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    Wednesday, November 28, 2012

    Advent Activity Calendar

    Last year I posted some blogs about some of our different Advent Activities, but I never posted about the actual calendar we've created.  So... here it is.  I'm still not 100% happy with the little gift sacks, but I'm not sure how else to do it, yet.  I'm thinking about sewing pockets to a piece of felt, but I'm not that confident, yet, with my sewing machine.
    Anyway, our Advent Activity Calendar.  I had read a couple of years ago about a family who did different activities each day of December.  I liked this a lot better than meaningless toys or more candy.  So last November, I created two pages of lists of different activities.  Then I handed each boy (my two readers) a list and a highlighter.  One boy had a blue pen, the other had a pink one.  After they had marked which activities sounded fun, they switched lists.  Then, I took the lists and added all the activities that were purple (pink+blue=purple) to a "Master List" of activities.  Some of the examples on our list are:
    Watch "Elf" 
    Drive through the Park to see the Christmas Lights
    Donate to the Food Pantry
    Make a Gingerbread House
    Decorate paper Christmas trees with glitter paint/glue
    Shop for the Angel Tree
    Watch a Christmas Parade
    Write a Christmas story as a family
    Bake cookies
    Make a popcorn garland for the birds
    Do a puzzle by the Christmas tree
    Make paper snowflakes
    Enjoy a candle-lit dinner with our real china and "fake" wine
    Enjoy home-made hot chocolate with home-made marshmallows
    Read the birth of Jesus from the Bible before opening presents
    Go ice skating
    Watch "It's Christmas, Charlie Brown"

    There are others on the list, too, but you need to use your own imagination! The last two years, I've sat down with the calendar and planned out the activities.  I write the list down on a blank calendar, so I can plan ahead.  I'd hate for the kids to pull out "Donate Angel Tree Gift" before we've "Shopped for Angel Tree".  Also, this year, we'll be doing a little traveling the weekend before Christmas, so I had to plan activities that can be done at my in-laws.  I also look up local events/activities and add them to the list.  One item we have is to bake cookies and take to friends.  We'll do that on a Bible Study day, this year, and take the cookies with us to Bible Study.
    A lot of the activities are planned for evenings, with my husband, of course.  But some of the activities (like some of the craft projects) are planned for days when he might have Praise Band practice or his Accountability Group meeting.  The Saturday and Sunday events are usually the first to get planned, as they are the "big" ones.
    So, this is what our family does for Advent.  The kids really enjoy helping to pick out the activities  and they look forward to pulling the card from each gift bag each morning.  I printed the activities on a label template and then laminated them, so they will last.  I have a feeling we will continue to add/change activities as the kids get older, too.

    I hope and pray you have a very blessed Advent.  I pray your heart is ready for Christmas and that the excitement stays with you all year!

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