Friday, December 6, 2013

Christmas Countdown Fun

I put together this advent calendar for the kids to countdown to the big day! You may remember the post I did this past summer when I showed you my "new" old window! See HERE.
I knew it would be perfect for these little stockings!
Last Christmas my sister made a paper chain countdown for her boys. Each ring on the chain had a special something written in it - something fun they would do together as a family or a little treat for them. I admit it. I was jealous. That was SO COOL!  So this year I planned ahead and created my own version....I got these stockings at WalMart for less than a dollar for a pack of 4.
I bought enough to countdown December 1st through the 24th.
Using a circle punch and little decorative brads, I attached a circle to the cuff of each stocking to show the date. I then used clothespins to attach them to the existing string I already had across the old window. I dressed it up by adding a little greenery and some glittery snowflakes.
This window is in our breakfast nook area where we eat together every day.
 
 Ryan and I came up with a list of 24 fun things (see end of post!) I wrote each fun thing on a little white card. I added a few little doodles to some of them too!

Each day the kids find a card in a stocking and read the message. This was Stocking #1:
Hanging candy canes on the tree is an annual tradition with daddy! The kids were super excited to read this on the first day. I had put 3 candy canes inside the stocking with the note but had lots more ready for decorating the tree!
  
Obviously we have lots going on in December and some of the cards just tell what we will do that day. For example, December 3rd said, "Hugh's Christmas Program!"
 
These special events that are already on the calendar are in the little stockings for those corresponding dates. The other activities that do not need to be set in stone are already written on the cards but the stockings are empty! Shhhh! These cards are in a baggie in a kitchen cupboard so we can pull them out the night before when we know what our day will be like and what we have time for that day! A couple days throughout the month, the kids will not find a note but rather a little treat in their stocking!
 
This was probably the highlight of their special events so far...
 
 
This is what our list of 24 fun things includes...
 
1. Hang candy canes on tree with daddy
2. Candy in stocking
3. Hugh's Christmas program at school
4. Decorate gingerbread houses
5. Open gift from mom! (new Christmas movie)
6. Family Christmas movie night
7. Lighted Christmas parade in town
8. Visit live reindeer at local event
9. Send Christmas cards to cousins
10. Make ornaments together
11. Fancy Cocoa Night (cocoa with plenty of toppings to choose from and candy canes to stir with!)
12. Christmas caroling with church friends
13. Play in snow (fingers crossed that we get some to play in!)
14. Claire's birthday party!
15. Christmas program at church
16. Candy in stocking
17. Make Christmas cookies together
18. Write letters to Santa
19. Drive around drinking cocoa in travel mugs while looking at Christmas lights
20. Go to Bronner's and pick out ornaments
21. Fancy dinner out for Grandma & Boppa's 40th Anniversary
22. Christmas at our house with cousins, aunt and uncle, and Grandma & Grandpa
23. Open gift from mom! (new Christmas book)
24. Dinner at Grandma & Boppa's house, candlelight service at church,
then jump into bed and cover up our heads 'cause Santa Claus comes tonight!
 
My goal here is to make sure I fit in all the fun and plan ahead in doing so. I intend for all 5 of us to participate in these activities so that we do something fun together as a family almost every day!
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