Family Christmas Activity Advent Calendar

For family gifts this year we decided to give the gift of celebrating the Christmas season and came up with an activity style advent calendar.  Every morning they would have a small gift to celebrate and enjoy Christmas.
 Each gift was wrapped and then had a little note inside about ideas for enjoying Christmas time with your family.  A Christmas puzzle to work on as a family over the month.  It took us until Christmas Eve to finish ours.  It was so hard!  
Mistletoe to hang to get lots of kisses from your Santa babies.  We made Christmas Crack.  This stuff is so addicting.  Mannheim Steamroller Christmas CD to listen to while driving around looking at Christmas lights.
 We read the story of The Baker's Dozen by the Christmas tree.  It is a story about generosity and giving more than you have to.  The next day we made a baker's dozen and gave one batch to our friends and one to Mrs. Rose.
I wanted to include some fun trivia about Christmas symbols.  The candy cane is a symbol of Christ.  The J is for Jesus or the Shepard's staff, the white represents the purity of Jesus, the red represents the blood he shed when he died on the cross for us, and the peppermint flavor for the hyssop plant that was used for purifying the Bible.  
Have you ever wondered why the colors of red and green are the colors of Christmas?  
Green
Holly, Ivy and Mistletoe have been used for thousands of year to decorate and brighten up buildings and homes during the long and dark winter.  It also is a reminder that spring is near.  It is the color of life.  Christmas trees are evergreens, which represent everlasting life.  The everlasting life in Christ.
Red
Holly berries represent Christ's drops of blood.  The Roman used crowns of Holly wraths to represent the crown of thorns that Christ wore.  Red symbolizes the blood Jesus spilled to redeem us from our sins.  Red is also the color of the Bishops robes and the robe of St. Nicholas and Santa's uniform.
 We used cards and stickers to write a special handwritten notes to people who are gifts in our lives,  like friends, teachers and neighbors.  One night we colored Christmas pictures by the light of the Christmas tree.  We sent the supplies for making an ornament.  We did handprint snowmen on ours. and added a finger to make an MKHKKH family of snowmen.  :)    Taking time to watch as many Christmas movies as possible adds to the magic of Christmas time.  The Polar Express captures so many wonderful parts of the Christmas spirit.
 Decorating Gingerbread houses and men is a hallmark activity of the season.  Lindor chocolate are a special treat on a school morning.  My kids often play the games on the cereal boxes so one morning they did Christmas word searches instead.  We thought it would be fun to make a treat for the birds and make pinecone bird feeders.
 A special cup of hot chocolate and marshmallows one December morning.  We always like to have a slumber party under the Christmas Tree.  The soft glow of the lights and the pretty ornaments make it seem special.
We sent candles for a candle light dinner.  We couldn't forget about our furry family member so they got a treat one morning too.  For my family that doesn't have any pets, they got a Christmas tea party.
We made popcorn garland for the first time this year!  I didn't know if it would work, but it did!  The kids had fun listening to Christmas music and making the garland.  On the winter solstice everyone had supplies to make giant paper snowflakes.
Christmas pancakes on Christmas Eve was a special treat that Kaitlin whipped up for us.  The final gift was 7 olive wood ornaments representing the true Christmas story of Jesus' birth.  After Max read the Christmas story we hung up the ornaments.  It was the perfect bedtime story on Christmas Eve.  We really enjoyed celebrating Christmas all month long and hope our extended family did too!


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