the activity is nothing more than watching a Christmas video or setting out the Little People Nativity set. Some events are more involved, like decorating cookies or making gifts for friends. And while I planned out all the events on a calendar ahead of time, I am not bound to follow the plan. If an activity for the day is too daunting, I just replace it with another slip of paper and a new activity. (Now if only I could get Kaiden to quit reading ahead!)
In planning the events, I have tried to keep with the advent themes for each week (Hope, Peace, Love, and Joy). So for example, on the Love week, we have activities like making gifts for friends, buying groceries for the needy, and buying presents for Angel Tree kids.
Here are some other fun events from our 25 days of Christmas:
Christmas Oatmeal (with red and green sprinkles!), painting toenails red and green, driving to see Christmas Lights, wrapping presents, singing Christmas carols, lighting the advent wreath, decorating their bedroom for Christmas, making Christmas cards, having the neighbor kids over for a Christmas tea party, and having a snowman party on the first day of winter.
What a joy it is to have Christmas last all month!

1 comment:

  1. We do this too and it is so fun to see how much they enjoy these little Christmas things each day!