Christmas is coming…


I LOVE Christmas, in spite of some melancholy, bittersweet memories and broken traditions it is still my favorite holiday. I don’t like when it encroaches on other holidays (mainly Halloween which runs a very close second in the favorite race) but once December arrives I am ready for Christmas FULL FORCE. I like the celebration to last as long as possible and have tried various things to extend the fun over the years.

Once we celebrated the twelve days of Christmas and the kids opened a gift 12 days in a row. They got their regular gifts on Christmas day and their traditional new pajamas on Christmas Eve but the other 10 days were shared gifts that created a way for us to do something together; cookie cutters and a recipe, a new board game, a copy of The Night Before Christmas, etc. Another year we did an advent chain and each piece of the chain had an activity written on it to do that day. To be honest, these ideas were fun but also a bit tedious and sometimes a bit forced by the time Christmas rolled around.

So, in an attempt to stave off the tediousness while still extending our holiday fun, I decided to try a new twist on our old favorites:

This holiday garland has 24 activities, just like the advent chain we’ve tried in the past. The difference is that we get to choose each day which of the activities we want to do instead of it being the luck of whatever randomly shows up.

If we’re going to be spending a lot of time running errands we can choose something that fits in well with that:

But if we’re going to be home and have plenty of time we can do something bigger:

It all fits in nicely with my laid-back planning (or planned spontaneity as I like to call it). 😉

We’ll begin December 1 and, in case you are curious, here’s a list of things we’ll be doing. Obviously some of these things will happen on specific days (holiday parties and the ballet, for example) but for the most part they are in no particular order:

  • decorate the tree
  • Christmas movie marathon (this one is actually on there twice because we LOVE Christmas movies)
  • listen to Christmas cds
  • mail Christmas cards
  • deck the halls
  • donate a toy to charity
  • coffee house cocoa
  • make s’mores
  • go to Christmas in the Park
  • read The Night Before Christmas
  • homeschool bowling party
  • make a gingerbread house
  • outdoor decorations
  • make homemade gifts
  • carriage ride
  • make custom cd on iTunes
  • go see “The Nutcracker”
  • hot cocoa party
  • make Christmas cookies
  • release wish lanterns
  • Christmas Eve at Grandma and Grandpa’s
  • homeschool holiday party
  • read How the Grinch Stole Christmas

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