Wednesday, December 12, 2012

12-12-12 (love that!)
SIMPLY CREATIVE: Advent Calendar

Fun Advent Calendar Ideas

Is it possible that there are only 12 days left until Christmas? Don’t least that’s what I keep telling myself.  I’m going to take a deep breath, drink an extra cup of coffee, sit for 5 minutes in front of the sparkly Christmas tree, think of the things I am grateful for...and then plot my day, strategically. I think I may need even more coffee.

I want to share my advent calendar with you. Advent is a season of anticipation. We anticipate the beautiful celebration of Christmas, the birth of Christ. Some advent calendars are pre-loaded with chocolates. The one I grew up with was a cute Scandinavian fabric calendar with 24 small pockets to hold little treats. As a little girl, I loved waking up to find what mom put in the pocket. I wanted to carry on the tradition with my kids, and got it in my head that I could and should make my own Advent calendar. How hard could it be, right? Well, it could be hard, long, and laborious, and indeed it was. I now call it the heirloom advent calendar, and I am expecting my children to pass it on for generations as the Christmas calendar that Great-Great Grandma Tina made. Just kidding (sort of). It is cute, and I am glad I made it, but it was a very time consuming project that I should have started in June. But I am getting side tracked because what I really want to share with you are ideas for the daily treats. The basics are a quarter, a piece of chocolate, gum, a candy cane, a small dollar bin item, etc. This works fine for my 2 year old, but slightly redundant for my 9 year old. And, there are 24 pockets...and I don’t want 24 more junk items in my house! This year I came up with experiential ideas. They are things we can do in this fun season, or a little break from the rules. It also helps me to slow down and do something fun with my kids, instead of frantically crossing off things on my TO DO list. I will share 12 with you, as we have 12 days left.

I roll up a little note and put it in the pocket, sometimes accompanied by a piece of candy: 

  1. Your friend _______ is coming over for a play date after school.
  2. A bag of microwave popcorn with a note attached that says “Christmas movie tonight”
  3. Donut run on the way to school!
  4. 10 extra media minutes
  5. Hot chocolate packet with a note that says “with extra marshmallows!”
  6. A walk or drive to see Christmas lights after dark
  7. Let’s make cookies together after school
  8. Let’s do a craft together
  9. Surprise them with the news that they have been invited to a party, and it’s tonight
  10. A friend is coming over to spend the night
  11. A bottle of nail polish and a note, “Spa night at home with a pedicure”
  12. After school date with mom or dad to a favorite spot

These are the days of wonder. Soak it in.

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