I *finally* finished up our advent calendar on December 2nd. A day late. But it was totally worth all that hard work to see it hanging up in the (otherwise undecorated) living room.
As promised, here is the list I've come up with to fill our calendar with lots of good cheer this Christmas season:
Every day: I bought a 100 piece Christmas Ravensburger puzzle and assembled it and then disassemble it in sets and put several pieces in each stocking. Each day she can add to her puzzle - and it will be complete on Christmas Eve. It's a good visual for her since she still doesn't totally understand the concept of time.
Activities: I'm not assigning days to these until I'm sure what's going on that day. Most of them are things that we would have done anyway, but it's fun for her to look forward to something.
Sleepover at Nana's
Sleepover at Nona's. (yes, she has a Nana and a Nona)
Go see the Christmas lights on the boardwalk
Christmas shopping at the dollar store (I plan to give her 10 $1 bills to buy gifts for her cousins and her brother)
Shopping for toys for tots or Angel tree
Decorate the house for Christmas
Put up the tree
Bake Christmas cookies with Gramma
Make special Christmas cards for grandparents
Paper cone Christmas tree craft
Watch TV Christmas specials (love DVR for this!)
Cousins Christmas party
Visit "Walk through Bethlehem" (live nativity)
Aunt Hannah sleepover
Christmas cookies for Sunday School teachers
Wrap Christmas gifts
That's 18 activities, which should be plenty. Sunday is a pretty full day around here, so those days will just be a piece of candy and the daily puzzle pieces. Some days just won't work for any activities and those days will be a gift:
New Christmas movie
New Christmas book
Colored pencils and a Christmas coloring book
I'm hanging on to all the activities/gifts to decide on until the night before. I planned on decorating the house as one of our first activities, but Maddie was sick this week, so I used the new Christmas movie (Elf!) and the TV Christmas specials since she wasn't up for anything else.
That's it! One thing that this calendar has really made me do is get organized for this month! When you sit down and realize how much you actually want to accomplish in one month, it becomes apparent that you must plan ahead to fit it all in! This is the first year since we've been married that I'm not working at all - (if you don't count sewing and crocheting into the wee hours), and I'm SO excited about the prospect of a whole month of uninterrupted Christmas merriment!