Hi, Annalea peeps! It's me, Alicia, the other A.H.
I'm so happy to be here in Annalea's space. It's a such nice spot in blogland, right?
She has such a beautiful heart. I just love her.
She asked me to come over today and talk about advent....
well, here's how I really, truly feel about the four precious weeks leading up to the hap hap happiest time of the year....
it is StReSsFuL on a mama!! Can I get an *amen*, sistas??
It just is. The goal for most of us is to create this lovely, memorable, fun, meaningful time for our kids and it really is a lot of pressure.
Plus there's the planning and wrapping and shopping and spending a bajillion dollars...
am I making you feel anxious?
I'm sorry...wait for it...there is a point to this post.
My mom is really smart. Like really wise. And she's always telling me I'm making things too hard and trying to do it all perfect instead of just flowing with the go...
so I thought maybe with our life changes as of late, that I'd try her simpler, less crazy approach.
What I did this year was take all the fun things I wanted to do, simplified them, and mushed them all up into a fun snowball...
here's what we're doing this advent:
One Fun and Simple Christmas Activity a Day
We've done a little advent calendar for the last few years, but this seemed simpler because then I didn't have to remember little treats for their calendar PLUS a fun activity per day. SO everyday when the kids get up I have an envelope ready for them to open...and on it is an activity to do that day. I found this idea here and made it my own.
Last night we got hot chocolate at Starbucks after dinner. Something we never do and cheap...the kids cocoas are $1.25. Simple, but fun.
The other day we painted pottery. This is expensive and something we only do once a year, so it's special. They each painted a Christmas mug for hot chocolate.
Tomorrow it's cut out snowflakes. Easy, but fun and Christmassy.
make a snowman
wrap gifts (you're gonna do it anyway, right? might as well make it an activity :))
buy gifts for each other
make a gingerbread house
get Christmas tree
put lights up outside
bring cookies to a neighbor
eat breakfast for dinner
make snow angels
This is a picture of the advent boxes I made and used in years past. You could do this idea with boxes or a traditional calendar, just with activities written on paper in each box.
The Jesse Tree
We've done this for years and years. You can read more about our Jesse Tree tradition HERE.
We have so many Christmas books and we would be reading one each night anyway, so how's about wrapping up 25 of them with newspaper and have your kids take turns opening them so they think it's super fun and special?? Great idea!
We do a few Christmas crafts every year. Sometimes I go crazy planning, but this year? Not so much. We're keeping it simple...using stuff we already have on hand.
A few years ago I did a series on Christmas crafts...you can find some ideas HERE.
Bottom line, girlies...let's keep it simple. For real. Let's not just say, "yes!" let's actually DO IT! I don't want to feel stressed right now because for my kids, it's the best time of the year EVER! Let's follow suit, huh? If we're out of wrapping paper and it's December 22nd...don't go to the store. Get some newspaper and do it up recycled style. Let's not try to be Martha's or even half Marthas. I'd like to think back of Christmases at our house and remember joyous days and snuggly nights.
Wishing you all a truly simple, beautiful Christmas.