Thursday, December 2, 2010
Advent started yesterday and Madeline and Owen woke up to find the NEW advent calendar hanging in the kitchen. They were very excited. I was just happy it was done. I decided to make one this year and my genius idea was to make 24 stockings from felt. They are small, the size of baby socks. Not bad you think? Well I don't know how to use my sewing machine. Needless to say it was a learning experience. Jon did half of the sewing since he knows how to sew better than I do (which isn't saying much) and we got it done and hung up on time!
Once they were all sewn I pinned them to a length of ribbon and we pinned the ribbon WAY up high on the wall. I don't want the kids pulling them down and getting stuck with pins. As we empty each stocking I put it in a basket to be kept on the counter.
Each day we start by counting the stockings in the basket (the number of advent days so far) and then we count the number of stockings left (days until Christmas). Then we(I) un-pin a stocking and emtpy it out. Each stocking has a candy treat for Madeline and Owen and a paper with an activity for the day. Yesterday we made our own advent wreaths using green construction paper handprints and paper plates. They came out super cute and I will post pictures when I find my camera (I am sure it is in the house somewhere...) We "lit" one candle and will take it down and "light" a new candle each week.
Today we made Christmas cards with handprint Santa faces on them. The kids had a great time letting me paint their hands and then making thumbprint eyes. Once they are dry we will decorate the inside of the card.
I am trying to find a balance between the real reason for Christmas the santa themed activities. Last year I was happy with the outcome of our advent activities and I am hopeful that this year will turn out the same way. I planned the activities in each stocking around is happening on our calendar. I made sure to plan easier crafts for days when Madeline has school since we have less time on those days or days that I am working. I cannot remember what we are doing tomorrow (I will be as surprised as the kids in the morning). Saturday we are getting our Christmas tree and Sunday we are having breakfast with Santa and decorating our tree.
We did a similar advent activity last year and Madeline and Owen looked forward to each morning (and not just because of the candy!) After the success I plan to make it a yearly tradition.