Thursday, December 3, 2015

Christmas Countdown (Advent Calendar) 2.0

Remember my frugal Christmas countdown from last year? It was fun, right? We thought so. We plan to do it again this year.  In case you're new around here, let's recap:

What's the Christmas Countdown?
I wanted to have 1 activity a day December 1-24 that emphasized being together and having fun as a family and de-emphasized the "gimmes" (giving to and serving others). The activities also had to be age appropriate for a toddler, and not focus on food, since we have multiple food allergies and are on a pretty strict diet. Oh, and of course I threw in a few activities just for Mom and Dad.

My holiday season mantra: focus on the give, not the get.

Putting it all Together
This year, I had a little more time on my hands and decided to put together a nicer clip set. I actually printed out the numbers on cardstock, cut the numbers out into squares and mounted them on scrapbook paper. I got a little crafty and used Washi tape to spice up the plain green ones. Overall, I'm pleased with the effect.

New this year: I hot glued the numbers to the clothespins. Last year, I just used double-sided scrapbook sticker squares and we had issues with the numbers coming off the clips. So, I couldn't re-use some of the clips this year and just decided to start over.

We're in a new apartment this year and don't have a fireplace or mantle... where to hang the countdown... hmmm.... solution: I used the burlap twine I'd hung up for my birthday banner.  Worked great!

Last year, I removed the tag each day and put it in a box on the mantel. After a while, I noticed the clothesline looked pretty lopsided (as is the nature of a countdown). That may not bug some of you out there, but I love having some symmetry in my life, so I decided to do things a little differently this year.

New this year, I'll be removing the entire clip each day, turning it around (so you can't see the number) and reattaching the clip without the activity tag. Then, I plan to use that day's clip to display a Christmas card we received in the mail. Solves the symmetry issue, as well as my Christmas card display dilemma. (If those are my only problems, I can count myself blessed, right?)

Mommy's big helper!

Activity Tags
I used 12 recycled Christmas cards (the pretty half with the artwork) and wrote an activity on the back. For the other 12 tags, I used mostly green cardstock and printed the activity onto the back, or used small green envelopes to hold tickets, etc. (like, for date night).

What activities are we doing this year? Glad you asked. All the family and kid activities are age appropriate for toddlers (2-3 year olds), but could probably be adapted for slightly younger or older children depending on their development or interests. You'll notice a few repeats from last year, but there will be quite a few new activities this year as Ry's interests and abilities have changed and grown.

Here's a sneak preview:
  • Find and Fill Nativity Set Activity
  • Painted Paper Plate Wreath Craft
  • Christmas Signing Time DVD
  • Decorate a Cardboard "Gingerbread" House
  • Magnetic Gift Box/Bow Activity
  • Story Time (Christmas Storybook)
  • Wrap Presents
  • Project Date Night: December Edition
  • Package Treats and Deliver to the Neighbors
  • Church Christmas Dinner and Gift Exchange
  • Christmas Eve Service
  • T-shirt Tradition
  • Caroling at the Senior Center
  • Assorted snow related activities... planning for flexibility this year! LET IT SNOW!
  • And MORE....

We're already a few days into the countdown and again, I'm sorry I'm getting this to you too late for you to do the full 24 days, but I hope this post inspires you to spend some quality time with your family this month as we anticipate the celebration of our Lord's birth.

Coming Next!
At the end of each 7 day period, I'll post a recap of what activities we did and how it went. Stay tuned for silliness, nostalgia and poor photography... it'll be awesome!

"See" you soon.

1 comment:

  1. I had been wondering if you were going to do this again; I can't wait to see how everything turns out. BTW, Ry looks SOOOOO much like you in that pic. So cute!


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