The Holidays are Upon Us: cute ideas to get your brood in the mood

The holidays are upon us. Christmas threw up in all my favorite stores, everywhere smells like Bath & Body Works, so let the craziness (I mean festivities) begin! December marks the great Christmas countdown. If you have small children, the holidays can mean extra stress for everyone. Take a few minutes this year and create some yuletide fun with your family – you may just end up with a new tradition.

snowflake

The Advent Calendar

I’ve seen people use mittens, mini stockings, spice containers, a muffin tin, or traditional window calendars. You don’t have to spend a lot time or money, your kids will just remember the tradition and memories created. I liked these websites free printable Bible verses.

http://aphroditeperception.wordpress.com/2012/11/30/free-printable-bible-verse-advent-calendar/

http://www.overthebigmoon.com/christmas-scripture-advent-free-printable/

Feel like I came up short? Check out Fun a Day, Mary Catherine has 25 more!

Quick & Easy Countdowns
This Santa beard is a free printable, all you need is some cotton balls

I found this very cool reusable advent calendar from Makoodle that is pretty much done for you. Just print, cut and modge podge into your reusable tins. Thank you!!

ELF ON THE SHELF

I had never heard of this little guy before last year, but the kids really enjoyed looking for him every morning. Here’s a link for ya if you are like me wondering who is this Elf??

Here are some Elf on a Shelf daily jokes…http://www.overthebigmoon.com/elf-on-the-shelf-printable-joke-cards/

My Elf on the Shelf Pinterest board with lots of great ideas to keep the magic alive.

Other Cute Christmas Ideas

Make the tiny tot in your life a felt tree they can decorate over and over. Here’s an example.

I have a dear friend, J, who has moved quite a bit over the last ten years.  Her and her family collect twelve smaller presents then wrap them, box them together, and ship the box to each other for their version of the 12 days of Christmas.

Plan a Polar Express outing, family game night, or cookie exchange party. Carve a little Mom time and host a Favorite Things party, white elephant swap, or favorite book exchange (you could even extend this through the year by following up as a book club).

Read a different Christmas book each night (make it extra special and wrap them). Here’s a great review of some holiday favorites.  Grab the kiddos some Christmas pajamas, special sheets, or festive dinner plates to enjoy for the month.

Schedule a date night.  See a holiday themed show at the theatre (my favorite is always the ballet – wouldn’t be Christmas without the Nutcracker), spike some cider, grab some blankets and star gaze, make a dinner for two and snuggle by the fire, plan a night out on the town — just make sure you give that special someone some attention.

The Things I Love Most blog has a great Christmas time post.  The girls at Defrump Me have a list of 50 things to do at Christmas. The Workman Family has a Christmas bucket sure to score some smiles.  Shannon at Find Joy in the Journey highlights some unique to-do’s on her Christmas Fun List (see #4 on the advent post).  Need more ideas?  This one is done, just click and print.

Dust off the DVDs or tune into ABC Family, but pop some corn, make a Grinch Drink, assemble a fort or pillow pallet, and grab some holiday movie time.  Here’s a list of 50 kids movies we have used as a reference.

Check in on the reindeer cam or track Santa.  There is even a post-holiday scavenger hunt from Macaroni Kid to help your kids come down from all the hype.

Maybe one of the simplest things to incorporate is the iMom 30 day Holiday Challenge.

I have morphed a combo of all of this stuff into our family repertoire of Christmas fun. I encourage you to do the same; take these ideas and figure out what will suit your family the best.

holidays

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