One of my favorite things about Christmas is the anticipation of celebrating the day. Having an advent calendar is one of the ways we do it. Ever since we had Audrey we have wanted to build memories as a family for these 25 days. It's been a mixture of success and failures, but memories nonetheless. Last years epic fail was trying to go see the National Christmas tree only to be turned away because of a presidential motocade. Trying to explain to a 2 year old why she couldn't see the "big tree" was a challenge. 

This year I made our calendar from muslin bags, a little bit of red fabric paint, and stencils from Home Depot. It was a simple project with a little help from Lydia and I strung them up on our dining room wall. 

Each year I always end up brainstorming ideas, so for the sake of my memory for each year and also to share with others here are a few of our advent activities and verses:

Isaiah 7:14

John 1:14
Luke 2:1-21
Isaiah 9:6
Jeremiah 33:14-16
Matthew 1:18-25

Make a paper chain countdown to Christmas

Make homemade hot chocolate and sing Christmas carols
Have pancakes for dinner
Make an ornament for the tree
Bake and decorate cookies
Cut down (or go to Home Depot) and trim the tree
Go see the National Christmas tree and get dessert at Founding Farmers (our personal favorite)
Go on a date with Daddy to buy siblings presents and last minute gifts 
Ride the train at the Mall
Go to a family Christmas party or host a party
Smores night by the fire
Have a gingerbread house contest
Decorate the house for Christmas
Attend a Christmas Eve service
Donate canned goods to those in need
Put together a shoe box for Operation Christmas Child 
Go out for a family date for frozen yogurt 
Open a small gift Go see Christmas lights display or drive around the neighborhood to see the lights
Open Christmas Pajamas 
Make Christmas cards for family and friends
Help Mommy wrap presents
Watch Elf, Frosty the Snowman, Rudolph, Charlie Brown Christmas, Home Alone


Lydia Jane said...

Love 'em Jan. The big stencil looks so good.

Bethany said...

I love the advent "tree"! Thanks, also, for sharing your traditions. I'm also looking for new ideas to incorporate into our celebration.

Anonymous said...

You are so talented, and are making so many memories for you, Seth and the girls to treasure over the years.
Thank you for being such a good mommy to Audrey and Edy! Love to you!
Mom R.

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