Our Christmas preparation this year was finally organized enough to have an advent calendar full of activities to do every day! It was all stuff we do every year anyway, but spaced out nicely and (mostly) planned for. Do you want to see my list? (sometimes I wish I allowed comments...) Well here it is - just scroll past if you don't want to read it:
1. Watch Alice's Adventures in Wonderland (an elementary drama production at the kids school).
2. Put up Christmas tree.
3. Go ice skating (this didn't actually work out, because I can't ice skate being 6 months pregnant, and we neglected to remember that they probably wouldn't have super giganto rental ice skates for Dave. The kids were too young to go by themselves. But we had gone to Red Square for the activity, so we still enjoyed all the lights - Moscow has great lights all over the city during the holidays, playing in some snow, and a yummy snack at Chocolodnitsa. Not a total fail).
4. Read the Tale of the Three Trees.
5. Have a picnic dinner by the Christmas tree.
6. Have hot chocolate with marshmallows.
7. Decorate gingerbread houses.
8. Read Mr. Finnegan's Giving Chest.
9. Watch White Christmas.
10. Go to Ward Christmas Breakfast (we had to skip this one too, due to "possible political demonstrations", a working Daddy, and a sick mama, so we made muffins, and had hot chocolate instead).
11. Deliver Holiday gifts to friends and neighbors.
12. Invite friends over to play games.
13. Have hot chocolate with homemade bread toast.
14. Read Christmas Day in the Morning.
15. Make treats to share with friends at school.
16. Watch Muppet Christmas Carol.
17. Go sledding (you would think by the 17th of December in Moscow, we would have enough snow to go sledding. All we had this year was mush, so we went out to breakfast for this one instead. We have had a really warm winter so far!).
18. Deliver toys to someone in need.
19. Watch How the Grinch Stole Christmas.
20. Make cookies to donate to someone (the idea was for them to go to some people at Dave's work).
21. Have hot chocolate floats.
22. Open family Christmas presents.
23. Go to Spain!
24. Read the true story of Christmas and act out the Nativity. Go looking for Christmas lights.
It was a lot of fun, and it's nice to have some of these things down on paper, so the kids can start recognizing them as family traditions (for example, we have a TON of Christmas books, and we are not lacking in Christmas movies, but there are a few I want to make sure are family traditions, so I included them in the advent).
HOWEVER, I felt like the advent could definitely have been a little more Christ centered, or at least more service oriented. This is something I will have to think a little more about. A couple of years ago, we did one that had a scripture and a little activity to go along with it every day. Maybe we can find a way to incorporate that next year, but still keep it simple.
Because above everything else, it's the simplicity that I love!
Hope you had a great December!