Friday, July 6, 2012

Countdown to Christmas (A Holiday Tradition)

I'm starting to hear about Christmas in July again...sales, crafts, and shopping. A few years ago, I did do a special Christmas in July project that has now become a tradition: a countdown to Christmas calendar.

The calendar is actually a series of hand-embroidered, wool-felt envelopes that I made.

Advent Calendar Pockets 8-12
Some of the envelopes that are part of the calendar.

In each envelope, there is an activity that we do together as a family. Some of the activities are outdoor ones, like feeding the birds or going on a nature walk.

Going on a Nature Walk
Going on a walk at a nearby state park.

We also celebrate some of the holidays that happen in December - like St. Lucia Day and St. Nicholas Day. There are slips of paper in the envelopes letting the girls know what to do - like put out a shoe for St. Nicholas Day or make Lucia Buns for St. Lucia Day.

St. Lucia Day
The girls dressed up one year for St. Lucia Day.
We made Lucia Buns and Swedish meatballs.
This is something we do each year.

Several of the activities involve cooking or baking something special - either trying a new recipe or making one that we do each year. The girls enjoy being in the kitchen, so I make sure that plenty of activities involve food.

Sophia Frosting Donuts
Sophia frosting a homemade doughnut.
We had the doughnuts with hot chocolate that morning.

Taking the time in July to make the Countdown to Christmas envelopes was well worth it. When December 1st arrived that first year, I was ready to go...and so were the girls who were eager to discover what we would be doing each day.


FrugalFoodieMama said...

I love this idea! We have done advent calendars before, but they always had chocolate or a little toy in them. I love that your's is about experiences. I might have to try this this coming December. :) Thanks for the inspiration!

Domestically Seasoned said...

I LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE This idea so so so so so much. I also like the idea of doing something, instead of Getting something!