25 Days ’till Christmas
As you might know, time passing is a very elusive concept for kids 4 and younger. I am not really sure how it goes with older kids, I guess I’ll learn :)
With the holidays approaching, we started talking to Katie about the celebrations, Santa and you know, all things Christmas, but we didn’t want her to ask us every day if it is Christmas yet, until it wears off. So advents calendars came to mind.
An Advent calendar is a special calendar used to count or celebrate the days in anticipation of Christmas.
Instead of going with the classic a-chocolate-a-day one, we decided to do tasks or crafts that Katie picks out of a basket each morning. There are countless other ideas online – 24 days of good deeds, spread the cheer, volunteering, holiday food to prepare at home etc. … I tried to do a mix of all to see what we enjoy the most, since we are doing this for the first time. I wrote a list (of 25, yeah, I totally missed that when making the list, and then decided to keep all 25 and just start a day early, so we don’t have anything left to do on Christmas day), then me and Katie made the little envelopes together, put a task/craft in each of them. A couple of notes:
- They are not scheduled, Katie picks one at random and we go with whatever she gets. Most of them are pretty simple, plus I pre-purchased a lot of the things we will need, but it might be easier, to put the dates on the back of the envelopes to make sure everything goes in good order.
- I made a list of everything we will need and so far I have only had to purchase one additional thing that I missed when planning. It helped when we were all sick and stuck in the house for four days and had everything at hand to complete our tasks. It also helped plan out how much it will all cost, but I won’t tell you that, because my husband is also reading this blog ;)
- As simple as most of the tasks are, they do involve the use of scissors and a hot glue gun, so I do have to help a lot.
- I kept the original list, so I can keep track of what we did and what we still have ahead of us. Not that that is crazy important, but I did manage to surprise myself once or twice with things that I put in there at the last minute:)
- I had in mind to photograph and film the whole process, but I resorted pretty quick to a quick cell phone shot of our project each day.
Here is the list:
Bake gingerbread cookies (we bought Pillsbury ready dough for this, mainly to save on time and minimize the mess, but if you are more in to baking than I am and don’t have a baby hanging in the ergo all day long – there recipe isn’t all that difficult)
Make clay handprint ornaments (this proved to be super difficult. Clay is not as soft as I though it would be and we had to press very hard to get a good handprint. It was all fine with Katie’s hand, but baby was not that excited about hers).
Buy a Christmas book
Wear our antlers all day long, everywhere (that was certainly fun and festive :D )
Make paper christmas tree ornaments (just check Pinterest for Ideas, there must have been hundreds of them, and some pretty easy)
Decorate a centerpiece with candles (this is one that I am not prepared for, since I replaced another craft with it very last minute, but the Dollar tree has enough materials + candles for 1$ each, so we’re going to have to wing it when we get to it).
Decorate a tote bag with a potato stamp
Make a christmas tree ornament from ribbon – we had this one in mind.
Paint a mug for daddy’s morning coffee (painted with sharpies, white mug from the Dollar tree. Then bake it in the oven. We did this one yesterday, so we are yet to see if it holds ;))
Make window stickers from glue (How to is here. We completely failed with this one, so I have no advice).
Make snowman sock puppets (The are all over pinterest)
Leave a christmas present for the mailman
Make a bird-feeder.
Make a small gift for a random stranger (we choose to stuff a mason with some sweeties)
Make a gingerbread house
Make a popsicle christmas tree ornament
Make reindeer cocoa cones (also gave those out to strangers, Katie kind of enjoyed the idea)
Make paper snowflakes to decorate the house (we ended up not making so many, since Katie was not able to participate with the scissors as much as she wanted. I used one of our more successful ones to decorate a Christmas present)
Paint a Christmas picture and hand it on the wall
Make a Christmas tree ornament from a pinecone
Decorate one of the kitchen cabinets as a snowman :)