My goal for December is to keep things simple but be very intentional about celebrating Christmas together, making fun memories as we go along. We have been keeping up with our Advent calendar activities, and I thought I would give a report on what we have already done and how they have gone. As of yet, we have not missed a day, although we did rearrange a few days that seemed to conflict with our schedule.
december 2 – pick out one new christmas album – We chose Justin Rizzo “Christmas” and I love it.
december 3 – color a christmas picture – I printed several coloring pages out from the internet for the kids to color. Totally simple, but they were all about it.
december 4 – have hot chocolate with marshmallows together
december 5 – donate used toys, books, and clothes – This is the one thing we haven’t completed. We have done the sorting, but we still need to actually deliver our boxes of toys, clothes, and items to donate to their destination(s).
december 6 – put up a ribbon for christmas cards – At first I was going to put up something new/different, but when I pulled the paper garland I made last year out of the Christmas box, it seemed fitting to just use it for the cards that started arriving. There are a few more up now since these photos were taken (pinned up with small wooden clothespins) and we have lots of room for more! This garland was made with a thick yarn and paper triangles strung on. The kids helped me put it together last year, and the paper held up pretty well in storage & handling. Eventually I would love to make a fabric one.
A closer look at my growing belly for the curious. Baby seems to be right on track with her growth. This is the first/only photo of myself and my round shape that I’ve shared this pregnancy.
Above is the adjacent wall, where more cards will be added as they come to us. On the Advent calendar, I just turn the numbers over and discard the slips of paper that had the activities on them.
december 7 – buy a new ornament or christmas decoration – We had a sick baby at home for a few days, so my husband took the kids to Leavenworth on his own and the treasures that found their way back here were: a miniature light-up snow globe, a nutcracker ornament, and a horse ornament.
december 8 – cut tree & decorate house for christmas – I put the few photos I took of that day on this post and this post. I hope to share some more when I get around to photographing the whole decorated tree. We are still adding to it.
december 9 – make a popcorn garland – This was a fun activity, but was really mostly enjoyed by the oldest. The others started off with gusto but were quickly frustrated and became disinterested in anything except eating the popcorn. We used blunt needles and embroidery thread, and I provided a giant bowl of salted stove-top popcorn for eating alongside a smaller bowl of unsalted popcorn for threading. I would say this is a great activity for 7+ year olds. Even when everyone abandoned her, she kept at it and filled her whole string (about 3 feet).
december 10 – make and mail christmas cards for grandparents – Everyone had fun with this. I’ll have photos of them soon.
december 11 – make felt ornaments – This is always a hit as well. The three older kids (ages 4, 5.5, and 7) all made their own ornaments by sewing two pieces of felt together and stuffing fluff inside. I cut out their shapes (which I cut from a pattern I made out of cardboard first), got them started with a threaded needle, and let them go to town. The ornaments pictured are the ones A & J made last year and are hanging on the tree.
december 12 – $5 present shopping with kids – This is what we did tonight, and it was really fun. We split up into teams (boys team and girls team) to head out shopping and each of the kids were given the name of another sibling they had to choose a $5 gift for. To me, it was not as much about what gifts they ended up choosing (although they are sweet), but the excitement they had about choosing thoughtfully for another, and the experience of knowing (and having to keep) a surprise. Each of them was involved in choosing and wrapping the present they will to give to their selected sibling, except the toddler who doesn’t understand yet. We’ll see if they can keep the surprise until Christmas day!