Monday, December 10, 2012

3, 2, 1.......CHRISTMAS!!!

I remember being excited beyond belief that Christmas was coming. So excited that every waking thought was consumed with the fantasy of opening presents on Christmas morning. Sadly, though, I was a sneaker and a peeker. Being the youngest of four, the belief in the magic of Santa and the North Pole didn't stick around too long before I caught onto older brother and sister talking about where everything might be hidden. So we looked, dug, and scoured until we found the "magic" of Christmas, which happened to be in a Toys R Us bag at the back of Mom's closet. I look back and wonder, "Didn't Mom and Dad ever think it was strange that they never got the right reaction?" I mean, the fake surprised looks or lack of surprise on all four of our faces must've given something away.

I'm trying to create some Christmas magic of my own now that I'm all grown up (boo!) with kids who are just as consumed with the thought Christmas morning, slightly out of their reach. There are two things I'm big on at Christmas all year long: Memory making and kindness. I want to give my kids rich, meaningful memories that will carry them through life. And I want to impress upon them the utmost important of kindness to every human being.

One way I combine kindness and family at Christmas is through our advent calendar. Every year it has evolved a little bit more, and next year it will probably change a little bit again. I have been inspired in the past by the blog Lil Light O' Mine which encourages a campaign of random acts of Christmas kindness during the holiday season called Light 'Em Up. Using this blog as a basis for my inspiration, last year I created an advent calendar with a different random act of kindness activity each day. This year I have decided to change it up a little bit and integrate my desire to intentionally create Christmas memories within our family. So this year I have divided our advent activities, with half being random acts of kindness and half being family activities. For our family, it's best for us to find a balance in everything we do, which creates peace and also those pleasant memories I'm after for my kids.

This year I made a new calendar to use. Starting with some (free!) book pockets that my daughter's teacher gave me when she was going through one of her storage closets, I spray painted them with Krylon chalkboard paint. Krylon 227037 Low Odor Clear Finish Aerosol Spray-Gloss-11 Ounces (Google Affiliate Ad)



I only sprayed the front of the pockets. The backs have a backing that you can peel off and use to stick them onto something. I wanted to leave the peeling on in case I decided to use them for something different in the future. After they were dry, I hot glued them onto some black and white baker's twine.

Next I took an old window frame and turned it into the backdrop for my advent calendar. You can get one from my Etsy (click here) shop and use it for something else when it's not being used as an advent calendar. (More on these in another upcoming post.)



Finally, I created some "tags" to fit inside of our advent pockets. I printed some labels that either listed a family activity or "Random Act of Christmas Kindness" on them. Of course, these needed some baker's twine, too. Red, this time.







Hopefully no "sneakers" or "peekers" will be looking ahead to see what's coming ahead in our advent calendar...


The magic of Santa and the North Pole, along with sweet baby Jesus is strong at our house. Don't you go looking in the back of my closet for any Toys R Us bags!
Happy Ho Ho Ho to you!
XOXO,
Abby

P.S.
Here's a list of what's in our calendar:
(12) cards read: Random Act of Christmas Kindness
Make Christmas Cookies
Drive Around After Dark (And Look at Christmas Lights)
Outdoor Fire with S'mores
Decorate a Gingerbread House
Hot Chocolate Bar (With All the Fixings)
Make Christmas Ornaments
Nights of Lights (at Lake Lanier)
Christmas Movies (with Popcorn and Sodas)
Find the Pickle on the Tree
Call a Friend (Invite them to a Holiday Themed Sleepover)
Email from Santa is Waiting for You
Surprise! You'll have to wait and see until we get there!

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