Thursday, November 17, 2011

Advent Calendar Planning

I can’t believe I’m already lining out the Advent Calendar list!  I’m highly motivated for two reasons… first, I’ve been thinking about blogging it, and second, since Serenity is three now she will totally notice if I try and sneak it in after the day has begun.  Also, things just take more planning with two, kwim?

The advent calendar is a new challenge this year, since I want Donovan to get to participate too!  Having things lined up for a three year old and six month old will be a challenge.  I think he’ll love the music and books, and we can certainly involve him in making ornaments for the tree.  He’ll have to wait a year for candy though =) 

Here's Serenity with our Advent Calendar last year.. I splurged on the one from PBK

Advent Calendar 2011
1.) Sing. I will try to make a fun mix cd to listen to in the car on the way to school, or we will just sing if my cd player is still broken.  Serenity loves Jingle Bells, so when she gets home I think we’ll try to play it on the piano or with her handbells this year!  Donovan will get a kick out of ringing bells too I think.

2.) Decorate Serenity’s Room for Christmas.  I bought a PINK Christmas tree last year for her room, so we’ll light this up and maybe add some new decorations this year, plus I saw an adorable Christmas tree craft on Pinterest I may try with her… I promise to share!

3.) Read.  I bought Ten on the Sled and Gingerbread Girl goes Animal Crackers from the book fair already!  And this will set us up well since our cookie party is the next day, we can make some cookies after reading about the Gingerbread Girl!

4.) Cookie Exchange Party. This is an annual event for us.  Our friends and their kids come over and we each bake different kinds of cookies and trade.  Yummy and fun!  We try to do games and crafts too.  Now I just need to search for some fun and fancy cookie recipes =)  

5.) Make Presents: I bought Crayola Model Magic and found this great activity. Serenity can use cookie cutters to make ornaments to send to grandparents, and we can make footprints or handprints with Donovan.  Perfect!

6.) Make Digi Christmas Cards and Mail them.  Serenity loves the mailbox so this year she can be in charge of stuffing, stamping and mailing the cards.  Now I’ve got to get busy and take some pictures for it!
One version of our card from last year.  Yay Photoshop.  What's YOJ, you ask?

7.) See Santa.  Maybe she will care about this enough to stand in line this year… she did love the Easter bunny. =)  I will not make Donovan do it, although to this point he doesn’t mind going to see strangers. 

8.) Movie Night: We try and watch a great Christmas movie together… any recommendations for a three year old?  She doesn’t seem to care about anything not animated, I look forward to when we can do the Miracle on 34th Street.  Last year we did the animated Frosty one… which was not as good as I remembered from childhood.  We did love Curious George’s Christmas though.  

9.) Craft: I have a few kits already from Target that look like a lot of fun!

10.) Candy Cane Hunt:  This was a huge hit last year.  We’ll have to check the weather to see if it should be indoors or outdoors, but you do it just like an egg hunt.  I’ve already got the Canes and everything!

11.) Backyard Game, like croquet or cornhole toss, or bocce. 

12.) Daddy’s Birthday… and Christmas Lights… we may be brave and go to Rhema this year.  We’ll see how excited Serenity gets at seeing lights from the car, we may just find a nice neighborhood to drive through. 

13.) Last day of school… Add a photo ornament to the tree.  Keep it simple on school days =)

14.) Angel Tree/Samaritan’s Purse.  I want to either take her shopping and explain the Angel tree to her, or use the Samaritan’s purse catalogue to explain giving to others with her. 

15.) Read: I got a new Boynton book, Bob the Reindeer.  Should be a hit with both kids! =) 

16.) Decorate a Gingerbread house

17.) Game Night: New board game, possibly the Penguin one I saw.  We are board game nuts so a new one is always welcome =)

18.) Special Breakfast, maybe Monkey bread?

19.) Neighborhood Walk to see Stars and Lights

20.) Puzzle: Haven’t found a good holiday one yet, but probably I will find an irresistible one before Christmas =)

21.) Carriage Ride at Winterfest?

22.) Read Nativity Story, put up Nativity…if we have one.

23.) Bake more cookies as the others will be gone, including Sand Tarts for family.

24.) Watch Home Movies:  I always make a greatest hits dvd of my favorite movies from the last year, and we watch it with popcorn. 

25.) Again, ideally we’d put Baby Jesus in the nativity… but we don’t have a nativity yet!  Maybe I’ll borrow Mom’s Little People one this year, or cave and buy my own. 

I’m doing pretty well!  I need to find a puzzle, a new board game, some individually wrapped candies to add in some days, and gingerbread house supplies.  And I need to make the home movie dvd and the Christmas card. Make sure I have all the slips that go in the Advent Calendar written. Not too bad. 
This isn’t set in stone obviously, as I haven’t even finished looking for special events around town that we might enjoy, and Eric might want to switch things up so we do his favorite things on days he has off.  But I have a workable list, and I know what I need to buy!  Thanks blog readers, for motivating me to do this before December for a change =) 


  1. Awesome list Chrissie! :) You are great to steal ideas from! The list is so nicely laid out!

  2. very cute ideas! i've been making that same advent this year, getting close to being done! i will definitely come back and get some ideas from your list! thanks for linking up at once upon a weekend!

  3. I got my list ready as well! nice with everything already done!

  4. I am so stealing this idea! I adore all of these ideas. It really makes the holidays fun! I shared this on facebook.

  5. What a fun list. Love the photo of your little girl helping with the cookies. My youngest's name is also Serenity. It is such a beautiful name. I love your blog. I'm your newest follower.
    Would love to see you DIY Home Sweet home.

    P.S. I have a linky every Monday. Would love for you to stop by and link up.
    P.S.S. I have giveaway going on right now. Would love you to stop by and check it out.

  6. I love Christmas fun lists! advent is so much fun for the family! I'd love for you to link up to my Friday linky party! This is so great!

  7. Chrissie... you are my hero. :D