Thursday, December 1, 2011

Advent Activities

You may recall that last year I discovered the existence of Advent Calendar Activities - Advent calendars that focus on doing one holiday activity a day rather than a present a day. Or rather than those funny little paper ones we all did as kids where you opened the perforated window to see a little picture inside.

My mom snagged the Advent Calendar* I was coveting last year and saved it for 9 months until my birthday this fall, so we're seriously official around here. Each bag has tissue paper, the activity for the day, and some Hershey Kisses. (Editor's Note: OK, the first three days have Hershey Kisses. I bought the Kisses a week or so ago and have consumed most of the bag. The rest of the days will get their Kisses next week when I go grocery shopping)

I really wanted it to be a genuine holiday tradition where we actually DO the activities that are listed for the day, and not some crazy disaster where only about half of the things get done. These were the things I took into consideration when doing the planning:

* All activities would be Charlotte-focused. Therefore, things like donating to charities is something I'll do online, in my own time.

* I wouldn't schedule events unless I knew they would work on a specific day. I have no idea when the Christmas cards will arrive and when I'll be able to mail them, nor do I know when I'll be able to squeeze in all the Christmas baking, etc. So for the most part, stuff I can't control was left off.

* Pre-determined schedules had to be accounted for. On Mondays Charlotte goes to preschool in the morning and then I babysit in the afternoon, so all Monday activities are extremely light... some days B has off and others he'll be out of town... some days already had holiday parties, etc.

* I tapered things down on the week leading up to Christmas to keep the stress non-existent and the fun in tact. From my observation, these are the EXACT types of things in life that people do to attempt to add happiness, but really just end up adding stress. That's not how we roll.

So without further ado, here is the official Berry Family Advent Activities List - 2011. It's geared for a 2 year old and therefore has a few repeats, but I'm really happy with it. Let the holiday traditions begin!

1st - Make homemade hot chocolate with mini marshmallows
2nd - Collect branches and paint (to be put in a vase for a decoration)
3rd - Dance to Christmas music
4th - Country Club Santa brunch
5th - Hang Mistletoe
6th - Make holiday decoration craft to mail to relatives (TBD)
7th - Hang up yesterday's craft to decorate Charlotte's room
8th - Dance to Christmas music
9th - Make gingerbread houses
10th - Buy Christmas tree
11th - Decorate Christmas tree
12th - Make Christmas potpourri (orange peels, cinnamon sticks, etc.)
13th - Read 'Twas the Night Before Christmas
14th - Make Christmas cookies
15th - Make holiday craft (TBD)
16th - Make Christmas cookies
17th - Watch How the Grinch Stole Christmas
18th - Make Christmas pancakes
19th - Leave cookies for mailman / garbage men / recycling men
20th - Birthday lunch with B
21st - Visit with family friends, give their daughter her Christmas present
22nd - Hanukkah party at school
23rd - Family time under the tree (Dance, drink hot chocolate, etc)
24th - Annual Christmas Eve dinner at Nana & Papa's
25th - Open presents!


* The advent calendar in the picture is the catalog image of the one I have, not a picture of our actual wall. It's finals week around here, so the husband hasn't had a chance to hang ours up yet. I mean, technically I know how to stand on a dining room chair and bang some nails into the wall, but really, why? That seems VERY proactive when there are still all those Hershey Kisses to eat.


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