Christmas Advent Calendar

Each year, starting on December 1, we start our Christmas (or Kwanza, Chanaukka, St. Nicholas Day, Boxing Day, St. Lucia Day, etc.) countdown with an Christmans Advent Activities Calendar like many of you.

I have seen all sorts of advent calendars around. Here is our version!  I am also sharing a list of some Christmas Advent Activities to help you come up with some of your own.

Christmas-advent-ideas

I make a list of several activities we can do together as a family. Then each day the kids take turns opening the little door for the day and reading what activity we get to do together. At our house, the holiday season can be pretty busy and somedays are unpredictable. So instead of just cutting up the strips and distributing them into the calendar, I do not put the activity in until I have an idea of what activity is actually feasible that day. I keep a pre-typed list up in the cupboard and then before the kids get home from school, I pick an activity, cut the word strip out and place it behind the little door.

This way each day I control what we are realistically able to participate in. Plus the kids aren’t able to find out what we are doing until that exact moment.

Here is a list of some of the things we have included in our advent calendar in years past.

1. Decorate the Christmas tree.
2. Write letters to Santa.
3. Build a snowman.
4. Have a snowball fight.
5. Make Christmas cookies and surprise a neighbor or two with a plate.
6. Sing Christmas Carols together.
7. Write Christmas letters to relatives we will not see for Christmas.
8. Watch a Christmas movie.
9. Visit Santa at the Mall.
10. Take a drive to see the Christmas Lights.
11. Clean out old toys and donate to Goodwill.
12. Make a gift for kids teachers.
13. Make some Christmas Candy.
14. Play a game in front of the fire.
15. Watch The Grinch.
16. Learn more about Jesus.
17. Sleep under the Christmas Tree.
18. Do a secret service for someone in the family or a neighbor.
19. Make a gingerbread house.
20. Read an extra Christmas story.
21. Make some reindeer food for Christmas Eve (recipe here).
22. Read the Christmas story in Luke Chapter 2 and other scriptures.
23. Act out the nativity scene.
24. Listen to Christmas music.
25. Set out cookies and reindeer food for Santa and his reindeers.
26. Read the notes in our love socks (more to come on this later).
27. Watch a Christmas special on television.
28. Go sledding!

You can use some of these ideas, or come up with your own that will meet the needs of your family and the specific holiday you may celebrate.

What are some ideas you would add to the list?

Make a Cranberry Wreath

**Be sure to enter the giveaway here.

I have seen a few of these wreath tutorials floating around the craft blogs recently like this amazing book wreath from Living with Lindsay and this fun pinecone wreath from V. and Co. Here is my version with cranberries.

I found this cranberry garland at the after Christmas sale at Hobby Lobby last year for $5 and found a perfect use for it. I purchased a round styrofoam ring which can be found at most craft stores. I used some left-over red spray paint and sprayed the ring red. Then I had my older kids help me cut the berries off of the garland(which they thought was so fun).

Then while my hubby and I watched a movie, I used my glue gun and glued each cranberry in place. It was a bit tedious, but I love how it turned out despite the fact that I burned myself with hot glue a couple of times. Ouch!

Then I realized I hadn’t gotten a picture of the wreath half-finished so I quit gluing and saved the rest to finish the next day so I could get you guys a picture. So here is a picture showing where I stopped the night before. The cranberries are glued around the entire wreath except for a small strip in the back so it will sit smoothly against the wall or your door.

I like it so much that I am temped to make another wreath, but this time using round ball ornaments like this and this.

Oh…and since someone will probably ask…I found my snowflake door hanger at the end of season clearance at Target 2 years ago.