So apparently I took off the entire month of November from blogging... until today. It wasn't a planned break and I still made lots of crafts and fun snacks with my kids but I just didn't get around to documenting them! Oh well! I have so much planned for December, as always, so I really hope I can get it together and type this month!
I am so excited for December to finally be here! My favorite holiday tradition is our Christmas Countdown Calendar - started by my mom years ago. The fun twist is that for each day, there is a little note with a special activity to do that day. A friend of the family sewed the original calendar for us, which still hangs in my parent's house each year. When I moved out to college, my mom made a calendar for me, and a few years later she made a larger, more colorful one for my kids to enjoy.
The newest version is pictured below. She actually found the tree part with pockets at a store, then attached it a large back ground fabric and quilted it. She added sequins for some sparkle, our last name in felt letters up top, and a sleeve for hanging.
My mom always wrote each day's activity in little rhymes! I have taken to drawing pictures on my notes, since my kids aren't old enough to read yet (but Molly (5) is almost there!). I guarantee mine will also rhyme when Molly can read it!
Anyway, here is the complete list of activities I have planned for our December. They are already in the pockets and planned on my family calendar (though still a secret to the kids!) so I know what we'll be doing each day. Of course, depending on unexpected schedule changes and my overall mood (hehe) I will change up the days as needed. ;O)
1. Decorate the Christmas Tree
2. Open a special gift (these are usually something small like some silly lip glass or a new book)
3. Set up our Dept 56 North Pole Village
4. Write a letter to Santa (here's an idea for kids too young to write: Collage Letter)
5. Read special Christmas books (my kids will each receive a new book this day, too!)
6. Go play indoor mini golf
7. Decorate gingerbread men
8. Drive around to see lights - there's a neat display at the Great Mall in Olathe, KS!
9. Go see a movie at the theatre
10. Make a special craft. Here's one idea from last year: Paper Plate Santa
11. Visit Santa
12. Eat a special holiday snack. Here's a great party snack idea: Rice Crispy Treat Wreath
13. Go roller skating (or ice skating!)
14. Make a gingerbread house out of graham crackers (as seen on Pinterest...)
15. Open a special gift (I repeat this a few times... a new idea might be to make and send Christmas cards!)
16. Have a holiday party with your friends (or maybe just a play date with fun snacks and punch...)
17. Make a special craft (OR go on a special shopping trip)
18. Wrap presents and play the Wrapping Paper Game
19. Holiday party at school
20. Have a pajama party complete with popcorn and a Christmas movie
21. Bake cookies to leave out for Santa
22. Eat a special holiday meal
23. Play in the snow (weather permitting!) OR make a mini snowman with homemade play doh
24. Open a special present (surprise! It's pajamas from my mom and a blanket from me!)
Just in case you need a few extra ideas, here's some blasts from the past: eat dinner by candlelight; have an indoor picnic; watch Christmas specials on TV; go buy/cut down a Christmas tree; decorate your house - indoors and out; write a Holiday Top 10; write a funny parody of a Christmas carol; sing Christmas carols; choose a friend to send gifts and cards to from a Secret Santa; make a popcorn chain for your Christmas tree; attend a holiday ceremony at church; host a holiday cookie swap; volunteer at a soup kitchen; adopt a family to buy gifts for; go see The Nutcracker Ballet; find a holiday puppet show/play/book reading to attend!
I hope this is enough ideas to get you started on your own countdown calendar! I can't wait to share all the things we do this year with ours as we go along! HAPPY DECEMBER!