Thursday, December 13, 2012

Advent and Christmas Stories, week one

I have tried a couple of times in the past to post the Christmas stories we read each night.  Or rather that we try to read each night.  You know how December is, some nights the story just doesn't fit in with the rest of the crazy so we end up reading two the next night.

This year I also needed something to keep the Christmas countdown fun instead of just crazy, and something that directly gave us family time each night.  I hate being pulled so many directions this time of year!  While there are some things we have needed to work around (school performances, etc), it has been nice to have things to look forward to with the family each night.  Not to mention that it has been great to be able to decline other things for the sake of "we have family plans".  I may do that more often with life after this month ends!

I am all for simple; ribbon, clothes pins and some cute envelopes.

Since I pulled ideas from other friends doing their own advent calendars, I thought I would share ours.  But it will have to be one week(ish) at a time and after the fact due to my children getting older and internet savvy and reading this blog now.  Still adjusting to that.

One other twist we have added to our month of holiday fun is opening a family gift each Sunday.  We usually do a handful of family gifts on Christmas-games, movies, books-that often get lost in the fray or even just kind of set aside for later after the excitement of each child's gifts settles a little.  Last year  the amazing Becky mentioned her idea to avoid that same issue of gift overload on Christmas day.  Instead of waiting until Christmas they did a family gift each Sunday in December.  (if you are not familiar with Becky you should be-she is amazing and brilliant and so awesome!)
We have adopted this idea as well and so far are loving it!  I am especially loving that it encourages us to spend more time together on Sunday afternoons and evenings instead of the kids wandering off to their own corners of the house and doing their own thing.

Dec 1st - Write Letters to Santa
                Read Mooseltoe

Dec 2nd - Open a Family Gift (our new Christmas Story for this year, The Christmas Train*)
                 Read  new Christmas Book

Dec 3rd - Make Snowball (a favorite family treat)
                Read Christopher Pop-In-Kins (Elf on the Shelf creeps me out, but this one I can do!)

Dec 4th - Hot Cocoa Bar
                Read The Christmas Stocking Story

Dec 5th - Eat Candy Canes (this was a busy night)
                Read Christmas Oranges*

Dec 6th - Go Out for Ice Cream
                Read How Murray Saved Christmas

Dec 7th - Christmas Movie Night
                Read Josie's Gift*

Dec 8th - Visit Santa
                Read The Polar Express

(you will see some stories with *, these are the ones that make me cry. Just to warn you, if you happen to be a boob like me.)



Marc Nelson said...

Such lovely ideas of the advent week.Sure to try this christmas season.Wishing you a blessed christmas and a successful year ahead!

goat weed

Mindy said...

My favorite time of year! Christmas is pretty much all of December for me. (It's also the only time of year I put this much effort into planning so many activities.) We don't give our kids regular presents, they have grandparents (and Santa) that spoil them plenty. We give our kids the gift of family experiences! That brought moans of disapproval at first, but we've done it for a few years now and it is highly anticipated in our home now. It includes bigger things on the weekends--possibly an out of town trip (we've done NYC and Williamsburg other years), going to The Nutcracker, tomorrow we're going to a local Christmas Carol get the idea. I've been trying since we moved here to get a tour of the White House during December--no such luck so far but I'll keep trying. It keeps December fun! This year may be the last year my kids believe in Santa, so Flippy (our elf) is sneaking presents from Santa's sleigh for the last few nights before Christmas IF all chores are done and there is no (ok, little) fighting.