Thursday, November 24, 2011

our advent activity calendar

I had the greatest intentions this year to sew up a beautiful advent calendar like this one. But my sewing machine had another idea in mind- breaking just as I finished cutting out the last of the fabric for homemade Christmas presents. The machine is now in for repair, but in the meantime this paperchain advent calendar is a simpler yet lovely replacement and might actually be a better choice for my little three-year-old. Ever since the first of the Christmas decorations was put up around town (late October!) North's been asking when it will be Christmas. This is a very difficult answer to give to a three-year-old. Time is still a very abstract concept for him and "in many, many sleeps" is not the answer he is looking for.

Enter our paperchain calendar. Made with silver cardboard that I got years ago from Reverse Garbage each ring represents the days before Christmas and each morning North can rip one off of this hanging chain and watch the days melt away. I hope this will be the much needed and satisfying reassurance that Christmas is indeed on its way.

Inside each ring I have written a Christmas activity for us to do together as a family. Below is our list.(In the future I'd like to get more involved with community service but it's difficult to do venture too far without a car and with Indigo as young as she is.)

Nov 27: collect pinecones, holly and greens to make a Christmas wreath
28: make a Christmas wreath
29: see a Christmas Show at the Opera House
30: play Mary and Joseph and reenact their long journey
Dec 1: sing Christmas carols together
2: make cards and a photo album for Grandparents
3: listen to a story about Saint Nicholas
4: make and bake saltdough ornaments
5: paint and string saltdough ornaments
6: celebrate Saint Nicholas Day
7: make gingerbread cookies to share with friends
8: make Eliza (our once a week babysitter) a beaded necklace
9: go to the post office and send presents and Christmas cards
10: visit the Christmas tree farm
11: decorate the Christmas tree
12: take Christmas books out from the library
13: make a 'watch' for for Dada
14: make a felted ball necklace for Indigo
15: make Great Grandma a card with some seeds for her garden
16: make gingerbread house walls and roof
17: construct and decorate the gingerbread house
18: make paper snowflakes to decorate the house
19: string popcorn and cranberries for the tree
20: make homemade eggnog, enjoy and listen to Christmas carols
21: make cousins painted clay animals
22: make homemade cookies for our neighbours (and Santa!)
23: fly to Melbourne for Christmas and pack our Christmas things
24: AM: write Santa a note, get his cookies ready and a carrot for the reindeer PM: light candles, give thanks, tell the story of Jesus' birth and sing Christmas carols

During advent I will also be lighting a candle in the evenings and telling North the biblical Christmas Story about Mary and Joseph's journey and the birth of Jesus but I'll talk more about this in another post.

What are your plans for advent? Are you keeping it simple, including activities, giving gifts or planning a much more casual countdown until Christmas?


MamaNatuurlijk said...

What a great idea. Especially the ripping is very age appropriate ;-)
We first celebrate Sinterklaas here in Holland at 5 december. And after that Christmas. So I have to wait a little while before I can take out the Christmas decorations. But this post makes me want to take them out already.

Lots of love MamaNatuurlijk

radishandruth said...

i love that Meagan. I think we'll have to borrow some ideas.
I also saw this beautiful one, you might like it.

Rhiannon said...

Some beautiful Ideas here Meagan. I have been trying to decide just how to introduce some traditions into chrissy for cooper, and I like this one x

Anonymous said...

I love the idea of doing an activity every day and it is something I will be trying this year too. I might borrow a couple of ideas from your list too. I especially like the simplicity of the chain. :)

Mama Gone Green said...

I am also making a family activity advent calendar this year. I finished sewing it and now I just need to think of 25 ideas! Need to hurry!!

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