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Monday, December 1, 2014

Advent Calendar

The Holiday Season is here and I finished our Advent Activity Calendar just in the nick of time (three minutes before midnight on the last day of November).

I procrastinated terribly this year. Partly because I'm a procrastinator and partly because it took me a long time to decide just how to display our calendar this year.  We're in a small house so I really wanted a way to have just one display for all three of my kids.

I finally found my inspiration in Pinterest. Maybe it was more of a "Pinspiration." It was very similar to mine but done with clothes pins instead of hooks.  So with my pinspiration, I set out to my dad-in-law's burn pile and found this board.

  I loved that it was weathered and rustic.  I even love the rusty old hinges so all I did was sweep it off with a hand broom.

I know clothes pins would have been easier and cheaper but I didn't want to try and match the wood of a new clothes pins with my old board so we went with hooks.  Then I quickly spray primed my letters, then a light sweep of red spray paint went on that, lastly I painted a layer of acrylic paint because it's easier to distress. A little duct tape "waxing," scratching, and sanding and the style of our letters went with our board:

  We  do an "Activity" Advent because in our small house the last thing my kids need is more "stuff," it costs less, and it's a great way to hold yourself accountable to doing all those things you wish you could with your family.

My goal this Holiday Season is to make lots and lots of great memories and teach my kids the Joy of giving.  So we have several RACKs (Random Acts of Christmas Kindness) in there too.

I made mini envelopes with my Cricut and put our activity for the day in each.  Some are super easy (Pick a Christmas movie to watch), some are spread out over several days (Gingerbread dough, bake gingerbread, assemble gingerbread houses), some are things we would be doing anyway (Make Christmas cookies).  The idea is to involve my kids in all these great traditions and make good memories.  I don't want to make memories of an overworked, stressed out mom. For this reason I also have my own master calendar so I can plan ahead with supplies and ingredients. But if I do get overwhelmed I have a backup plan to hang little boxes with treats like Lindt truffles.   

There are a lot of wonderful Christmas activity lists out there. Most of mine are borrowed from these lists so I'm not including one here.  My two pieces of advice: 1) Do what works for you and your family!  2) Check your city's calendar or Chamber of Commerce.  I'm so pleased that there are a few  things our city puts on that are low-cost and appropriate for littles.

Bonus: As our hooks empty we will fill them with any cards we receive and a few photos of all our fun!
Our board will stay festive and joyful all month long.

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