When I realized how much Noah loved putting something on our “Thankful Tree” each day in the month of November, I thought he would enjoy an advent calendar even more for the month of December! Last year we read through the Jesus Storybook Bible advent reading plan with Noah and absolutely loved it. We decided to do the same again this year but to add an advent calendar as well to “help us get ready for Christmas,” as we told Noah. In all the busyness of December and the Christmas season, I wanted to make sure to take time to stop and do something special with Noah (and Kate sometimes too!) each day.
I looked at Pinterest, Etsy, and several other places for ideas for advent calendars and created my own based on what I saw. I bought a plain wooden frame from Hobby Lobby. I wrapped the frame in wrapping paper, duct taped some twine to the back of the frame, and then stapled on the red burlap. I had every intention of modge podging the wrapping paper, but my lid was stuck to my modge podge and I couldn’t get it off. Plus, I was in a hurry and didn’t want to try! (So any tips for helping with that would be appreciated!!) I bought the little envelopes at Hobby Lobby as well and cut cardstock for my little cards inside the envelopes. (I noticed I could buy envelopes with pre-cut little cards, but it was a little more money, and I already had cardstock, so I cut my own with a paper cutter.) I wanted to find number stickers for my envelopes but was unable to find exactly what I wanted. Then, I had lofty dreams of making all my numbers with my cricut and cute holiday scrapbooking paper, but I just ran out of time. The finished product was pretty close to what I imagined in my head, so that’s always a good thing! We hung it by our dining room table so it would be in plain sight and we would remember it each day.
I tried my hardest to document each day’s activities/events with photos, and while I managed to get most of them, some of them were a little harder to capture.
Here’s what we did (in addition to the Jesus Storybook Bible readings):
December 1 – Unwrap and wear Christmas pjs
December 2 – Set out the nativity and talk about all the pieces
(and of course the nativity was not complete without a helicopter)
December 3 – Lunch and a peppermint milkshake at Chick-fil-a
December 4 – Choose a new Christmas book – We didn’t get a photo of his new book, but he chose Snowflakes Fall
December 5 – Give to someone else – He chose a pair of pjs at Carter’s to donate to the Pajama Program
December 6 – Take family Christmas photos
December 7 – Discovery Center Breakfast with Santa & church small group Christmas party
December 8 – Unwrap and watch a Christmas movie
December 9 – Christmas tree hand painting
December 10 – Unwrap a Christmas book to read
(This was such a sweet book! It quickly became our favorite!)
December 11 – Christmas in the Gardens (Amarillo Botanical Garden) and LaDeeDa Music Jingle Jam
December 12 – Learn a new Christmas song – We sang Jingle Bells with jingle bells.
December 13 – Candy Cane Day – Make a candy cane out of pipe cleaners and eat a candy cane
December 14 – We actually didn’t do anything this day…Noah had a really rough (grumpy) day and no nap and so we skipped our activity
December 15 – Surprise trip to Mimi and Bop’s church for their kids Christmas musical
December 16 – Choose a new ornament for yourself and for sister – He chose Buzz Lightyear for himself and Baby’s First Christmas for his sister.
December 17 – Hot chocolate and christmas lights in pjs
December 18 – Snowman Day – Make a snowman picture and eat snowman pancakes
December 19 – Make a ginger bread train (He also got to unwrap it.) – This was our 2nd day of potty training as well, so as an extra reward for doing so great, he got to stay up late, watch Polar Express, and have hot chocolate…it kind of turned into train day!
December 20 – Make and play with red and green playdough
December 21 – Bake and decorate cookies for teachers and friends at church
December 22 – Purchase a gift for someone in need through World Vision – He chose to purchase a Bible to be given to a child or adult and art/music instruction (including supplies, instruments, and lessons) for children.
December 23 – Christmas party at the station (Mathis Oil Company – my grandparents’ business and one of Noah’s favorite places to visit!)
December 24 – Make a snowman at Mimi and Bop’s house (Inside!)
December 25 – Have a birthday party for Jesus! We made and decorated cupcakes and a cake and sang happy birthday to Jesus.
I think we all really enjoyed it all, and I’m looking forward to finding new things to do next year!