Monday, December 5, 2011
This year we decided to stay home for the holidays. Since our families live out of state, we often travel and spend Christmas away from home. Even though we'll miss the family gatherings, it is important that we establish some of our own traditions. To help take some of the sting out of not being with our families, I've tried to come up with some fun traditions.
So I made an advent calendar with a Christmas activity per day, counting down to Christmas Eve. I was going to use some chipboard or foamboard as the background, but Charles had some plywood left over from another project. He volunteered to cut it to size, then he spray painted and sealed it for me. He attached a picture hook on the back and added some felt to the corners so they wouldn't scrape the wall. Love that man!
I found a template for a library pocket at Homeschool Share, one of my favorite sites to get lapbooking templates. I printed the template out on cardstock, then traced around it on to Christmasy scrapbook paper. I added embellishments and numbers, then glued the pockets to the back board.
Inside each pocket is a Christmas activity for that day. So far, we've hung up our stockings, enjoyed hot cocoa, watched the Polar Express and decorated the kids' bedroom doors. Today we'll make an easy snowman ornament for the tree.
Our other activities will include making a gingerbread house, creating bird feeders from toilet paper tubes for our birdie friends, baking and decorating Christmas cookies, delivering treats to friends and neighbors, participating in our church Christmas program, and singing carols. Our last activity is reading the Christmas story from Luke 2.
Every morning the kids have come downstairs and rushed to see what was on the agenda! They've really gotten into the spirit of things.
Now I'd better go check tomorrow's activity and make sure I have all the necessary components!
Adding...here's the complete list of our activities if you need some ideas to do with your own family.
Watch The Polar Express (or any other Christmas movie your family enjoys)
Decorate the bedroom doors
Drink hot cocoa by the fire
Make an ornament for the tree
Cut out snowflakes and hang around the house
Go out to eat (one of my faves)
Decorate Christmas cookies
Deliver Christmas cookies to neighbors
Participate in the church Christmas program
Sing carols at the nursing home
Go to the mall to see the Christmas tree displays
Drive around to see the Christmas lights in our jammies
Sleep around the Christmas tree
Shop for your sibling
Wrap presents for your sibling
Make a Christmas craft
Write a letter to Santa
Color a Christmas themed coloring page
Play charades with Christmas songs
Share a Christmas memory with everyone
Build a gingerbread house (I bought a kit with 5 small houses for $10 at Target)
Make bird feeders out of toilet paper tubes, peanut butter and bird seed
Read Luke 2 together