Saturday, November 22, 2008

Advent Idea

Tonight I will snuggle in front of a movie and cut out pictures from last year's Holiday cards for my kids' Advent Calender. I loved opening those little windows as a child! I used to buy the calenders for my kids but the cost added up quickly when we had three children and then it bothered me that we'd just throw them away at the end of the month. I tried reusing them the next year, but it just isn't the same when the seal on those windows are already cracked and you know what is inside. So a few years back I cam up with an idea that I'd give my kids something fun to look forward to each day-an activity rather than a picture or piece of candy.

This is how it works: I cut out a holiday picture and then write on the back something special for one or all of the children for that day. I fold and tape the cards and string them along a ribbon with numbers for each day until the Winter Solistice. Sometimes it is things that we are already doing anyway such as a holiday concert or breakfast with Santa. Other times it is things we like to do but we set aside time for it such as cutting out snowflakes, baking cookies or family snowball fight. I also add a "date" for each child with each parent where we can play a game or go out for hot chocolate one-to-one. Sometimes we have to trade days because plans changed and that evening is going to work a lot better for "dance to The Nutcrakcer" than it is "baking cookies". The kids love it. It ritualizes and makes special ordinary things (like getting out the Christmas books) and organizes the chaos of one holiday event after another. It helps me to slow down and enjoy the season with my kids and, it's FREE!

I'll try to add a picture when I am done.


Courtney said...

Love this! Can't wait to see a picture and steal your idea :)

Tina said...

You are speaking to my heart, enough that I have to figure out how to comment (I am not a techie!). I have been struggling for the last 3 years with the commercialism of what is supposed to be a celebration of love and togetherness. I have struggled to continue within my family what is important about the religious and secular aspects of the holiday, somehow it seems to get lost amongst the brightly wrapped gifts and "gotta have" commercials. I have made gifts for years, but find it a hard sell for the kids. I love seeing them think of others, but after teacher gifts, family gifts, friend gifts I find I am stressed, unhappy, and broke. Now we have the high schooler and the gifts just get bigger. This year I have suggested to the kids that we make homemade caramels, not met with much excitement, but I am hoping that will change when they get a taste!