Monday, December 2, 2013

Advent Tree

I'm so excited it's finally Christmas time! It's my favorite time of year! We picked and decorated our tree the day after Thanksgiving and have been busily decking out the rest of the house in Christmas decor! Love it!

Now that our little man is getting older and understands what Christmas is all about, we've been able to start some new traditions. SO exciting! One tradition we started this year was an advent calendar. I've seen a million cute and creative ideas I like from wooden calendars with little doors, hanging fabric calendars with pockets, garlands with 25 little bags or buckets hanging down, etc. So many choices! I also noticed two completely different themes to advent calendars. Some are Scripture based that tell parts of the Christmas story each day. Others are more of a countdown to Christmas with little treats or activities each day leading up to Christmas.

We decided we liked the advent trees the best, so while we were at the Christmas tree farm, we picked up an inexpensive miniature tree. I cut down the scalloped tree skirt I made last year and made it into a mini tree skirt for the advent tree. Then, I just took heavy cardstock and cut out 25 tags for the advent activities. I numbered and decorated them with metallic markers and tied on silver strings to hang them. Easy! I lightly decorated the tree with some ribbon and a few mini ornaments from the Target dollar spot. I kept the decorations simple, though, since we'll be adding so many tags to the tree.
We decided to do the countdown to Christmas style of calendar, so each day Little Man gets to put a tag on the tree and do a special activity. The hardest part was thinking of 25 different activities to write on the back of each tag. Haha! I put our list of activities at the bottom in case you're in need of some ideas, too! :)
I love how it turned out and Little Man has had a great time adding a new tag to the tree each day! And yes, it really is only December 2nd. I added a few extra tags so you could get the picture of what it will look like. Don't panic--you still have 23 days of shopping and prep time left! Ha!

Here's the ideas that we came up with and/or found online. We tried not to put too many specifics on the tags so that we could reuse the tags each year. For example, we just put "Do a Christmas Craft" instead of naming the specific craft. That way, we can change the craft from year to year without having to make a new card.

Day 1: Decorate outside
Day 2: Welcome Elf on a Shelf
Day 3: Decorate your bedroom
Day 4: Read a Christmas book (this one is repeated a couple times because we have multiple books to read)
Day 5: Act out Christmas story (with nativity set or in person)
Day 6: Help someone
Day 7: Donut Day!
Day 8: Eat at a special restaurant
Day 9: Send Christmas cards
Day 10: Drink hot chocolate
Day 11: Read a Christmas book
Day 12: Do a Christmas craft (this one is repeated as well)
Day 13: Make a Christmas treat (I can't wait until this day! Buckeyes! YUM!)
Day 14: Bring treats to neighbors
Day 15: Family movie night
Day 16: Sing Christmas carols
Day 17: Make Christmas cookies
Day 18: Do a Christmas craft
Day 19: Read a Christmas book
Day 20: Drive around and look at Christmas lights
Day 21: Special breakfast
Day 22: Make gingerbread houses
Day 23: Family game night
Day 24: Read Christmas story
Day 25: Merry Christmas!

Our schedule may not make sense to most, but we were working around weekends and trying to get in things like treats for the neighbors early in the month in case I go into labor early. Exciting times! ;)

Happy Monday!

Linking up to Thrifty Thursday, Hi Sugarplum, and The Humble Brag Link Party!

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