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Monday, November 30, 2009

* Homemade Christmas: Family Advent Calendar


So many lovely ideas floating around the web right now for advent calendars.
My dear bloggy friend, Teach Mama
has a wonderful post about her family's advent calendar this year!

In the past we've used chocolate open a door-each-day-style calendars.
Last year we opened the Playmobil winter forest animals advent set
(now part of our ever-expanding Fairy village!)


One year, the Frog Princess made an adorable Santa Advent,
we glued a cotton ball to his beard each day to count down to Christmas.

This year, we're trying envelopes.
I have a huge box of small key envelopes
leftover from an altered books workshop I attended last spring.
I was inspired by this envelope advent at Design Sponge,
this one at Blue Cricket Design
this one at Nice Package,
they also have a wonderful list of activities we borrowed part of our list from!
I made a "rope" by braiding fat yarn --Red, White and, Green.


We strung it across the doorway
between our family room and kitchen table.


I brainstormed a list with the kids and hubby,
printed it out and slipped our ideas into the envelopes.

Each day, we'll do a new activity to celebrate the season!
Here's our list: Harris Family Advent 2009
1. Candlelit bath!
2. Make Paper Snowflakes and Decorate the Windows
3. Make a CD of Christmas Music for the playroom.
4. Rootbeer Floats!
5. Bake something yummy with Mama
6. Make Christmas Cards for Friends/Family
7. Have hot chocolate with marshmallows.
8. Make a pipe cleaner candy cane or wreath.
9. Make a Paper Chain.
10. Use puppets to tell a Bedtime Story.
11. Have an indoor picnic.
12. Family Game Night (Wii, board games, puzzles?)
13. Make and Decorate a Gingerbread House.
14. Dance and Sing to Christmas Music.
15. Set up the Mouse Nativity.
16. Make a Christmas Craft.
17. Make a Christmas Ornament.
18. Dress Fancy for Dinner tonight.
19. Fashion Show with Clothes made out of gift wrap!
(Recycled from opening presents with grandparents)
20. Make and Hang Edible Gifts/ornaments for the Birds and Squirrels.
21. Surprise a neighbor with an act of kindness.
22. At Home Pedicures!
23. Watch a Christmas movie with popcorn.
24. Pick your Favorite Christmas book for mom (or dad) to read aloud.
25. Open Presents!
We always drive around our neighborhood
to look at lights and displays,
this year we'll be surprising the girls with an impromptu,
in Pajamas holiday lights tour.
We're taking our cues this year from Shells in My Pocket
blog and her Minivan Express! (so. cool.)
The girls won't know what night it will be until...
Daddy will get them in their PJs
while I pop popcorn and make cocoa downstairs,
then we'll tell them to put on shoes and
go for a ride with our special holiday light viewing glasses--
they change the lights into shapes like stars, words, angels, etc!
(my MIL bought them at a holiday store years ago for us!)
Happy Countdown!

18 comments:

Jamie said...

That is so cute! You did such a great job and it sounds like you guys have a lot of fun stuff to look forward to, which will make the countdown go by faster. :-)

Maman Tattoo said...

Those are all great ideas!
Can't wait to my little one to grow and for that kind of stuff

Kylie said...

Great Advent Calendar, looking at Christmas Lights is such a fun tradition.

Jenny said...

This turned out great and I love the ideas you have for each day!

Val in the Rose Garden said...

And once again you and I have the same brain. lol... I have been making advent calendar notes to put in my pocket calendar all evening. The post is going up tomorrow or the next day. This weekend we had a tragedy and it just didn't get done. It is so nice to see that somewhere in the world is normal. And envalopes! Great idea!!

Love Val

The Activity Mom said...

Great ideas and it looks awesome! I am really appreciating how hight up it is. I'm having a hard time keeping little hands in the right day/number =).

Johanna said...

oh i just love all of it! the advent envelopes is a perfect idea and the activities to go with sound like lovely memories in the making.
i also like the link to the minivan express, how sweet is that?

teachmama said...

MaryLea--
You totally rock. Thanks for giving us over here some Advent Calendar love, and I think that your calendar--just like everything you do--is so incredibly beautiful and special.
And I LOVE the mini-van express!! My kiddos would love it!

After the holidays, friend, we need to get together for a cup of joe or for dinner!

Mama King said...

It is so wonderful to be able to catch up with all my favorite blogs. Your blog being one of my faves! I love how the book marks came out.

I got a good chuckle imagining your spruced up holiday chickens. The scary thing is - I would be right there cutting out felt Santa hats - with you!

Anne said...

What a great idea! Your house looks lovely and festive, too!

Jen said...

Wonderful advent calendar with lots of great ideas for celebrating and creating memories. I'm keeping things simple this year with the baby coming- due Christmas day. We have a little snowman chalkboard and the kids write how many days until Christmas each day. We are also lighting advent candles.

Merry Christmas!

Jen
http://raisingcreativeandcuriouskids.blogspot.com

Bridgett said...

Sounds amazing!
What memories you'll be making!

Lisa said...

great advent calenders! love the first picture with the tree... so dreamy!
happy holidays
lisa

Monica Crumley said...

Wow, how awesome is that?!?! And so creative. I have TONS of beautiful paper that I have no idea what to do with. I keep buying more paper but don't have time to scrapbook. This is a great idea. Thanks for sharing.

Confessions of a Homeschooler said...

Love your ideas, we've been doing them daily, but I still haven't had time to make the little envelopes LOL! Oh well, I'll get to it probably in time for next year ;)

stitching under oaks said...

LOVE this! I may be bookmarking your entire blog...this is so great and the possibilities are endless. Could we back up the calendar another week or so? There's too much I still want to do!

Dawn said...

Your Advent calendar turned out great! It's my favorite of all I've seen. I got a late start this year, but I'm planning on making one to give my granddaughters next year over Christmas break.

Thanks!

Rebecca D. said...

Check you out!!! I love it! I am thrilled to be a tiny party of that creative process! Thanks for linking me and showing me some love!!! Happy Count Down!

Becca @ Blue Cricket Design

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