Monday, December 6, 2010
I've mentioned before that I'm trying to scale back Christmas around here this year. Both the busyness of the season and the amount of stuff that is involved. Overall, it's not going super well but I have had a few small victories here and there. One of these is the advent calendar. We have one that has pockets and in the past years I have filled the pockets with stickers, candy and little toys. Well, this is a pain for a few reasons. I don't really want the kids to have candy every morning, they are old enough now that stickers aren't very exciting and because I hate junky little toys, it was getting expensive to fill the pockets with quality things that wouldn't feel wasteful.
This year I first decided to not use the calendar with pockets but just buy a cheap cardboard one that had pictures on everyday. What I didn't realize is that that is the most boring advent calendar in the world. After 2 days the kids stopped asking to even open it in the morning. So I scrambled a bit and while reading this Stop, Drop and Blog I got the idea for an activity-a-day advent calendar, and proceeded to stuff the pockets with little homemade cards saying what Christmas things we were doing that day. It required a bit of forethought but I made it so the day we were getting the tree, the activity was "getting the tree" and on days that I know will be busy with school stuff, it's something simple like "have hot chocolate after school". Today our activity was "make Christmas pictures". The first day we did it, the kids asked for candy but ever since then they have been super excited to get up and see what our Christmas activity is for the day. I'm not sure this counts as simplifying because it was more work to set up but honestly all of these activities are things we would be doing anyway.