Thursday, December 6, 2012

Our new advent calendar

This new advent calendar was created by putting together ideas from two different sources. The looks of it, made from a mini muffin pan, came from Family Fun Magazine (of course!:). It is sooo cute; we just love it! 

For the circles, I used leftover Christmas wrap from last year. Then I glued them onto magnetic sheets. The circle magnets that cover the holes are approximately 2-1/2 inches in diameter, but you might want to measure your tin to see if this measurement works. You want to cover the holes completely, but you don't want a lot of overlap between all of the circles. I stamped numbers onto the smaller circles made from scrap booking paper. They measure about an inch in diameter. 

Here's a look at this fun project....

The directions say to fill each hole with a trinket, candy or fun thing to do. While I like those ideas, I also wanted things that were meaningful....meaning that I didn't want to fill it up mostly with candy and trinkets!

I started thinking about the Christmas traditions that we like to do and wondered if those could be put into this calendar. Then, Money Saving Mom  shared with her readers a sale on a DVD and pdf book. For only $10 including shipping, I bought the Why Do We Call it Christmas? dvd and the book, Everyday Emmanuel from this website. 

The book is mostly comprised of ideas on how to celebrate advent by focusing on the real meaning of Christmas and making precious family memories. Using some of their ideas, I listed 24 things that I wanted to do with my family this season. Some only take a few minutes during the day, while a few are fun outings and projects to do together. The girls will still get a treat here and there with the piece of paper that says what we'll do, but it isn't the focus. I like that they look forward to each day's event, but they're not getting too hyper with that upcoming party or event. It's always a "last minute" surprise and it's great!:)

Here are the things we have already begun or will do. If you know our girls and see them regularly, please don't tell them! Shhhhh......

1. Christmas party put on by our foster care agency
2. What God Wants for Christmas, part 1 (an interactive nativity by Family Life Publishing)
3. Buy the girls their Christmas ornament for the year
4. Give mailman a holiday treat
5. What God Wants for Christmas, part 2
6. See the Christmas lights in our community
7. Go to Journey to Bethlehem (an event put on by the church that hosts our M.O.P.S. group)
8. Make gifts for school teacher, nursery workers and MOPS teachers with girls
9. What God Wants for Christmas, part 3
10. Finish making presents and wrap gifts while listening to Christmas music
11. Watch new Christmas movie, Why Do We Call it Christmas?
12. What God Wants for Christmas, part 4
13. Dad and Alyzza have a coin club Christmas party/I will help Little S buy presents for family
14. Play Christmas game/Uno
15. Build paper nativity set and/or decorate church reception hall for party on Sunday
16. What God Wants for Christmas #'s 5 and 6
17. Alyzza's Christmas program at school
18. Put on a Christmas puppet show
19. Make treats for neighbors
20. Christmas caroling and give treats to neighbors and possibly shut-ins
21. Our Christmas (we are going to TN in a few days....)
22. Drink yummy peppermint hot chocolate
23. What God Wants for Christmas, #7
24. Special activity to do on the plane trip to TN (probably a busy bag or activity book)

Other ideas can include....playing together in the snow (we just haven't had any in a while, but probably will put it in and take something out of my list), make snow ice cream, read a Christmas book, etc. We have begun reading Christmas books when we do our reading time, since we have so many to choose from, and it's fun to read them all during this time of year.

So, there you have it! A fun new way to do an advent calendar while keeping it meaningful, inexpensive and full of family fun!

More to come on some of the projects and recipes we will be doing as part of this calendar's events....stay tuned....

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