A few years ago I bought one of those wooden advent calendars from Target; you know, the ones with the little door to open? And ever since, that calendar has been the bane of my existence for the month of December. Every day the kids nag at me “Did you fillll the boooooox yet?” and usually the answer was no (I can’t fill them ahead as they would cheat and peak ahead). The box is small enough that not much CAN go inside; sometimes I’d put a Hershey’s kiss or piece of gum. In fact, I think last year they got a kiss nearly every day.
This year, inspired by many of you and your wonderfully thought-out advent plans, I decided to be a little more proactive about it. Right away, I told the kids that we wouldn’t open the box until after dinner… that way they aren’t bugging me about it upon waking. And I had IDEAS of things we could do each day, but I’d have all day to decide WHICH idea would best fit in with how our day was going. For my own memory (for next year) and because I’ve enjoyed hearing what many of you are doing to countdown to Christmas, here’s what we’ve done so far:
Dec 1- “Look under your bed for a surprise!” and then I put their new church shoes (which they all needed anyway) under their beds. (Side note: Kate and Joan have their first pair of “heels”, which they couldn’t be more delighted about.)
Dec 2- “Listen to some new Christmas music while decorating the tree.” The CD was a Glee Christmas Volume I.
Dec 3- “Pick a candy cane off of the tree.”
Dec 4- “Family movie night! Look on the dining room table.” Movie was Elf. (No school the next day.)
Dec 5- “Go meet Santa on the Holiday Train!”
Dec 6- Hershey’s Candy Cane Kiss in the box.
Dec 7- “Read Christmas books with Mommy before bed.”
Dec 8- “Time to make a paper chain with red, white, and green paper.”
Dec 9- “Snuggle up with [babysitter] and watch a new holiday movie. (Look on top of the t.v.)” The movie was Prancer.
Dec 10- “Pick a candy cane off of the tree.”
Dec 11- “Time to set up the card table and start a holiday puzzle! (Look under the tree.)”
I still have one more movie, some lip vaseline, and a gingerbread house to assemble. Also, I think we’ll use a couple of days to make cookies or dip pretzels. I still have quite a bit of Christmas shopping to do, too, so I’m sure I’ll think of a few other things as well. Maybe some new hair pretties for Christmas? Or some new earrings (and sticker earrings for Marin). Or a family game night. And I always have those kisses to fall back on.
It’s been much more fun and much less of a pain in the ass this year, since I had (somewhat of a) plan.