Embracing Simplicity during Christmas

I think as you have children, everything becomes more magical — especially around the holidays. As Claire has gotten older (this will be Christmas # 5 for her, although I’m sure she’s forgotten the first few) I’ve gotten excited myself just watching her anticipation and excitement grow as we draw closer and closer to the 25th.

In front of the BIG tree in Boston, MA

Last year we went to see the Nutcracker, spent hours in our pajamas making ornaments and generally became homebodies, enjoying each other and lots of warm drinks (hot chocolate for the kiddo, Mommy and Daddy discovered American Honey Bourbon and liberally added it to their hot mulled cider).

This year we’re trying out an advent calendar. I’d like to do a lot before Christmas, but want to keep things stress free, simple and fun. Especially simple because, like always, I waited until the night before to get cracking. So here’s what I’m working with:

Cute, right? I picked it up on sale last year and totally forgot about it until I opened up one of our Christmas boxes. I’m sure little candies would be nice in each cubby, but I wanted to go with an activity instead.
In each cubby (I’ve only filled up to #10…don’t let the picture fool you) I’ve put a little picture or note detailing something special we’ll do. Day 1 was a rolled up piece of paper with a mug of hot chocolate on it. Day 4 is a miniature banner which will be a clue about our art project that day. There is a picture of Claire with Dan and I in Day 6, where I wrote a little note about her first Christmas. I used regular old computer paper and tried to fold everything a few different ways to make it interesting. IKEA sells tiny little finger puppets that fit in the cubpoards perfectly and I’ll add a few Hershey’s Kisses scattered throughout as well. 
Simple, fun. And I can cheat and move them around if need be. Looking for more ideas? Check out these crafty calendars below. I’m thinking some of these could be nicely modified for a little math activity!
{a}  Beautiful family photos modpodged onto magnets over at Brenda Johnston‘s blog
{b}  Tiny matchbook boxes displayed in an apothecary jar at JustAGirlBlog
{c}  ASeptemberFeeling shares nature inspired goodies to hang on the tree
{d}  HouseToHome showcases a great way to reuse cans for a fun stacking calendar
{e}  Simple, elegant and lots of buttons for little ones to count. Brilliant, Missgioia

3 thoughts on “Embracing Simplicity during Christmas

  1. I agree that Christmas time only seems more magical after having kids. My son will be 3 in a few days so he is really getting into it this year. We started the elf tradition this year and I want to add an advent calendar next year. Love your ideas!

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