Monday, February 4, 2013

Christmas Happenings - Advent Activities

For the past few years,
we have done
*some* sort of Advent calendar.
We have done 
the candy kind
the Lego kind.

But I really wanted something different,
something more pronounced
that would allow us to add
Advent activities as well as candy
to the daily "containers".

So I hit pinterest 
and the web to see what I could come up with.

There were a TON of cute and chic
but I was one a limited budget
and we are renting
so I didn' want anything big
and bulky
or that might not fit in a different house.

Here is what I came up with:

I found the garland at Michael's which was 40% off.
Then I hunted for a some CHEAP stockings.
I found these at Wal-Mart, they were 4 for $0.96.
So for around $20 I had my advent calendar!
I was trying to come up with some chic way
to label them,
but eventually hit the craft bin 
and came back with glitter glue.
It worked!

The plan was to put a couple of things in each stocking
for each day:
Advent scripture verse
Advent activity
1 small piece of candy per person

I started off ok,
but life happened 
and the candy was the ONLY thing
that actually made it in each stocking.

The problem was trying to plan, in advance,
what was going to fit into each day.

So I wound up with a list
of things I wanted to do 
for Advent activities
and we just worked our way 
through them
as we had time.

The Advent scripture verse
didn't happen this year,
maybe next year I can get my act 
and get them printed up for the stockings.

Here are a couple of the Advent activites we did:

1) Gingerbread houses

2) The boys made holiday
and winter figures out of clay.

 3)  We roasted marshmallows!
Daddy got this firepit for his birthday LAST year
and this was the first time we actually used it.
But we really enjoyed it!

 4) We mixed up school a little bit
and decided to measure the gifts.
They were excited to see who had the biggest present.
But as the norm, they each had one that was the "biggest".

5) We went to the "Las Posados" event at church.
This is a loose reinactment of 
when Mary & Joseph were searching for a place to stay
as she was about to deliver this precious
Savior child.

6) We also introduced an Advent wreath on 
our kitchen table
and lit it every night for dinner.
The kids LOVED this
and were thrilled that they each got to 
take turns blowing out the candle(s)
after dinner!

7) Another Christmas tradition in this house is:
Christmas cookies!

Daddy actually surprised us and came home
a couple of hours early the day we were decorating
and he jumped right in and helped us decorate!

Then the amazing dad that he is,
he decided to indulge the kids (um, birds?)
in icing straight from the bag...

8) We gave back!
Our scout group voluteered at the local food bank.
We definitely signed up to help!

Our job was to label some unlabelled cans
and restack them so they were easier to distribute...
R really got into the job!  ;)

Mr. T was exhausted from watching us work
and PASSED out!

10) We made a birthday cake for Jesus!
This was another first for us this year.

The kids helped bake the cake,
and they
decorated it!
(with the slightest help from mom)

These are just some of the highlights of our 
Advent activities this year.
I am looking forward to doing more next year!!

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