intensely trivial

Advent Calendar 2009

Last year, I really pulled out the stops, I thought, and made up an activity advent calendar for our family. I wanted to keep these priorities in mind:

1. Frugality
2. Not contributing to the holiday commercial machine
3. Not focusing on Santa
4. Making it fun
5. Brightening the lives of others, not just ourselves
6. Making the real Christmas story come alive

I tried to plan things ahead of time, but it turned out to be a lot of work. Worth it, but still kind of exhausting. My kids loved it. It brought the fun back to Christmas for me, and gave Dan and me many opportunities to focus on the incarnation of Jesus with our kids.
As Christmas approaches, our kids have been clamoring to do it again. Oof, I say. What a lot of work. But the fact that they loved it so much convinced me. So I revised the calendar from last year, trying to stick to my goals even more this year. I’m really going to have to be organized to make it work this year, because Ellie’s in school all day, and some stuff has been added to my plate.
In case you’re curious or want some ideas of your own, here’s the plan:

Tues., 12/1 – fancy hot chocolate, w/ whipped cream and sprinkles
Wed., 12/2 – pray for Christmas-box recipients
Thurs., 12/3 – make/decorate sugar cookies
Fri., 12/4 – holiday parade – 6 p.m., downtown
Sat., 12/5 – cut out snowflakes
Sun., 12/6 – Jesus film – family movie night
Mon., 12/7 – write Christmas cards to cousins
Tues., 12/8 – act out Christmas story
Wed., 12/9 – make herb/spice ornaments
Thurs., 12/10 – story of the candy cane
Fri., 12/11 – go grocery shopping and deliver the groceries to the Flint Hills Breadbasket
Sat., 12/12 – construct cookie houses
Sun., 12/13 – sing Christmas carols around the piano
Mon., 12/14 – make spool nativity set
Tues., 12/15 – make/decorate gingerbread people
Wed., 12/16 – 11 a.m. Christmas storytime at the library
Thurs., 12/17 – make buckeyes
Fri., 12/18 – deliver Christmas goodies to neighbors and friends
Sat., 12/19 – wrap gifts
Sun., 12/20 – “How the Grinch Stole Christmas” family movie night
Mon., 12/21 – candlelit dinner, then family gifts
Tues., 12/22 – Christmas treasure hunt w/ clues from the Christmas story
Wed., 12/23 – drive to Kansas City for Andresen Christmas
Thurs., 12/24 – read Christmas story from the Bible


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  1. * Gail says:

    I love all of your ideas–and that you actually do them! I’m full of good ideas, but often fizzle out 1/4 of the way through. Hope you have a blast doing all of these fun activities! You’re a great mom!

    Posted 8 years, 6 months ago
  2. * erika says:

    This looks awesome! I would love to do this, but think I will wait a year or two maybe until Josie can understand it better. 🙂

    Posted 8 years, 6 months ago
  3. * tilia says:

    Looks like a fantastic advent season. I’m printing/adapting some of your ideas. I bought a lift-the-flap countdown calendar from Hallmark and instead of the candy treats, it has suggested activities under the flaps. Today was “make paper snowflakes”. C’s not so great with the cutting of snowflakes concept, so she stamped a page of them. Then we did today’s meditation from “The Jesse Tree”.

    Posted 8 years, 5 months ago

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