As soon as Thanksgiving over, we get down to business over here. Christmas business, that is. We put up our trees, decorate the house and start making lists and writing letters to Santa. We are giddy with excitement. The one part of Christmas that gets my kids over-the-edge excited is our advent calendar.
What?? you say? Yes, the advent calendar. Because I’m awesome and make it super special. 😉
When the kids were little, I would put a small piece of candy in each day of the calendar. I could get away with a sucker or a tootsie roll and they were happy. Then, as they got older, and not because they asked for it, I started adding in activities too. We’d go see the lights at the zoo, make cookies, drive around with hot chocolate and look at lights, all kinds of special things. They loved it. Then, as they got even older, and not because they asked for it, I started adding in small gifts along with the activities. Stocking-stuffer type presents. They went crazy. I think they like this better than Christmas itself!
Starting on December 1st, one child gets to pick from my giant bag of goodies (unless it’s an activity day). I pre-package them if there’s something different for each child. If it’s something all 3 can enjoy, it’s just by itself. For example, I got the boys book lights and Olivia a movie so I put those all together in a bag. They can’t see what’s inside, they can just see how big the bag is. They love it! I get almost everything from the dollar store so it’s not expensive but it’s filled with those things I won’t buy them at the grocery store. They get so excited each and every day leading up to Christmas. It’s really fun. These are some of the things I’ve bought this year: puzzles, drawing pads with markers, coloring books, tattoos, air horns, ornament-making kit, ring pops, pez dispensers, pencils, erasers, gun fans, talking mustaches and candy. Nothing major, but super fun. Some of the activities we like to do during the advent season are: making snowflakes, making cookies and cinnamon rolls, a countdown chain, movie night, a sleepover and having a friend over for dinner. Easy and free!!! I just love it that we make the whole month of December festive and fun.
What do you do to make the season last longer?
***I’m participating in MamaKat’s Writing Workshop with this prompt: 3.) The first of December is upon us! Describe an Advent Calendar or a special way you count down days until Christmas (past or present). (Inspired by Classy Chaos)
You are an awesome mama! You have given me some great ideas for the future with my little growing family!!
What a great way to make the season longer! We didn’t do advent calendars for years, until we discovered the Lego advent calendars, and now my boys are hooked!
What a great idea! And yes, you are an awesome mom!
Too bad my kids are grown … I’ll keep this idea in mind to tell them when they have kids.
will you mother my kids please? I think they’d like you better
What a great idea! I love the activities. I think it’s sweet that you incorporate more family time into the holidays. Your kids are going to have such great memories to look back on.
I don’t do gifts but… We got a Snoopy countdown to Christmas that hangs on the window and the boys are delighted with just putting up the numbers. Keegan is always trying to put up the next number “just so we don’t have to do it tomorrow” 😉
you are a great mom. I just heard a dramatic story about the elf. Olivia is amazed about the elf moving around the house. Gabe said you guys don’t move it!!
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