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Tuesday, December 6

The Magic of Advent & a Giveaway (First Day of Christmas)

On the first day of Christmas....


Our Cozy Den gave us the gift of a Magical Advent Season - including a free advent calendar!!

Our children love using the homemade elf calendar I made a few years ago nearly as much, if not more, than Christmas Day itself.  
But you don't have to get fancy with the needle and thread.....here's an easy way to bring the advent season into your home!
The activities that we do are a mixture of several different kinds of things: crafts, outings, giving back, & traditions. Here is how you can incorporate these things to create an Advent calendar of your own!
  1. Print off your Advent calendar.
  2. Do some research.
    • For many of the activities below, no research is needed. But for things in your local area, you’ll need to browse around the internet a while to find some fun places to go!
  3. Put your activities into something fun for the kids!
    • It doesn’t have to be fancy. It can be as simple as cards pinned on a string, a paper chain, a 24-ct muffin pan with paper covering the holes, etc. There are an infinite number of ways to do this, so you can make it as crafty (or not) as your ability/time allows!
I try to mix it up so we are doing a little of everything, and it’s all spread out pretty evenly. Take a look at some of the categories below, and start filling out the calendar that you printed in step 1.

Traditions
  • Put up the tree & decorate the house (this is always day 1 for us)
  • Build & decorate gingerbread houses
  • Get new ornaments and add them to the tree
  • Tell the Nativity Story (we get out our Little People Nativity Set and reenact it!)
  • Make & decorate Christmas cookies
  • Christmas caroling
  • Get a new Christmas movie
  • Christmas tree pancakes (with sprinkles!)
  • Christmas Eve scavenger hunt — when we get home from church on Christmas Eve, the kids have a set of clues to follow that leads them to a family gift. It’s always a game, movie, or toy that we will all share. That’s the only gift that gets opened on Christmas Eve.
Giving Back
  • Take toys to the Toys for Tots drive
  • Fill shoeboxes for Operation Christmas Child
  • Take Christmas cookies to the neighbors
  • Take goodies to local fire stations/police stations
  • Random Acts of Kindness day — this one is my favorite day of Advent. We also do it randomly throughout the year.
Crafts & Games
  • Mistletoes
  • Handprint Santas
  • Rudolph paper bag puppets
  • Jingle Bell bracelets
  • Paper plate wreaths
  • Christmas BINGO
  • Gingerbread dice game
  • Salt dough ornaments
  • Pipe cleaner candy canes
  • Cotton ball snowmen
  • Christmas tree crafts
Outings
  • Homeschool co-op Christmas party
  • Work Christmas party
  • Live nativity at a church
  • Christmas lights at the zoo
  • Craft & story time at the book store
  • Christmas events at the library
  • Ride the North Pole Express train
  • Christmas party at the Children’s Museum
  • Drive around and look at lights
  • Christmas party at the art museum
  • See the Nutcracker Ballet
  • Christmas festivals
  • Christmas markets
  • Christmas activities with the local Parks Department
  • Add your own!  (Chances are, your family already has some traditions that you do every year. Put those in the calendar so it’s a surprise when the time comes to do it!)
See original post here.

This is part of the Twelve Days of Christmas giveaway extravangza!  Be sure to visit the landing page and enter all of the giveaways!

Today's winner will receive a copy of Jesus 365, from Zondervan.
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