Tuesday, December 18, 2012

What's Inside the Advent Boxes?

Last week, I shared the advent calendar I made out of a ladder.
The kids are enjoying opening a box each day.
As I mentioned, I didn't want to make an advent calendar that was filled with presents.   Instead, Jason shared with me a tradition that his mom did when he was a kid.  She made an advent calendar with a decoration each day that he would hang on an advent tree.
Remember the jewelry I bought at Hub's Place?  I talked about it in my thrift store haul video. 
I turned the vintage jewelry into miniature ornaments simply by attaching a ribbon to each one. 
We bought a little potted tree for $9 that we will plant.  It's the least we can do, since we cut two down every year.
Each day, the kids take turns hanging a vintage jewelry ornament on our little tree.
I love how simple it looks.
In addition to the ornaments, each day there is an activity in one of the advent boxes.  I sat down one night with my calendar in hand and wrote out all of the activities to make sure they didn't conflict with our over-scheduled lifestyle. 
So, for example, I wouldn't schedule a "movie night" on an evening Imani has a basketball game or Christmas concert.  I jotted all of the activities in my personal planner so I could look ahead and plan whatever I needed around the activities.
I didn't get too fancy in making the activities.  I just wrote them quickly on little slips of paper and tucked them into the boxes.  It's fun to see how excited Imani gets each day to see what the activity will be.  Noah gets a kick out of hanging the ornaments.
Here is this year's list of advent activites:

1. Quinn (Elf on the shelf) returns. Can you find him?
2. Get Christmas tree #1 and decorate it
3. Make a Christmas Craft
4. Have hot cocoa before bed
5.  Watch "Rudolf the Red Nose Reindeer."
6. Set up the Christmas Village in the sitting room
7.  Watch "The Santa Claus"
8.  Run the "It's a Wonderful Run" 5k with jingle bells on your sneakers.
9. Visit the tree farm for tree #2 and decorate it.
10. Leave a note in someone's mailbox telling them how much you love their Christmas lights
11.Make room for Santa! Find some toys to donate to the Salvation Army.
12.  Read "The Polar Express" before bed
13.  Make a treat for the Christmas party
14. Tonight's the night: The Christmas party!!  Hang the glitter ornaments in the bay window with pretty ribbon.
15.   Go to "Hand of Man" to get your yearly ornament.
16. Movie Night!!!  Watch "Elf"
17. Set the table with candles and have a fancy dinner.  Play Christmas music during dinner.
18. Write a letter to a friend or family member you won't see at Christmas.
19. Read the Christmas story in Luke Chapter 2.
20. Drive around and see the Christmas lights. Sing Christmas songs!
21. Start your day off right! Have a piece of chocolate after breakfast!
22. Random Act of Kindness Day! Do something nice for a complete stranger.
23. Movie night!
24. Charitable Giving - visit Heifer International


  1. Stephenie,
    Your living tree is beautiful. We share that tradition. The advent calendar is sweeter than the one's filled with chocolate and one I will be incorporating into our next Christmas!
    Your Friend,

  2. Hi Stephanie:
    I love the Santa print your husband made for Deborah from the Fairfield House. Would he be willing to create one for me, and I am more than willing to pay him for his artistic time and materials.
    best to you and yours this year!

  3. What a great idea and beautiful tradition--thank you for sharing!

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