Christmas is Coming!

It’s finished! Here’s my completed advent calendar (click to enlarge):

Advent calendar

Hopefully the little pictures are easy to identify.

You may be wondering why we have a monkey, a sheep, and a brown bear on the calendar – those are felt-based representations of my three kids’ special sleep buddies. They are incredibly excited to have a calendar slot for their special friends. BIG PLANS are being made for the amazing super special things that will happen on those days.

If you have a favourite slot, let me know – I’m just curious. My own favourite changes every day.

I took this photo before I added the slips of paper that have our daily activity on them. The slips are a bright yellow and they stick out a bit, so you can see how many days are left. Oh boy oh boy oh boy!

Here’s our list of activities for this year. I found it really hard this year because school goes right up to the 23rd. I usually plan some exciting day trips and playdates for the week before Christmas but we can’t do that this year – instead, since we have to fit in the activities around homework and lessons and the usual daily grind, we’re doing smaller things this year.

Also, there’s only three weekends available, and two of those were booked with major parties, so again, it really limited our daytripping. I’m sure we’re going to have a good time, though!

Hang our stockings and put up the tree.

Make Christmas cards for your grandparents.

Ballet Show – A Little Princess. [Ed. note: The ballet show is at Centrepointe on December 3rd, and it’s a good show for smaller ballet fans as it’s fairly short and features lots of kids. But if your kids are older, you might consider The Nutcracker at the NAC, which is on the same day.]

Wii Sports Resort Family Battle!

Make peppermint bark. [Ed. note: my recipe is at the bottom of this post – it’s a great recipe for even the smallest of kids because smashing candy canes with a hammer is universal.]

Go to see Santa at the mall; take a toy to Toy Mountain.

Donate to your favourite charity.

Make a map on the floor.

Make a book about Christmas.

Museum of Civilization

Family Swim

Wrap a present for your brother or sister.

Cuddle up and read books with Mommy.

Decorate a Gingerbread House. [Ed. note: this one might be turfed if I can’t find a good egg-free recipe for icing that will actually hold the thing together. Keep you fingers crossed!]

Make paper snowflakes to hang in the window.

Watch a Christmas movie with popcorn and chips.

Go see a movie at the movie theatre.

Disney Live! With Belle, Cinderella, and Snow White – or, watch Star Wars movie of your choice at home [Ed. note: The show is at Scotiabank place and there’s a couple showings, if you’re interested; this is not an on-ice show.]

Dance Party!

Family Games Night.

Stargazing at Museum of Science [Ed. note: It’s at 7 p.m., hopefully the Little Miss makes it without having a total meltdown. If you want to come out for this event, it’s free but you have to register – see the Museum of Science website.]

Go for a drive to look at Christmas lights.

Get dressed up for a fancy dinner.

Bake cookies for Santa.

Waffles for breakfast!

Alternates – in case any problems arise, or we get an unexpected deep snowfall, I can make a night-before swap out with any of these:

Upper Canada Village – Alight at Night [Really wanted to do this one this year, but the lack of available days for day trips pushed it out to next year]
Have hot chocolate with marshmallows [Nice and easy for days when everyone is cranky]
Bubble bath in the big tub
Build a really amazing train track under the tree.
Make a fort in the front room.
Make a puppet show for daddy. [This one was a HUGE hit last year, but I wanted to take a year off, to keep it fresh]
Make rice krispie squares.
Play pin the nose on the snowman.
Family Skate.
Make your own playdoh.
Go to the library and get books about Christmas.
Take a night walk.
Paint on snow with food color and squirt bottles.
Paint a giant mural on the floor.

I’m excited, although reading over this list is making me tired. I better get my shopping done, stat!

16 thoughts on “Christmas is Coming!

  1. I love the present and the drum the most, but it’s all totally slamming. Also, thank-you so much, because the idea of Christmas has been making me want to hide in a closet until January. I have most of my Christmas packages ready to mail to family but it’s been a fairly joyless experience. Looking at your list and making plans to steal some ideas is making me feel happier about the whole thing.

  2. WOW!! That is so awesome. Do you do a new calendar every year? My favourite has to be the monkey.

    And thanks for the peppermint bark recipe! Will definitely have to make some of this! And give it away to the neighbours before I eat it all. 🙂 Actually, I will be bookmarking this to steal more of your ideas… ain’t the blogosphere wonderful?

  3. smokingtoaster

    Love the calendar. I’ve always wanted an advent calendar that wasn’t cardboard with dry little chocolates, that comes from the grocery store, but I’ve never seen the right one. Macy’s has some nice ones, but they’re way too over-the-top complicated. Yours hits the right notes: made it yourself, has special meaning for just your family and no dry chocolates!

    Of course, Shearly is the best.

  4. I love your calendar!!! It looks so great – I can’t pick a fav, they are all so cute 🙂 This reminds me that I have to get going on planning MY 25 days for the family!!!

  5. Wow – it looks just fantastic! I can’t choose a favourite, I love them all.

    Try this egg-free icing recipe (I haven’t tried it but a friend said it worked for her gingerbread houses, as long as the gingerbread was really hard. If you’re making the gingerbread from scratch, she recommended letting it “dry” for 3-4 days before decorating/assembling.)

    Egg-Free Royal Icing
    Makes about 2 1/2 cups
    Allergy Note: contains dairy ingredients

    2 oz. cream cheese, softenend to room temperature
    2 Tbs. corn syrup
    1 tsp. flavoring or extract (vanilla, peppermint, lemon, almond)
    1/4 cup milk
    4 1/2 cups powdered sugar
    food coloring (for best results, use gel or paste like Wilton Icing Colors)

    Using an electric mixer, beat together cream cheese, corn syrup and flavoring until smooth. Mix in milk. Slowly add the powdered sugar, one cup at a time until the frosting is at the desired consistency. Allow the icing to dry for 24 hours.

  6. The packaged Royal icing mix from the Bulk Barn is egg free. We’ve used it with friends who have egg allergies.
    Great list and beautiful advent calendar. Sounds like a fun month!

  7. Pingback: Twenty five days of Christmas

  8. There is a slight possibility that I borrowed your family swim and mural idea. We did a family swim last year and they loved it and now that I frequently have leftover back-drop paper from sessions we’re been painting and drawing a lot of murals. I figured if we made it red and green that would be holiday-ish 🙂 Can’t wait to read all about your 25 Days of Christmas adventures

  9. i LOVE LOVE LOVE the idea of Advent Calendars. But BabyT is too young, I think (2) so we’ll start ours next year. Yours is gorgeous. Alas, I’m not a person who sews, so I’ve got to come up with something different.

Comments are closed.