12 Days – Partridge in a pear tree (The partridge in a pear tree was Jesus Christ. A partridge often feigns injury to draw attention to herself and away from her young to protect them from danger. Because of its self sacrifice the partridge was used to represent Christ.)
MOVIE: Home Alone
BOOK: How Santa Got His Job
12 Days – 2 turtle doves (Bring out your largest Bible and show the kids the two different sections of the Bible. Explain that the Old Testament was foretelling of a Savior that was to come, and the New Testament tells of a savior who arrives. "Two turtle doves were the Old and New Testaments. Because they have one mate for life the turtle doves represent enduring relationships, such as the unbreakable bond between the Old and New Testaments.")
MOVIE: It’s a Wonderful Life
BOOK:Who's That Knocking At Christmas Eve?
ACTIVITY: Bundle Up AGAIN! Tonight we're heading out to Keller Town Square to see the City's tree lighting ceremony and maybe ride a sled down an ice hill
12 Days – 3 French hens (This stands for the Holy Trinity-Father, Son and Holy Spirit.)
MOVIE: National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation
BOOK: The Best Christmas Hunt Ever
ACTIVITY: Learn the legend of the candy cane -- and then EAT ONE! I just printed this out on a piece of paper and attached it to a couple of candy canes: Click Here
12 Days – 4 calling birds (The four calling birds were the four gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke & John)
MOVIE: White Christmas
BOOK: The Christmas Star
ACTIVITY: Decorate your door (for this I provide two rolls of wrapping paper (last year I got it in the dollar section at Target), some construction paper, some ribbon, tape and scissors and they have a blast decorating their doors)
12 Days – 5 gold rings (The five golden rings recalled the Torah or Law, the first five books of the Old Testament.)
MOVIE: The Santa Claus
ACTIVITY: write letters to Santa (for this I provide paper, markers, pencils, erasers and a couple of toy catalogs) Josh, in the spirit of things, still writes a letter.
12 Days – 6 geese laying (The six geese a-laying stood for the six days of creation. (Eggs represent new life))
MOVIE: Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer
BOOK: The Biggest, Most Beautiful Christmas Tree
ACTIVITY: Take Christmas card pictures (Yes, I realize this should have been done long ago but it wasn't...so it's being done today)
12 Days – 7 swans a swimming (Seven swans a-swimming represented the seven gifts of the Holy Spirit-Prophecy, Service, Teaching, Encouragement, Giving, Leadership, and Mercy.)
MOVIE: Frosty the Snowman
BOOK: Frosty the Snowman
ACTIVITY: make paper snowflakes I used this website as a guide last year and we had some fantastic snowflakes all over the place. Have your vacuum handy, it makes a mess.
12 Days – 8 maids a-milking (The eight maids a-milking stand for the eight beatitudes which Jesus gave in the Sermon on the Mount to spell out blessings for the meek and lowly.)
MOVIE: Mickey’s Once Upon A Christmas (which will probably lead to the Twice Upon a Christmas, too)
BOOK: The Littlest Christmas Elf
ACTIVITY: Eat snowman pancakes for dinner
12 Days – 9 ladies dancing (Nine ladies dancing represent the fruit of the Spirit-Love, Joy, Peace, Patience, Kindness, Goodness, Faithfulness, Gentleness, and Self Control.)
BOOK: I SPY CHRISTMAS
ACTIVITY: Elf the neighbors (here is a printable for "jingling" your neighbors. Same principle, just different term. Click here
12 Days – 10 Lords a-leaping (The ten lords a-leaping stand for the law and leadership symbolised by the Ten Commandments)
MOVIE: The Year Without A Santa Claus
BOOK: Santa Calls
ACTIVITY: Decorate gingerbread houses. We are hosting a BYOH (bring your own house) gingerbread house decorating party.
12 Days – 11 pipers piping (The eleven pipers piping stood for the eleven disciples who remained faithful to Christ.)
MOVIE: Santa Claus is Coming to Town
BOOK: The Lonely Snowman, (no image available)
12 Days – 12 drummers drumming (The twelve drummers drumming represented the twelve points of belief in the Apostles' Creed.)
MOVIE: Jingle All the Way
BOOK:Corduroy's Christmas Surprise
ACTIVITY: Take pictures in Santa hats
MOVIE: A Charlie Brown Christmas
BOOK: B is for Bethlehem
ACTIVITY: Make a Christmas card for your teacher
MOVIE: Santa Claus 2
BOOK: Santa Claus is Coming to Town
Activity: Make salt dough ornaments
MOVIE: Muppets Christmas Carol
BOOK: I Smell Christmas
ACTIVITY: Christmas caroling at Mimosa Manor. Our Cub Scout Pack is going to this nursing home to sing Christmas carols.
MOVIE: Miracle on 34th (the classic version -- I'm all about classics!)
BOOK: What Is Christmas?
ACTIVITY: Fuddruckers and ICE at the Gaylord. It's an annual tradition to do for my birthday (which is on the 20th) but since Josh is leaving town for Christmas, we're going early to be able to do it while he is here, too.
MOVIE: ABC Holiday Classics Marathon
BOOK: The Christmas Trolls (which is actually a story inside a collection book called Jan Brett's Christmas Treasury - the illustrations are absolutely AMAZING!)
ACTIVITY: Decorate sugar cone Christmas trees (this is just a fun little thing to add to the gingerbread houses.
MOVIE: How The Grinch Stole Christmas with Jim Carrey
BOOK: The Christmas Story
ACTIVITY: Make and decorate Christmas cookies
MOVIE: How the Grinch Stole Christmas
BOOK: The Legend of the Poinsettia
ACTIVITY: Make a new ornament for the Christmas tree
MOVIE: 12 Dogs of Christmas
BOOK: The Penguin Who Wanted to be Different
ACTIVITY: Make treats for the 4 legged kids. We break out the peanut butter and bake up many batches of dog treats to wrap up for all of the fur babies on our list.
Letters V & W
MOVIE: Prep & Landing
BOOK: Bear Stays Up For Christmas
ACTIVITY: Put on pj’s and drive around to see all the Christmas lights (one of my favorite traditions)
MOVIE: Santa Claus 3
BOOK: Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer Shines Again
ACTIVITY: roast marshmallows and have hot chocolate by the fire
MOVIE: A Christmas Story
BOOK:The Crippled Lamb - Max Lucado (I can't ever make it through this book without crying)
MOVIE: The Polar Express
BOOK: The Night Before Christmas (this version has the most AMAZING illustrations)
I hope this helped give you lots of ideas for your Adventure into Advent!