Tuesday, December 11, 2012

It's that time of year again...
     The time of year when you run the other way after seeing someone you know in the store. Not because you don't like them but because amidst all the bustle you simply don't have time to stop and chat...after all you have to buy gifts!
     The time of year when your kids are stressed out because they have to remember who they stand next to on their performance Wednesday, when to walk on stage Sunday and for goodness sake "Clap on Beat One!"
     The time of year when every event and every person you know that is involved in something needs you to make cookies even though everyone already has too many sweets at home and are probably still in a sugar coma from Halloween and Thanksgiving.

It's Christmas! If your family is anything like ours you are in a constant battle with the world around you, on an epic journey, looking for the holy grail of life...that thing called (drum roll please) balance. In an effort to achieve that balance (and fight off my youngest who doesn't understand he can't put a star on the tree today because it's not his turn) I have started a second Advent countdown.

This one is much like the other (our Christmas Tree). The concept is simple; put something new up every day. One of our children add a star to the tree while the other adds a magnet to the fridge. We are working on building a nativity scene.

The balance part of this project comes with the second part. Each day the kids get a slip of paper that has instructions on it. Our tasks include activities like: Go for a winter walk, read the Christmas story, buy and donate a toy, play a game, do a puzzle, make a craft project, buy groceries for a family in need, call a family member just to say hi, write a letter to a family member, choose a gift (from a little gift basket) go for a drive to see the Christmas lights, or write a short story as a family. The kids get to find out each day what new activity they are going to do. So far, this has been a huge hit! It also work well with our busy schedule; since I get to plan the activities I just pick quick things on days I know we are going to be busy and save the longer activities for day when I know we will have the time.

Here is what we are building on our fridge:
If you would like to do this craft you will need:
8 jumbo craft sticks
some card stock/construction paper
and a few odds and ends (yarn, markers, gems, etc)