This year, I am doing a Christmas Countdown with Sam and Campbell (mostly Sam). Last year I made this lovely advent calendar (inspiration here) where you take off one ornament each day to hang on the Christmas Tree. My friend Betty, another mom that lived in our neighborhood, gave me the idea of doing an activity advent calendar, so I decided to incorporate that into the ornament calendar this year. Since first hearing this idea, I have actually seen it mentioned in a few blog posts (here and here) and know several other moms that are doing something similar.
So far it is going great. Each morning Sam is so excited to take down an ornament and flip over the card to see what activity we have planned for the day. I have been snapping a pic or two for each event so that I can share it on the blog. As you will see, not all of the ideas are all that exciting while others are more special. Most of the activities are things I would want to do anyway, but this helps me stay organized and get to everything I want to do before Christmas. Plus, the format makes it really exciting for Sam (and for Campbell someday too!). Here are the first 6 activities. Stay tuned for parts 2, 3, and 4 for the rest of our Christmas Calendar activities.
Day 1: Go see Santa
This was not the activity I had originally planned for today but it worked out really well because Campbell got a high fever the night before and we were all pretty tired. But our neighborhood community center was having a little party with Santa so Sam and I just walked over. Sam told me he did NOT want to sit on his lap, but did agree to sit next to him for this picture. Seeing Santa will definitely be another calendar activity because I want to be sure to get a pic of Sam and Campbell with Santa to put in our red frame collection!
Day 2: Get a Christmas Tree
We had a lot of fun picking out a tree this year. We usually head to Meadows Farms to pick our tree. They have a good selection and serve hot cocoa while you shop. (This is what I mean that these activities are things we would do anyway!)
Day 3: Decorate the tree
I put the lights on the tree myself the night before (using this cool method) and then Sam helped me hang up all the ornaments. He was surprisingly helpful and with a little instruction he was able to hang ornaments by himself. We made sure to put the fragile ornaments high up, out of Campbell’s reach, and left some little soft ornaments down low for Campbell to play with!
Day 4: Buy a new ornament
I started this tradition with Sam last year, and next year I will include Campbell too. I took the kids to World Market and let Sam pick out one ornament. They have so many ornaments it is a little overwhelming, so I had Sam pick out about 10 that he liked and then he picked his favorite from those. Of course, no one will be surprised that he picked the truck!
Day 5: Make salt dough ornaments
We got a little salt dough ornament kit in a neighborhood craft swap (something I probably should have blogged about before!). I am not sure if I didn’t follow the directions or if something was measured wrong in the mix but when I added the water, it was not at all the right consistency. I added more flour and salt to get it to the right consistency but they didn’t really come out the way I expected. Oh well, the important thing is that we had fun! (Actually, Sam found the creating of the ornaments a little frustrating I think, but really liked painting them.)
Day 6: Read a Christmas book
This was the perfect activity for today because Sam had school all morning and then we met my dad for dinner right after his nap, so there was a pretty limited window for our activity. This was by far the least exciting activity I’d planned at this point, so I was a little nervous Sam would be disappointed but he loved it and even wanted to read the book twice. I tried reading the book with Campbell too but she kept trying to rip the pages and then started fussing for me to let her down. Ha! Next year.