Sunday, November 25, 2012

Hurry up December!

I am so excited for Christmas this year!! Last year, we spent the week before Christmas at Disney World, and although that was fun, it made Christmas feel very rushed, and I felt a little disconnected. But this year, the boys are both VERY excited and really into every element of the holiday season and I have SOOO much fun stuff planned for them!!! My mom always did a Christmas Calendar for us while we were growing up (I blogged about that last year when I made the boy's calendar) and I love that we are able to continue that tradition!! 

This will probably be the last year where I can work on the calendar while they are in the same room, because they can't read yet!! I feel like next year, when Noah starts preschool and is 5, things will be a little different! 

My mom came over tonight to help me get the calendar ready - we only left a few days blank because we are waiting to hear if a special little friend {Alyssa} is gonna get to participate on Sundays!

I scoured our local entertainment websites to find fun, cheap activities for us to do as a family and was surprised to actually find several things that were FREE and a lot that my kids would enjoy! Our biggest splurge is going to be seeing The Nutcracker on the 8th! Both grandma's are coming with me and the boys and we will make a night of it!! Our friend's daughter is in it this year as a "party girl!"

I looked for a while on Pinterest to see what other people did for their advent calendars and just in case anyone ever uses this for a reference for theirs, I thought I would include a list of what we are doing each day! (Note: last year, I mostly did small, wrapped gifts or candy, and I did several "scavenger hunts", but this year I wanted to stay away from candy as much as possible and focus on family activities!!)

1. 2nd Annual Daddy Day 
2. Monkey House {hoping to bring a friend along!}
3. Local Parade and Trail of Lights - FREE
4. Decorate a Cookie Day at the Library - FREE
5. make a christmas craft at home
6. small treat ~ gold doubloons :)
7. Shop for our Angel Tree gifts
8. The Nutcracker!! 
9. Bowling {with a friend} $5/person for 2 games + shoes on Sundays!!
10. small treat ~ fruit snacks
11. Pick out a new ornament to put on the tree + $2 each
12. small treat
13. Gama's Special Night!! I don't know what she has planned?!
14. Storytime with Santa at the Library in the morning...then Night Hike and Owl Prowl that evening at the Nature Center - Both are FREE!
15. Breakfast with Santa at the Library - FREE
16. Indoor tent and roasting marshmallows {with a friend}
17. Watch "Charlie Brown Christmas" and have popcorn {see the picture below!}
18. Make gingerbread houses at Nana and Papa's house
19. small treat
20. Polar Express: PJ's, movie, craft, and snacks at the Library! - FREE
21. Drive around to look at christmas lights and go caroling at our families homes
22. Family Christmas Party in the morning and a wedding in the evening...small treat
23. make cookies and hot cocoa for our neighbors!
24. make Santa's cookies and read the Nativity story!!!

I spent yesterday morning/afternoon getting our house decorated for Christmas. We don't put a lot of effort into decorating, but I love to make our house feel warm and sparkly! I even put some decor in the boys bathroom this year! Jamie helped me hang christmas lights in each of the boys rooms and when they walked in the house and saw the tree up they both looked so surprised and Jonah even said "My Chrismas!" Noah just couldn't get over the lights in his room!! He was thrilled!! 

I have this tiny chalkboard in my kitchen - my mother in law made it for me! I try to either do a verse or some "subway art" that pertains to the season. I had a lot of fun doing this one yesterday! It's fun and challenging to try and make different fonts with a tiny piece of chalk!!

Jamie and I have decided that this is the last year for this tree to be our "main tree." At least half of the lights didn't work this year...pretty sure they didn't work last year either! We put it in the kitchen for the first time because #1. We didn't have room in the living room unless we moved out some furniture #2. I wanted to be able to see the lights through our front window! We used a miss-match of ornaments, a lot from when Jamie was a little kid - like his Beaver and Train ornaments - and some that we have accumulated over the years - like Noah's Arks!

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