Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Anticipating Advent.

Chaos is starting to set in--I thought we had another week between this week and Thanksgiving. NO! Thanksgiving is in 9 days! In 9 days my mother-in-law arrives. I'm excited, but WE'RE NOT READY! And once she gets here, a whirlwind begins... my sister-in-law's wedding, D and I's 9th anniversary, Dois' 2nd birthday.... Then follows the usual hustle and bustle of the holiday season.

I absolutely love Christmas. With families so far away from us, spending some Christmases away from home and some at home, I wanted to make some traditions for Bebe (and now Dois) that we could carry on no matter where we will be. Four years ago I struck gold:

The Twenty-Four Days of Christmas!

I am seeing it on other blogs, but I didn't know much about blogs then. I came up with this all on my own. What I did was created a giant calendar on poster board. Some days had activities already filled in (for example, if we were attending a party or a Christmas concert). Then I had a bag full of papers with activities on them in a bag. Bebe would pick one on any day when it was blank, and we would do that activity. At the end of the day I would write the date on the slip of paper, take a pic of it, and Photoshop it on to a pic of what we did that day.

Here was our first ever 24 days of Christmas activity, back in 2008:

I try to find a balance between fun Christmas (the Santa-and-Reindeer side of it) activities, charitable activities, and the religious aspect of Christmas.

This year I'm taking a SLIGHTLY different approach. With 2 kids to juggle last year, I struggled to keep up. Bebe would choose, "Bake Christmas cookies" and I would come home that night and realize that we didn't have the ingredients to do so. What a bummer. Knowing things will be a bit chaotic with my mother-in-law staying with us, I decided my best approach would be to pre-plan every single day of the 24 days, and have the activities be a surprise to Bebe and Dois.

I can't wait. I really, really love Christmas. I just love this time of the year.

This year I am also hoping to institute a new tradition at home: having an Advent wreath to light during dinner every day.

How do you celebrate Advent? How do you prepare for Christmas in your home?

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