Sunday, November 28, 2010

Advent 2010!!

image It’s that time of year again, when I begin organizing and planning our our Advent Calendar. I am really looking forward to our calendar this year, I have found lots of new great ideas and traditions that I have added.

The main “theme” for our calendar, like last year, is Christmas Symbols (origins and meanings) but we also add in our own fun family traditions.

An excellent book that I found and that we are using as imageour primary resource this year is Lisa Welchel’s “The ADVENTure of Christmas”. This is a GREAT book, I can’t recommend it enough. (the page numbers in italics below refer to this book) 

We will also be reading:

Jesus, Me and My Christmas Tree

B is for Bethlehem

Jotham’s Journey

The First Christmas

The Legend of the Three Trees

The Legend of the Candy Cane

These are the activities and schedule that I am including in our Calendar this year:

  1. Nativity: Read the Christmas Story, start painting our Plaster Natvitiy set (I picked up for $3 last year, at an after-christmas sale) and set up our little people nativity set, identifying every member of the nativity as we do. (Page 52-54)
  2. Christmas Tree: make a sugar cone Christmas tree – turn it upside down, covering it with green frosting and decorating with M & Ms (Pages 8-9)
  3. Ornaments: give the kids their yearly ornaments, explain why we chose those ornaments for them. Talk about some of the past years ornaments. (Pages 12-13)
  4. Presents: Make presents for extended family members (Pages 44-45 & 60-61)
  5. Wrapping presents: make some home made wrapping paper and wrap the gifts we made for our family. (Pages 42-43)
  6. Christmas Cards: pray for some of the families who have sent us Christmas Cards, continue praying for new families who send us cards throughout the season. Have the kids make some Christmas Cards for the friends. (Pages 20-23 & 32-35)
  7. Colors: Make Colored Popcorn (Pages 26-27)
  8. Game Night
  9. Star: Take a long piece of string attached to a small gift for the kids and pull it all over the house, place a star on the end you give to the kids, have them follow the string, like the Wisemen followed the star to find their gift. (Pages 18-19)
  13. Candy Canes: Make some homemade candy canes with play-doh or cooking doh or using the recipe on page 15 (pages 14-17)
  14. Have Hot Cocoa by the fire and read Christmas Books
  15. Shepherds: Make a lamb craft out of cut out hand prints and cotton balls.
  16. Gingerbread House: Make a Gingerbread House
  17. Lights: go on the tour of lights at the Botanical Garden or take a Holiday Light drive if it’s too cold. Make Paper Bag Luminaries (Page 24 –25)
  18. Snow & Snowmen: (1) Make Snowman Pancakes for breakfast (2) Make Play-Doh Snowmen, or real snowmen if we have snow on the ground. (3) Make Paper Snowflakes, melt crayon patterns on them.
  20. Game Night
  21. Baking: Bake cookies together as a family, enjoy a few fresh out of the oven cookies in front of a fire with some cocoa and read the Christmas Story.
  22. Angels: Make a few angel crafts (there are LOTS of great ideas) (Pages 28-29)
  23. The Reason Jesus came: Read “The Tale of Three Trees” - Decorate Jesus’ Name and a Cross
  24. CHRISTMAS at Grandma’s and Papa’s
  25. Bake Jesus a Birthday Cake

Collecting ideas and activities to include in your own advent calendar can be so much fun, or it can also be overwhelming, because let’s be honest, there’s lots out there. Below are a few of the places I gleaned some of my ideas from.

For all you newbies (or mom’s that just don’t have the time) out there, I found this great link on Hubbard’s Cupboard eliminating all the “leg work” of putting together your own advent activities. They have it broken down into the 25 days, give you a theme, a verse and activity for each day. It is easily printable so all you have to do is print it out, and add the pieces to your advent calendar. Several of my ideas came from here.

There are lots of creative ideas out there as far as how to make or design your own advent calendar. I have heard of some moms  hiding 24 envelopes around the house for their kids to find, making an advent calendar “chain”, or flip book poster boards. The possibilities are endless, you could make it as simple or complex as you want. 

If you want to make your own advent calendar with your kids I found this adorable idea of making an Advent Christmas Tree Calendar out of craft sticks and oragami boxes! Check it out at Crafty Nest. I also really liked this box calendar, but not sure where I would get all those boxes from…. and if for some reason neither of those work for you, here is a post from tip junkie (that I found off of One Hook Wonder) giving you 25 other homemade advent calendar ideas

* If I decide to make one for our family, I’ll be sure to post about it!!

UPDATE: I did decide to make a new “box” calendar – you can see it here.

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1 comment:

alison said...

these are great ideas!