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Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Alternatives to the Advent Calendar - Planning our Christmas Traditions

Each year we make a countdown chain for the month of December, a fun decoration/craft that serves several purposes. The chain is fun to make - we practice cutting, gluing, and patience! Each link gets assigned a fun activity or craft from our activity list for the month. This helps ensure we make time for the fun family activities and traditions we want to enjoy, and that they don't get lost in the busy-ness of the season.

Here is our activity list for this year - with the first activity (for today) being the making of the chain. :) I'll post our chain, hung with care next to the stockings later this week. After making the links and writing an activity on each one, I cross reference our calendar to see whether we have time for a big or a little activity - this helps order the links!

December Activity List
Create our countdown to Christmas activity chain
Hang the chain and the stockings by the fire with care
Make a tree craft
Make hot chocolate and drink it by the fire
Drive around the neighborhood in our pajamas, enjoying the lights
Make a Santa hand craft
Make dough ornaments and bake them
Decorate dough ornaments
Bake cookies
Decorate cookies
Take treats to the fire station
Make Rudolf hand craft
Make snowflake crown craft
Bath time Santa beards
Watch the Year Without A Santa Claus together in our pajamas
Make red and green swirl cake
Make a gingerbread house
Make an angel hand and foot print craft
Make snowmen crafts with cotton balls
Take a winter hike at the park
Make a tree paper plate craft
Pick out Christmas books from the library, to supplement our collection*
Visit Santa Claus
Buy toys or clothes for a Christmas charity
Buy food and donate it to our local food pantry

* When we find a holiday book that we really like, we add it to our collection. We go to the library and check out enough holiday books so that between the library books and the ones in our collection there are 25, and read a different holiday book each night at bedtime.

Do you use an advent calendar, or an alternative way to count the days until Christmas? I'd love to hear about your traditions! What are your favorite holiday activities?

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Marva said...

I'll be posting on traditions soon but we have a veggie tales advent calendar the boys love! I love this post! Blessings!

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