On The First Day Of Christmas

Andrea at Quietfish is always doing something beautiful and crafty with her daughters. I read about these projects on her blog and I always think, “Oh, that’s so lovely, but I’d never have the energy to put that together.”

Then, an hour later, I’m thinking, “Well, I do have that big pile of wrapping paper scraps just sitting around.”

And an hour after that, I’m thinking, “And, she did make things really easy for me by providing the pattern and the numbers and everything.”

And two hours after that, it’s all, “I guess I have a lot of activities I want to do with the kids this month, anyway, so really, is it going to be that much extra work?”

Next thing you know, I’m making a 25 mini-envelope advent calendar filled with daily family activities:

Advent Calendar

Advent Calendar Closeup

I’m pretty excited about this calendar and the kids are too. I’m just afraid I’m going to run out of energy by the time we get to December 25th! At least my shopping is pretty much finished. I don’t think I would attempt this if I still had all my shopping to do, too, because the mall? It sucks the life out of you. Seriously. The only known cure is Diet Coke, The Elixir Of Life.

Anyway, here’s what we’ll be doing every day in December. Assuming I survive the first week. Don’t tell the kiddies, it’s a surprise!

1. Hang up our stockings.

2. Put up the tree.

3. Make paper snowflakes and hang them in the window.

4. Watch The Sound Of Music [but not the scary Nazi parts at the end] with chips and popcorn.

5. No school! [It’s a PD day.] Visit with the Carl Sagans.

6. Play a board game with Mommy and Daddy.

7. Wrap a present for your brother or sister.

8. Have a bubble bath in the big tub.

9. Visit Santa; take a toy to Toy Mountain.

10. Build a fort in the front room.

11. Make a paper chain and hang it up.

12. School Christmas Concert Day!

13. Make a book about Christmas. Or Star Wars.

14. Make gingerbread houses [from graham crackers – no baking required!]

15. Make Peppermint Bark.

16. Dance Party!

17. Go to the KidZone. [An indoor playground.]

18. Bring a present to school for your teacher.

19. Put a giant piece of paper on the floor and make a city map for cars and trains.

20. Get dressed up for dinner – we’re having take out!

21. Make a snowman and have some hot chocolate.

22. Go to the bookstore [or library, if you have quieter children than I do] and read books about Christmas.

23. Go for a drive – in your PJs – to look at Christmas lights.

24. Bake cookies for Santa.

25. Open presents, and call your grandmothers to say Merry Christmas!

Here are some other ideas I had that I didn’t use in the end. Most of them are very easy, so I’ll use them if I need to make a last minute substitution for some reason; otherwise, we’ll do them over the school break.

Decorate a cut-out tree with Fruit Loops.
Make rice krispie squares.
Colour a picture and mail it to Grandma.
Go to the video store and rent one movie each.
Make a giant mural by gluing on pictures of toys from flyers and magazines.
Build a train track all around the Christmas tree.
Go sledding.
Make a silly crown and have a parade (the Captain has big plans for this one on Christmas day — I think he thinks we will be parading all through the town, so watch for us on your street!).

It all sounds like fun, doesn’t it? Hopefully it’ll be fun, too!

Many thanks to Andrea for the idea, the patterns, and for making me a better Mommy!

9 thoughts on “On The First Day Of Christmas

  1. OMG, you rock! I love reading all the crafty stuff Andrea writes about but I never seem to get around to trying any of them.

    Maybe my new years resolution will be to be a better Mommy too! 😉

  2. Heeeey! I love it – you crafty mama you.

    Related: it was soooo funny to see how much my kids loved doing the simplest things on the calendar: the bubble bath, the breakfast in bed, dressing for dinner… it was absolutely hilarious.

    Are you going to join the Flickr group and post pics as you go?

  3. I’m doing it too…you have some great ideas & really simple but I know my kids would love them. I have more than 25 ideas now and I will need to narrow them down!

  4. xyx2

    I love this idea! I wanted to do some sort of Advent calendar this year, but didn’t want one that involved candy. I wonder whether I can make one before Dec 1?

  5. Andrea — I’m ashamed to say I don’t really know how to work the whole Flickr thing. I’ll see if I can figure it out before Monday!

    Mel — it was super easy. I printed out the envelope pattern from Andrea’s site (go to the post I linked to above, and find the link inside that to the older post, and then find the link inside THAT to the envelope pattern), then I put the pattern on a piece of cereal box so I could quickly trace it onto wrapping paper. Andrea also provided a PDF of all the numbers to just print out and cut out. I would say it took me about an hour to make the envelopes, then another hour to brainstorm ideas and organize the list (I had to make sure, for example, that we didn’t do anything too physical on the same day as swim lessons, or that we didn’t do anything that would be a lot of work for me on days when I had a PTA meeting in the evening). It was very easy to assemble — I used a big piece of ribbon and clipped the envelopes on with coloured paper clips; Andrea used thin ribbon strung across her fireplace with mini clothespins holding them on. Overall it didn’t take that much time to put together and it was kind of fun, too!

  6. fame_throwa

    Kind of unrelated: I was thinking about your Elixir of Life just this weekend. Mr. Chatty got a box of brandy-filled chocolates from his parents. Turns out Brandy in French is L’Eau de Vie, which I’m pretty sure means “water of life”, which I’m pretty sure means Brandy is actually the Elixir of Life in France. Which, I suppose, isn’t all that surprising.

    But I thought I’d pass that along in case you ever go to a mall in France. You might come out rather tipsy.

  7. Pingback: Tales of life with a girl on the go » Blog Archive » Advent calendar activities

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