December 1st, the day the kids have been waiting for with eager anticipation! As we do every year, the kids each got a little chocolate advent calendar. It's a countdown of sorts, with one little treat per day, until the 24th.
In addition, I usually also craft individual calendars for each child every year, and fill them with little toys and trinkets, but this year I was just too pressed for time. You can see some of the ones from previous years here, here, and here.
This year, instead, we bought ready filled Playmobil advent calendars for the kids, which they have had once before and absolutely loved, so I knew this wouldn't be a letdown for them. Between the cost for craft materials and items to stuff all the calendars with, these actually also came out cheaper, so it was a win-win in a pinch. I do intent to make next year's myself again just to keep the tradition going.
Indeed, the kids were thrilled. Solomon's is dinosaur themed, Isaac and John asked for the same knight-themed one (even though there were two different ones), Miriam got a pony stable, and Becky the Christmas post office. Since we don't like Santa, I am going to tell her the dude in red is the mailman.
Am I the only homeschool mom who would just as soon take off the whole time between Thanksgiving and New Year's? It's been a struggle to keep ourselves motivated when there are so many fun Christmas things to do, and only so little time. We are just squeezing in the basics and enjoying extra family fun.
This year, we got a pass to cut a tree in Tonto National Forest, so hopefully we will be doing that (and then decorating the tree) this weekend or early next week. Today, I think we are going to make a gingerbread house. Trader Joe's has kits with all natural candies that are free of artificial food colors.
Happy Christmas Season, everyone! :)