December is one of my very favorite months...and I always make it my goal to be finished with the shopping and scurrying so that we can thoroughly enjoy the month while moving at a slower pace.
This is one of my very favorite Christmas traditions....our [mini] muffin advent calendar....made with love several years ago after I saw the idea on a blog. The cards are 2 1/4 inch cardstock squares with fun embellishments, but what is under them is the "good stuff"...folded slips of paper with 24 (actually 25 this year...I doubled up one day) fun (and very frugal) activities...outings, crafts, favorite Christmas traditions, etc. The kiddos will rotate who gets to remove the slip each day...counting down until Christmas. We do a more spiritually focused advent as a family, but this is our purely for fun activity focused calendar.
For those who are curious, here is what I put in this year. Kate helped seal each one with a sticker, which really excited her...bonus that she is not a proficient enough reader yet to have decoded the messages on each slip. ;)
-ice cream cone tree decorating
-family game night (with a scavenger hunt to find a new game beforehand)
-Christmas with Uncle H and Aunt S
-salt dough ornaments
-snowman and reindeer mini donuts while watching "Rudolph"
-Christmas light scavenger hunt (in PJs....as a bedtime surprise)
-cookie baking day
-delivering packages of cookie goodness
-making "Grinch floats" and watching Grinch
-Jolly Days at the Children's Museum
-going downtown to see the lights
-making cakes in a mug and watching Elf
-perler bead ornaments
-felt snowman kits
-cocoa and a Christmas movie
-Christmas with Grandmommy, Poppy, and crew
-button and felt Christmas trees
-sponge paint snowmen
-paper plate snowmen
-scrapbook paper strip trees
-drink melted frostys while watching "Frosty"
-build and decorate a massive felt tree
-hometown Christmas parade and Town Hall lighting
By some miracle I am actually ahead of the game this year...the calendar is hung AND the slips are actually carefully placed (I am typically writing the slip and shoving it in the calendar moments before the kiddos are opening it up!).