This year because of my strict budget I was worried that I wouldn’t be able to get/do something fun for the kiddos. It can be expensive buying for four children. But then I figured why not make them something- that would last them for the 25 days of Christmas. An envelope advent calendar! My mom used to get my sister and I the chocolate ones when we were younger- and we loved them! Instead of stuffing the envelopes with sugar, I wrote an activity for them to complete as a family.
I found a simple envelope design on the internet, cut it out and traced it onto different sheets of Chrsitmas scrapbook paper. Holiday wrapping paper, old Christmas cards and anything else unique lying around the home will work perfectly. I glued ’em, set ’em under a couple heavy books, and cut out some numbers to glue on the front- coordinated with the dates of the month. While they were drying, I wrote out the little activities to stuff in the envelopes. They were in Aruba for the first five days of December (lucky ducks!) so their activities started on the 6th.
- Make paper snowflakes and decorate the windows.
- Dance and sing to Christmas music.
- Candlelit bubble bath.
- Make a list of 10 things you are thankful for. Hang it where you can see it everyday.
- Watch a Christmas movie in mom’s bed.
- Pick out a really nice Christmas tree (don’t squish any elves that may be hiding in the branches).
- Decorate the tree and drink hot cocoa.
- Enjoy your favorite Christmas breakfast foods… for dinner!
- Write a letter to a soldier who won’t be home for Christmas. Go to: www.letterstosoldiers.org
- Bundle up and hit the hill- sleigh-riding race!
- It’s family game night.
- Drive around and check out the Christmas lights downtown.
- Buy a gift and donate it to Toys-for Tots.
- Let’s go ice-skating today!
- Fancy dress for dinnertime.
- Make and hang edible gifts for the birds.
- Pick out some puppets (or make them) and mom will make up a bedtime story.
- Go for a nighttime walk with your lanterns.
- Bake Santa’s favorite cookie.
- It’s Christmas Day. Remember you have a family who loves you. That’s the most important gift of all.
I cut a piece of funky yarn and attached the envelopes with mini clothes pins I found for a dollar. I put it in a little box and wrapped it up with thick tape and wrote DO NOT OPEN until Monday, Decemeber 6th!
They’ve already called me numberous times to thank me and tell me what they were doing that evening. It’s hung on their mantel and they get to open up the day’s activity at breakfast, so that they have something to look forward to after school (and give Lisa enough time to prepare if needed). Gift for kiddos-check!
I stumbled upon this wonderful site (thank you Jessica) with a woman that hand makes Christmas wreaths for the holiday- Jen’s Wreaths . It’s always free shipping and there are always running deals on her facebook page if you become her friend. I got my wreath for 40% off! And, it came rather quickly in the mail.
It smells so good! I gave it to my landlord as a thank-you gift for the holidays for the past year. He loved it but did change it up a little- he replaced the bow with a gold one. I must say, I should take a new photograph; this one was taken that evening once I managed to get it hung.
Don’t get me started with weight watchers. They changed their program and with that, I gained weight. And fast. I didn’t weigh in last week and to be honest, I don’t want to this week either. I think I am going to switch back to their old program and do it on my own but continue to weigh in. To say the least I am dissappointed but am looking forward to my time off to get my hike/run on.
Speaking of hiking and running, last weekend I hung out with Marla and did just those two things. I love catching up with her and hearing about her adventures with college. I’m proud of her for going back, after years off and with two children. Here are a couple photographs we took along the way (at Prospect):
Once we got back, we decided to do a short run downtown. I wanted to stop and see Santa, but he wasn’t in at that hour.
We both came to agreement that we are going to try and hike as many peaks as we can this break from school and we were going to try and hit up some of the spots in the book Weird New York. Can’t wait!
This past weekend I rode up to the Saratoga area to go home… to get my Christmas tree! We packed up the dogs, the chain saw and went to my dad’s property to hunt down the two most beautiful trees in the forest. It was great. The dogs were zooming around while we searched and the afternoon was definitely filled with laughs.
Once we found a tree for their home, I had to find a small one for my apartment. This was a task trying to find one that was “full” enough but with in no time, I had the chain saw fired up!
I’ll have to take some great photographs of this Charlie Brown tree in my apartment. Funny story: when I was bringing it into the house, Roscoe escaped outside and was running around on my front porch. Scared me to death because he’s never been let outside and he’s declawed. But as a good boy (and a hungry one at that), he ran back inside when I came up the steps with the tree.
I made my tree stand (photographs and directions to soon follow) but Roscoe seems to think the tree is a snack/scratching post all in one. Luckily, he’s stopped snacking on it- I think after the fourth time choking he got the point. But the scratching post, not just yet. It is quite funny to watch, the tree violently shaking as he joyfully stretches- numerous ornaments falling to the floor. Silly Roscoe, maybe he was Jewish before the shelter incident?
And just to top off the holiday activities for the day, I went to lights in the park with Laura, Pat and Amy. Poor Laura got car sick and couldn’t go through it (because of the large amount of cars in line) and we met her at the end. It was fun but I would never personally pay to go through.
Phew! That was a long post and I still have so much to share. I’ll have more time on my hands as the week goes by, keep an eye out for another post. Until then, it’s time to study for HR!