So this is what my children used to wake up to on 1 December… I am a complete sucker for all things advent… and would get a whole new advent system going every year…couldn’t bear to part with the old and had to use the new – and frankly the whole thing became quite overwhelming.
But what happens after a couple of days we forget to add on and we end up doing it in bunches closer to the day…
So to prevent this we started our own sort of advent… I found this hideous little pocketed thing for nearly nothing and we pin it up every year and do stuff… into the pockets go cards and tabs for: Spending time, chilling out and making memories…
It’s not so much about the mad smash and grab towards Christmas
Its all about having fun and spending time doing projects and achieving a few dreams along the way.
We spend the week before advent brainstorming at every meal: What would they like to do? Who would they like to see? What books should we read together? What crafts would they like to do? What outings would they like to go on? And we build up a lovely long wish list.
And into the pockets go heaps of fun ideas. Here are se7en pocket filling ideas:
- A Christmas joke everyday: … that gets turned slowly but surely into a paper chin.
- Awesome Outings: A trip to the beach, a trip up the mountain and we always go rose gathering with our flask of ice-cream! I can’t reveal too much here, I know the Hoods read this!!!
- Friends to want to see: We have so many friends that we don’t connect with during the school term as extra-murals clash, but long lazy afternoons beside the pool cry out for friends. Also, this year my kids want to host a triathlon – a few short friends will come over swim some lengths of the pool, ride their bikes round the block and run up and down the road a few times.
- New skills we want to learn: There are always things my guys want to learn but they never get done during school… they all want to learn how to do card tricks – and I can see we need to get connected with some good books on tricks and trickery next time we are at the library.
- Books we want to read: We have a stack of Christmas Stories just waiting for this event. We always read “A Winter’s Tale” by Ruth Bell Graham and our other favorite is:
- Games we want to play: My kids have challenged me to a board or card game a day from now until Christmas… so far so good!
- You Have Been Gifted: This is the favorite tag! And the gift can range from tiny – like face paint whiskers popped on cheeks, through a new recipe book to choose recipes from or a new craft book… funny little things like toys to fish out of the pool and last year they even scored a kids size gazebo – just for fun!
So what are we actually doing for advent? Here are se7en things we will be doing things for Advent:
- Well we are reading our way through One Wintry Night, as usual. Not to mention working our way through our pile of Christmas picture books and why we don’t own the Grinch I just don’t know!
- Our Chapter books are The Bullerby Children – I don’t know why but we always read through this series and Pipi Longstocking at Christmas time. Clearly Astrid Lindgren is the Christmas author of choice by the Se7en!
- We will definitley be doing a craft a day from Bella Dia, of the Crafty Crow fame, who has a brilliant craft a day alongside a Christmas story book every day – We can’t wait, the se7en are drooling over this!
- We will be making a nativity scene from pipe-cleaner people.
- I have always wanted to decorate a Jesse Tree so we will be giving it a try!
- We will be reading through this advent devotional for families and singing a Christmas Carol everyday!
- We will be glancing at this on-line advent calendar for ideas of fun things to do and try… an if all else fails in the quest for all things Christmassy then we will head for Family Fun and their Christmas Page.
Apart from this our Christmas plans are on track and the first week of December we will concentrate on getting all our cards done. Followed by week two where will get all our gifts together. In week three we will concentrate on gift wrapping and finally in the last few days till Christmas we will be baking. Yup we have a plan, so we can just relax and follow the steps… frankly it is the board game everyday that is slightly worrying me – it is indeed quite a challenge.