Are you guys as excited as I am to plan a December to remember for your entire family? Well, grab your pen and paper and get ready! Cause... here... we... go!
Today is Day One. Today is the day where we take our handy dandy December calendar, print it and get prepared to fill it full of fun! Don't have time to go searching the internet for a printable December calendar? Not to worry, I've got one ready for you right here. Click THIS LINK to be taken to a printable version.
Once you have your December calendar printed, it's time to get your own personal calendar so that you can jot down any important dates, deadlines and events that you need to take into account before scheduling something else on that day. You'll see in a bit where that comes into play.
This is where you really have to narrow down what you want to accomplish this December and really think about what activities are definite MUST DO's and what activities are just filler. This is a good time to rethink your traditions to find out if you're really having fun or if you're just doing the same old crap just because you've always done it that way. If it's drudgery, it's not worth looking forward to!
For many people this season represents a renewal of their Christian faith and I will have ways to incorporate that into your daily ADVENTure activities as well.
So, when you take into account all you want to do, read, watch, taste, and experience... it sure takes a lot of planning, right? Wrong! It just takes a couple of hours of dedication and a little time once a week to make sure all of your ducks are in a row!
Without further delay, here are some easy steps to follow to make the process a little more seamless!
- Grab a spiral notebook, some blank paper, index cards, whatever you want to use... just make sure you have something write on and something to write with!
- Print out your blank December calendar. In fact, print TWO. I like to use one as a rough draft. It's inevitable that I will forget something so it's easier to have one to scratch up before making one pretty one!
- Plug in your known commitments. Include your kids' class parties, your work party, family commitments, anything and everything you can think of -- pencil it in. If you ALWAYS have dinner with the in-laws the Saturday before Christmas, put that on your calendar NOW! Seeing what you already have on your calendar helps with scheduling your advent activities because you will be aware of your time constraints for activities that may be a little more labor intensive or time consuming.
- Check the internet, your newspaper, your church, with your friends... anywhere you can to find lists of local activities that you may want to include in your advent plans. If you're in the Dallas/Fort Worth area, you'll be happy to know that I have included a list of them for you at the bottom of this post.
- Make a list of your favorite Christmas books you want to incorporate into your advent. If you don't have one, you will shortly! Tomorrow's post will include a list of our favorite Christmas books and movies! For instance, it's NEVER Christmas at my house until we watch It's A Wonderful Life! I know I'm not the only one that has movies that you just have to watch... the ones you just can't miss each season? Write those down. There are so many awesome movies out there now for Christmas that you will have absolutely no problem filling your entire ADVENTure with one per day. Don't believe me? Be sure to check out tomorrow!
- Search Pinterest for your crafty ideas. There is a wealth of information all over the internet. Don't try to recreate the wheel! If someone has done something and you love it and want to do it - DO IT! This is not a competition... this is simply about making opportunities to make memories with your kids. Plain and simple! So, search Pinterest for ways to help YOU bring out the creative side in your kids!
- Make a list of things to do... activities and acts of service that you may want to incorporate in your ADVENTUre. This is separate from the places to go and events to attend (number 4 above).
- Have kids that like to draw? I have created an entire printable "ABC's of Christmas" book for you to print out and enjoy with your kids. Print a page a day and let their inner artist flow!
- Shop! Once you have your list of crafts and activities, you will need to go shopping for supplies. The dollar store IS YOUR FRIEND! And remember, follow the scouting rule of thumb -- KISS. Keep It Simple Silly (I actually say "stupid", but we won't say the "s" word today!)
- Finalize. Each day of my December ADVENTure plan includes a book, a movie, an activity, a letter of the alphabet, a bible verse and usually a little piece of candy.
Am I right or am I right or am I right?!? HA!
However, simply stated, have a plan because you can always deviate. Things come up, kids get sick, activities change and so does the weather! Be flexible but have a framework!
So, like I said, what I like to PLAN on my rough draft for each day is a letter of the alphabet, a bible verse, an activity, a movie and a book. So, if you want to incorporate those into your daily plans -- more power to ya and here ya go!
If right clicking and saving the above won't work, here is a link to take you to the document.
One thing that always brings more fun to our days is to actually create a theme to the day. For instance, if we cut out snowflake ornaments, we may watch Frosty the Snowman and make snowman pancakes for dinner. It's easy and fun to tie it all into everything together.
So, for now, this should hopefully be enough to get you well on your way to planning your best Christmas season ever!
See you tomorrow! Stay warm! Snuggle!