Growing up my mom made us ‘pocket’s for Christmas. That’s what we grew up calling them. It was, of course, an advent calendar. Every day we would wake up in the morning and run to see what was waiting for us! It is such a wonderful memory for me (she even has done it since we moved out and are married! well, Christmas Eve any way since the other days we aren’t home anymore). My mom is super funny so she would do fun things like treasure hunts with rhyming clues! The first day was always a treasure hunt as was Christmas morning when we would hunt for our stockings and then normally one more in there somewhere too. They were always something to do or a little gift like decorating the tree, setting up the manger, a new ornament, a Christmas book, etc…
I wasn’t sure we were ready for it this year but I was pinning little Christmas crafts to do and thought, you know I think we could do it this year. It will be a practice year for us as Capri gets used to it and I work my way up to it. I didn’t have time to whip up an advent calendar of our own, so my mom graciously let us borrow theirs! I know Jeremy doesn’t think it’s a beautiful work of art to look at but I love it! I love how it’s exactly as it was when I was little and that my mom made it and you know, Capri loves it too! Maybe next year I’ll decide what I want ours to look like and make it on time.
It took a little planning but I spent an afternoon mapping out what I wanted to do for every day. I created a pinterest board that you can check out here. It’s flexible. I’ve already moved around a couple of the days to work with our lives. Some days we are going to do things like go to Starbucks, other days we are making crafts – some art some in the kitchen, and then other days there are little gifts. Some are ‘gifts’ that we will get every year. For example, I’m wrapping up our Christmas books to open on different days, etc…well, you’ll see! It’s been super fun so far! Here are some pictures of this week:
Day 1 – The Jesus Storybook Bible. Along with our daily activity/gift we are also doing an advent reading. I found this plan that uses the Jesus Storybook Bible so I bought it and gave it to her the first day. What a great children’s Bible! I cry almost every day when I read it to her!
Day 2 – felt Christmas tree. I saw this idea on pinterest and loved it! I bought half a yard of felt for the tree but I wish I had gotten more. The fabric was 72 inches long but that doesn’t make it any wider! So it’s as tall as I imagined but not as wide. I bought a few pieces of felt and used my Christmas cookie cutters to trace and cut out shapes. Some of the felt is sparkly! She loves this and we play with it a lot!
Day 3 – Manger Scene made of toilet paper rolls. I used this print out for the coloring pages. What a great craft! And she can play with it all she wants and if she ‘breaks’ it no big deal…we’ll just make another one next year! The sheep are her favorite!
Day 4 – Bunnyfur’s Christmas Paper Doll. We love Bunnyfur! We have the free Easter activity book on my phone and we just purchased the Christmas one. She is probably a little young for paper dolls but it’s free so we can print out another one next year! She is actually quite careful with it. Her bff Harper was over that day too so she got her own set and they played with them together! Jenny has a pattern to make Bunnyfur…I might have to do it some day!
Day 5 – Decorate a Christmas wreath. I printed this out and then I decided to cut it out of my leftover Christmas tree felt. I got these sparkly red and green pom poms for 50% off at Hobby Lobby. So I gave it to her and she immediately started playing with it as you can see below. We tried to glue the pom poms on but of course it’s hard for a 22 month old not to touch something after it’s been glued…and even little pats would move them, so I put the wreath up and got out the ice cube trays and she spent a. long. time. organizing. Then after she went to bed I put away the Elmer’s Glue and got out my trusty old fabric glue and I glued the pom poms on the wreath! It now hangs proudly on our fridge.
Day 6 – Christmas Book. This is a book we received last year, but I wrapped it up in Christmas paper and she got to open it (we are practicing for opening presents on the big day!). I wanted to make sure she opened this one this weeks so we could start practicing some of our ‘Christmas’ words. “Snowman” is her favorite.
Day 7 – Blanket and Hot Chocolate. We had this blanket and mug from last year too. I just wrapped it up in a Christmas Bag and gave her a little packet of Swiss Miss to go with it. She really loves both of them – the mug because it’s a snowman which she is very into and she took a nap with her blanket!