- I definitely will sign up for this Online Advent activity in November and send it as a gift to my far away cousins. This adorable advent countdown by Jacquie Lawson is precious. You have to download it to your computer but it doesn’t take too long and everyday the kids click on the ornament with that number and a new scene in the village opens up. To be totally honest the first day was kind of boring, but the next day they got to build a snowman, and in one they made stockings and a wreath. It held the attention of my 5 and 7 year olds for over an hour the first day because we had to catch up. It’s also adorable that there is a little snowglobe on the corner of your desktop to remind you to use it. It was an easy inexpensive way to get things rolling.
- I found Hallmark’s advent calendar of activities (through Nurture Store) with downloadable and adorable pdfs too late into December so I’m hoping that they will have it again so that we can do it, especially on advent days where our activity is not as interactive. Some of the days are more for adults with the recipes and some videos but there really are some cute printables.
- For the past 4 years we have stopped sending out traditional Christmas cards and instead use the money that we would send out to buy a gift through World Vision. This year it was a goat. We do send out a year worth of pictues through Smile Box. It’s a cute, free and easy way to send a slide show with music, you can even add short videos. There are a couple of ads if you do the free version, but it is still really well done. I highly recommend it. Since we’ve been sending out ours lots of our family members have been sending out their own. Some of the slide shows allow up to 100 pictures so it’s great if you have people on your list that will actually look through that many – ours has about 40 pictures and I always wonder if people really look through the whole thing.
All that to say since this is our fourth year doing it and deservedly so we hadn’t been getting as many picture Christmas cards in the mail so I was telling a friend and she did an amazingly wonderful thing. She sent us a card everyday for like 7 or 8 days. Everyday it would be signed by someone else… The little Drummer Boy, Frosty, Rudolph etc. My girls adored it. We would get other cards but we always opened their first. They knew who it was from but that just made it all the better they felt very loved and cherished. I would really like to do that for someone next year. By the way, we sent her the online advent activity… not as cool as what she did but we were hoping to return their outpouring a little bit.
- Small Notebook is one of the blogs that I subscribe to through email. She often just makes sense. She does a list of things to make Christmas easier and there are several I had never even thought of.. check out her post here. But one thing that I will definitely be doing next year is to read the Jesus StoryBook Bible Advent Reading plan from The Mommyhood Memos. We love our StoryBook BIble and even though we will never stop doing our Luke 2 reading during Christmas time I think this will be a nice addition to our nighttime routine.
- And finally I’d love to have more sit down time with my girls – just more still time – we tend to jump, run, play and generally bounce around. This year I showed them both how to embroider… real simple stuff. But I would like us to try and sew an ornament together a little each night. I don’t want to try and make one a day, but that we would work on it everyday. I love these simple shapes from Homemade by Jill.Maybe your days and nights be Merry and Bright.