December 1st can sneak up on us, can't it? A late Thanksgiving can really throw me for a loop. As in, December 1st is on Tuesday. The Tuesday that is the day after tomorrow. We have always had an advent calendar around here (or maybe even two) and most years I'm on top of things but this year, not so much. So not on top of things that I bought our advent calendar last night. First time I've bought one. Ever. With a 13, almost 14 year old I didn't feel so bad since she actually asked for this one and was thrilled I said yes. So, I've already put the guilt behind me. But in the good old days gone by I would never have purchased an advent calendar. I'm imagining it's November 30th and I don't have my calendar yet. I've got the Elf on its Shelf but no Advent to be found. What's a girl to do?
Christmas Book Countdown
I'll assume that you have all of your Christmas books handy. I loved this countdown when LM was younger. Wrap 24 Christmas/Holiday/Winter books and each day have your kids unwrap one book to be read that day. If you don't have enough books, check out thrift shops or hit the library (keep track of due dates though).
Post -it Note Tree
|London Mums Magazine|
You could do this one 2 ways: Write the date and something fun to do each day on a post it (trip to the park or library, bake cookies, watch a movie, etc.) and then place 24 notes in the shape of a tree (like above). Each day your children take off the note corresponding to the date and they get to partake in the activity of the day. You could also 'build' the tree each day - your child places the post on the wall (or window as shown above) and they will slowly see the tree come to life.
A quick trip to the dollar store and you can have 24 Christmas ornaments to be placed on the tree.The last ornament could be a special one - maybe a star or manger scene.
Remember those paper chains we made in grade school? Bring them back as an Advent calendar. Like with the post-it tree you can either build it or take it apart. Write an activity or bible verse on each chain.
There's so much pressure on moms to create this perfect, magical Christmas for our families and sometimes there's just too much going on to get everything just right. But we need to remember we do our best and our kids will remember whatever we do for them whether it's picture perfect or not. If we need to cut back on the extravagant Advent calendar and staple some red and green paper together then so be it. Keep smiling and that's what will be remembered.
P.S. If you want to burn the midnight oil and do something more elaborated I've got some great ideas here.