Friday, December 6, 2013

Winter Traditions

Alright, I was having fun with my collection of tutorials but Aria got sick, then I got sick, and now Aria is sick again.  Besides we've started the holiday festivities and I wanted to share my favorite one with you.  The advent calendar.  When I was a little kid, an advent calendar  was one of those colorfully decorated cardboard box with 24 little pieces of chocolate hidden behind punch out doors.  I loved those things.  We didn't always get one but when we did, there was something delightful about counting down the days until Christmas with little pieces of chocolate.

When Aria was 3, I stumbled upon the idea of an activity advent calendar.  I fell in love with the idea immediately and I quickly whipped up my very first activity advent calendar the night before December 1, 2011.  I discovered how hard it can be to come up with 24 activities that are the right fit for your family.  But I enjoyed the challenge and I still do.
Here are a few highlights from 2011, the first year we did an activity advent calendar.  Left: Aria and I collected twigs to make this little indoor forest; it was Aria's idea to add little scraps of fabric as leaves.  Top Right: Snow globes, Aria-style with awesome monsters.  Bottom Right: Baking with Daddy.
In 2012, we recycled many of the fun things we did in 2011, but we also introduced a few new ones.  Left:  we put together care packages for people living on the streets and handed them out.  Aria took her job very seriously. Top Right: Aria was not a believer in Santa.  We never made a big deal about him and when she asked I told her the truth...but then she met this one from Alpenrose Dairy and she is convinced he's the real deal.  We'll go back and visit him this year as well.  Bottom Right: A magic Christmas Tree...this one is just plain fun, we did this both in 2011 and 2012, I imagine we'll do it again for 2013.

Every year I say I'm going to make a beautiful advent calendar that I can reuse and every year, I never get around to it.  But now I don't know if I want a fancy advent calendar.  There's something really special about the simpleness of the paper and twine ones I put together the night before December 1st.  Its become a special tradition in its own right.

scrappy paper and twine advent calendar.
Day 1: make a Christmas wish list.
Translation: 1. pictures of my family, 2. bow and arrows, 3. wood easel, 4. plastic dragon, 5. necklace.
Day 2: Make soaps.
Day 3: make a hand-print wreath.
Day 4: Take Christmas photo!  This is NOT the one we're printing and sending to loved ones.
Day 5: Make Snowflakes.
What are your favorite winter holiday traditions?  Please share them with us in the comments or on FB!


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