Have no fear, though. We're having a blast enjoying the Christmas season our own way; that is the nerdy, thrifty, and crafty way.
While at my in-laws house over the Thanksgiving holiday, where I get to see my kids only when they need to sleep, I had enough time alone to actually plan my life a few weeks in advance, as opposed to the minute-by-minute survival mode we run on most of the time.
I browsed a few community calendars, made a few notes and voilà our Christmas Activity Countdown Calendar for 2012 was written.
When we got home, I designed a quick print, hubby nailed 3 rows of string into the wall, then we printed all the envelopes and filled them with the daily activities.
Here is what our Christmas Activity Countdown Calendar looks like on the wall.
Since my kids are ages 3 and 5, we focus on age-appropriate activities and use pictures in the descriptions so they can "read" what we're doing. They can't wait for Daddy to get home every day so we can go to the calendar wall as a family to open the day's envelope and find out what's in store for us.
I alternate between food crafts, paper crafts, outings/experiences, and Christmas movie nights, which are usually on Mondays to give Mommy a much needed break from our action-packed weekends.
As they open the envelopes, we hang the activity card back on the wall to remember the fun things we've done together.
Here a re a few photos of the things we've enjoyed the first 11 days. (Inspiration credits at the end of the post)
Day 1 - Youth Chorus Concert
Day 2 - My Niece's Birthday
Day 3 - Movie Night (VeggieTales St. Nicholas)
Day 4 - Christmas Tree Craft
Day 5 - Handprint Tree Canvas painting
Day 6 - Christmas Card Making
Day 7 - Christmas Play
Day 8 - Christmas Parade
Day 9 - Orchestra Concert - They had fake snow indoors. That is how we roll in FL. Don't hate.
Day 10 -Movie Night (VeggieTales - It's a Meaningful Life)
Day 11 - Brownie Santa Hats (she HAD to have a goldfish on top)
Setting it up was time-consuming, but's it's been completely worth it!
To keep things organized for myself, since the envelopes are sealed and I want to make sure I have the right supplies for the activity on hand, I typed everything out on our iCal. I sent a link to the calendar to my parents and sisters so they know they are welcome to join us whenever they can.
God bless my husband's soul, he is not like me, AT ALL, but he's a great sport. He's happy to miss a football game for a middle school chorus concert if it means we're enjoying ourselves together as a family.
Thanks for reading!
Christmas Tree Craft - Via Pinterest from Homemaking Fun
Christmas Tree Canvas - via Pinterest from The Other White House
Christmas Cards - via pinterest from MudPie Studio
Community Calendar for Gainesville Found at www.fun4gatorkids.com