I suppose that title is a little misleading — this isn’t so much about my crafting (which I’m hoping will be primarily around woolen accessories — you know, mitts, socks, hats and the like) and instead focuses on one particular craft project which I am amazed that I appear to have (ehr… mostly) put together in time for December.
Years ago, long before The Boy and I even really seriously considered spawning, I had seen examples of advent calendars that consisted, rather than candy or a small toy, of daily activities that a family could do together. I fell in love with the idea, and last year went so far* as to buy a kit of colourful numbers and envelopes, in order to provide Starfish with her first calendar this winter. Of course, timing is everything, and it was a bit of a challenge to come up with 24 days worth of activities that…
- A two year old can actually do, and get excited about
- Fit into the timeline of parents that are working full-time, at least for the first couple weeks
- Apparently don’t include a visit to the library’s Christmas-themed model train exhibit because they don’t have one this year?! Come on library — FAIL
- Do not entirely rotate around the making or eating of foodstuffs (this was particularly difficult for me)
- Are flexible enough to accommodate an impending interruption of anything I might have scheduled.
* This year I may or may not have, in a fit of zealous, advent calendar love, have bought a pattern for an advent calendar quilt. If anyone thinks I’ll actually be able to piece that thing together in time for next December, I appreciate your faith in me.
Anyhow, I did my best for activity planning, and as always the Internets was a great source for ideas. My drawing skills are, as usual, not fantastic, but I think I managed to capture the main idea; enough to have a conversation with Starfish about what the day’s activity is anyway. After a few iterations of scribbling, and trying to balance “weekend” activities vs. “weeknight” ones, I came up with the following…
- Decorate the tree
- Make cards for grandparents
- [Saturday] Family time with popcorn in PJs!
- [Sunday] Skating at a local rink (her first skate!)
- Peanut butter + seed pinecone bird feeders
- Gingerbread hunt!
- Make felt reindeer window decorations
- Make wrapping paper (stamps on kraft paper)
- Drive to see fancy Christmas lights
- [Saturday] Make cookies
- [Sunday] Sledding + possibly holiday concert (depending on nap)
- Hang up cards received on garland
- Snowman pancakes for dinner (I mean, with other stuff too…)
- Choose a toy to donate to a less fortunate child
- Make card for daycare provider
- Either skating (depending on how the first time went) or visit with Santa
- Make a snowman
- [Saturday] Family nature walk
- [Sunday] Decorate gingerbread house (-shaped) cookies
- Ovaltine and cookies for snack
- [Solstice] Monkey bread for breakfast! Outdoor time later
- Make stollen
- Skating / sledding / snow angels
- Family time with popcorn in PJs
All in all, I think I did a reasonable job of balancing “do” activities with “bake and eat stuff” type ones, though ultimately I guess Starfish will let us know what exactly she thinks of all this. Here’s to hoping she likes it! I was telling The Boy that I’m actually really excited for when I think she’ll be old enough to appreciate the Elf on a Shelf. Not so much the creepy “Agent Of Santa Spying” aspect, but just trying looking for him every morning and the silliness of it.
…I’m a little worried she will totally not be into it. Still, we’ll see.
What about you? Do you guys have Advent traditions (for young or older folks!) that you look forward to every December?