One of the best things about the Holidays are the traditions you can plan with your family. Yes, I said "plan" - traditions don't just happen, you have to make them happen. Blog land has been busy with Advent ideas and yes, I got overwhelmed with them all trying to figure out what to do and how to make it happen. I finally decided instead of trying to do it this year, I'll plan it for next year - get everything made and ready to go so that on Dec. 1, 2011, I can be ready to enjoy that part of the season with my boys. I think Josh will enjoy it a little more next year anyway. So what do I plan on doing with my boys? A few different things!
1) 25 days of Books. I saw this idea on several sites that all led me back to The Picky Apple
2) Christmas Countdown Lessons. I follow two different blogs that are using books to do activities for the Christmas Countdowns. First, one of my new favorite sites, Musings of Me, not only is posting her daily Advent ideas but also tons of teaching ideas too. The link will take her to her sight, not a specific post just keep scrolling down and back to see all of the ideas. I know that besides the books she uses and ideas she gives I will be picking up one of these :
Than, Oopsey Daisy, another favorite of mine is doing this:
Another I really like that incorporates Christ into our Daily countdown is from Life at Sonic Speed and is called "The Jesus Tree.
One last thought I have is packing two shoe boxes next year as a family - teaching my boys about giving back to others. My church does them but I think it would be nice for them to learn about this concept at home too.
There are a few other ideas that I've posted in my Too Cute Not To Toot posts on Tuesdays. The advent bags with an activity in it for each day along with a small treat and/or some other countdown blocks. I've already decided that next year, instead of designing Christmas "lessons" like we do the rest of the year - we will focus on our Book Advents, Elf on the Shelf, and Countdown bags/activities. That way, we can all count down to a great Christmas :-) We will incorporate making cookies, hopefully taking some to the neighbors unless we eat them all, going on Light Hunts and sending thank yous for the best displays we find. And of course, teach the reason for Christmas - Jesus Christ Himself. Musings of Me also has an activity book based on the Christmas story that I plan on using as well. We will be busy next December!!
I'm working on my Craft/Lesson plan calendar now. Deciding what crafts I need to focus on each month so that I can accomplish the ones that I want and need to do. Now that I have the basic calendar laid out, I'm going to be going through all of the saved craft ideas I have and picking out the ones I truly want to make first and go from there. I could make a craft every day all year long, I think, but obviously, that isn't possible :-)
On a separate note - I've really enjoyed decorating my porch for the seasons lately so I have a new past time - keeping it decorated. Not 100% sure what I will do Jan-March yet due to all of the snow that tends to pile up around here - I may try to pick up some white lights at those after Christmas sales again and maybe just do something with white lights this year. It sure is nice to have that welcoming entry way though! Be watching soon, there is a "show us your front door" post coming - I need to finish mine up!!
One last note for my loyal readers who make it this far in a post, (and I know there are a few of you!) My husband lost his job yesterday. We are very thankful for the second job he has held all year as he has been able to go full time doing that - it is not the permanent solution at this point, not that it couldn't be but being self-employed has pros and cons - but we know that this is God's plan; we had actually been praying specifically about his job and what better answer than to not have it? We knew that he would lose it eventually but did not expect it to happen yesterday. And yes, we were on "vacation" this week (at home though).
We hope you are enjoying the true Christmas season and making time for family!