"The Most Wonderful Time of the Year" has officially started! Now that I am a grandma, without my own tiny children, I don't have to worry as much about Black Friday Sales as I used to do. Although, now that everyone is opening up their stores on Thursday, it has taken the fun out of Black Friday shopping for me anyway. But, not out of Christmas! I am counting my way to that great day and having a lot of fun doing it!
While there are a few days left in November, there is still time to get your advent calendars ready for the count down to Christmas! Thinking back over the years with my own children, it seems that we always had more than one way to count the days. That was nice because having to wait 6 days until your next turn to put the ornament or whatever on the calendar could seem like an eternity, and only give a child a couple of turns at it before Christmas. Here are a few of the ideas for counting the advent that we used:
The first thing I did when I only had 2 children was make up my own pattern to create a Christmas Tree Advent calendar with pockets, much like this one on Make It Do. Mine did not come out nearly as symmetrical and perfect as this one, but our children have loved it over the years. I would show you a picture of mine, but we haven't unpacked it from the Christmas stuff yet. Make It Do has a pattern you can purchase on her site, or you could just make it up yourself like I did. If you don't think you can make one, here is a reallycute one from Oriental Trading. They usually have very quick delivery.
Tomfo.com has this really cute printable Santa Countdown that you build Santa's beard on! So cute. My kids used to make those paper chain beard Santas at school, and those are cute. But I like this one because they build the beard instead of take it away.
Then, one year I discovered the chocolate advent calendars! I would get one for each of my kids. They loved having a little piece of chocolate each morning before school! Who wouldn't? The one pictured above is from Amazon. But you can find them in the stores for about $1 a piece. This is a tradition that even my older kids don't want to give up.
A couple of years ago, my daughter-in-law made me a Christ centered advent calendar similar to this one. It is beautiful. (Once again, still not unpacked). I love it and my grandchildren were here when I first received it, and they loved it, too. It is a beautiful daily reminder of the reason for the season. I have found a couple of links to how to make it here and here at Kemley Design. There are other types of Christ centered calendars to purchase here and here.
Last year, I saw this Lego Advent Calendar in the store. I loved it because our family has always been big Lego fans. It seemed pricey though, but in my heart I really wanted it. Then, just a couple of days before Christmas, it was half price! I snapped it up. Our family put the entire thing together in one night. It was so much fun! Then, at the end of the season I carefully put everything back into their slots and I think we will try it a little more slowly this year. Ha Ha! I have seen it in stores again since then. The link above is on Amazon. They also have this one directed mainly to girls, and this Star Wars one.
Here are just a few of our Christmas story books that we love. Once, many years ago, when my children were small, I collected 24 of their Christmas books (we already owned them all) and I wrapped them in Christmas paper. Each night we would unwrap a book and read it before going to bed. It was such a nice, snugly time. Now I have seen on Facebook that this is a thing! Who knew that I could be so ahead of my time? But, really, reading with your kids is extra special over the Christmas season and it is a good teaching time because most of the books for Christmas have a moral value in them that you can discuss with your children. If you don't have time to make or purchase anything, this idea is free, the books you gather don't even have to be about Christmas, but if they are it is a bonus. Your kids will love getting to unwrap something every evening, even when it turns out to be just a book that they already love. Guessing what the book will be adds to the fun.
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (Of which I am a member) has a wonderful way to count the days to Christmas this year through service. The above link will take you to a video about the project. Here is a link to a calendar of service ideas for the entire month of December. The ideas are all based on the example that the Savior taught us. There are ideas to fit any age and each day there is a video to watch with your family. What better way is there to honor Christmas than by giving to and serving others. As I reviewed this site and these ideas I felt humbled and excited all at once to do something to help share His love and peace with a troubled world. There is no better way to feel the Christmas Spirit. I hope you will check this site out!
Counting the Days until Christmas is a great way to bring a little more joy into your home. We have so many more ways to share that joy with you. Keep checking back! Be sure to share with us the way you like to count "up" to Christmas!
Creators of Hot Cocoa Bombs! (copyrighted)
Helen Reynolds: Mother of six children , grandmother to eleven! I love to cook, craft and create things and I especially love doing that with my family, So, when my lawyer daughter, Lindsey, my artist daughter, Madalynn, and I came up with the idea of Hot Cocoa Bombs, this blog was born. Then, one more daughter, with her technical and science skills, plus creativity has joined in to round us out! Read more about us here!