Sunday, November 25, 2012

Christmas is coming. . .

Christmas is fast approaching and I again find myself not nearly as prepared as I had planned to be. Christmas always sneaks up on me here in Australia, I don't know if it's because it's hot, or merely because our lives are so busy, but it feels like I blink and there is December yet again.

Christmas in Oz is hot so Santa dresses accordingly :)

Last year was our inaugural year for our advent calendar.  I decided to try this for two different reasons.  1.  As the kiddos are getting a little bit bigger, we wanted to start establishing our own Christmas family traditions. I wanted our focus to be on friends and family and spending quality time with both.  2.  In Australia christmas time is so different that what I was use to and it never really felt like Christmas here.  The first couple of years we lived here we didn't decorate or anything, but with the kids we've decided to embrace the differences and celebrate anyways.

 Even though we fell a little behind using our calendar last year and probably only did 1/2 the days, using it really stretched out the celebration.  It changed the focus from one day of presents to a month of spending time with friends and family and doing special things together.

For our advent calendar I started out by brainstorming ideas for each day, what were traditions that I wanted to keep, what were special things we could do as a family?  Here are a few of ours:

1 Decorate Christmas tree
2 Make cinnamon ornaments for the tree
3 Open a special present
4  Go on campout with family
5 Unwrap a book to read
6 Go to get picture with Santa
7 Make Jammie and Papa and Nana and Grandad Presents
8 Make Christmas cards
9 Make gumball Christmas tree
10 Go to the Christmas party at church
11 Night out seeing Christmas lights
12 Make ornaments for tree
13 Have a family Christmas movie night with treats
14 Go to carols by candlelight
15 Open Christmas Eve gift and read Night before Christmas
16 Make goodies for neighbors
17 Bake cookies and decorate them with friends
18 Have lunch at a special restaurant with our family
19 Go for a picnic at the park
20 Make rice crispy trees to take to kids at church
21   Polar Express night 
22 Read a Christmas story together
23 Open presents and Call grandparents on Skype
24  picnic and play at the beach

I haven't finished our list yet, but thought this was a good start.  

What sort of things do you do as a family to celebrate the season?  


Lori said...

I really, really love this idea. There is a stupid commercial running here this year for a Hallmark (I think) talking ornament that builds the anticipation for xmas by giving daily "reports" from the North Pole. I can't stand that kind of thing -- totally builds toward one day that can't possibly measure up to all the hoopla ahead of it. Your way is wise -- each day is a mini-celebration on its own. Good for you! (I didn't see "skype with Auntie Lori and crew to show off what they've been making/doing" anywhere in that list...)

Church Mouse said...

We do something very similar, and our kids love it! We keep it low key and try to make the activities ones where we are sharing special time together and not spending money. I look for ways to bless others also. It's always exciting for the boys to open up the little door of our advent calendar after breakfast and see what is planned for each day! Love it, Melaine!