Friday, November 24, 2017

2017 Advent plans

Here are our 2017 plans for Advent ~ my goal is to have one (sometimes more) seasonal activity to do each day, starting right after Thanksgiving. My aim with all of this is not to check boxes, but to make sure we are noticing and enjoying the season each day. Naturally, we will have days where the chosen activity just doesn't happen, or has to be rescheduled, and that is okay! Even though it rarely happens just as laid out, I still love going into the season with a plan and any necessary supplies at the ready.

  • November 24th ~ Put together our gratitude chain and hang it up; start making a centerpiece for our dining table to include our Advent candle ~ I'll share a photo once we have it together!
  • November 25th ~ Get out the Christmas CD's and start playing them around the house and car
  • November 26th ~ Go see a local production of A Christmas Carol
  • November 27th ~ Set up the Christmas book basket
  • November 28th ~ Plant amaryllis bulbs to bloom around, or shortly after, Christmas time
  • November 29th ~ Watch the Rockefeller tree lighting on NBC tonight
  • November 30th ~ Take down any remaining Thanksgiving decorations
  • December 1st ~ Start chocolate and Lego Advent calendars; start reading Christmas picture books with Rose each day; make jam thumbprint cookies
  • December 2nd & 3rd ~ This is a busy dance weekend, but I hope to get a Christmas tree, put it up, and start decorating the house. We'll also plan to have cranberry-orange pancakes one morning for breakfast and light our first Advent candle on the 3rd!
  • December 4th ~ Decorate a tree for the sunporch
  • December 5th ~ Set out shoes for St. Nicholas morning; make cherry cookies
  • December 6th ~ Happy St. Nicholas Day! We started celebrating this day years ago when doing a "Christmas Around the World" unit study and it stuck with us. The kids will find a few treats and surprises tucked inside their sneakers this morning.
  • December 10th ~ Light the second Advent candle; have eggnog pancakes for dinner (because it's a horse show day and there won't be time at breakfast!); hopefully make gingerbread houses
  • December 11thOrder calendars for the new year; the kids each pick one, but when they come I put them away until New Year's Day)
  • December 12thDo the Christmas cards & mail them out
  • December 13th ~ A day off from Christmas preparations to celebrate Grace's 17th birthday!
  • December 14thPeppermint Day! We plan to make peppermint cookies, peppermint bark, homemade marshmallows, and hot chocolate. Then, we'll spend the afternoon watching a Christmas movie if we can and go see a local lights display
  • December 15thMake eggcup topiaries - a little piece of floral foam in the bottom of an eggcup can hold little holly and pine springs, or any other found greenery
  • December 16thBake fruitcake (I love the fruitcake kit from King Arthur Flour)
  • December 17th ~ Light the third Advent candle; have gingerbread pancakes for dinner (another horse show morning!)
  • December 18th ~ Go gift shopping for the pets
  • December 19thField Trip Zoom's Christmas Traditions program; leave a gift out for our mail carrier
  • December 21st ~ Happy winter solstice! Make birdseed ornaments and drive around to look at Christmas lights
  • December 22ndMake pomanders with whole cloves and oranges
  • December 23rd ~ Set aside the day to watch Christmas movies and wrap gifts; catch up on any activities we didn't get to
  • December 24thChristmas Eve ~ Prep a nice breakfast for tomorrow; bake & decorate sugar cookies; order Chinese food for dinner; kids get new pjs before bed:); light the 4th Advent candle
  • December 25th ~ Merry Christmas!
  • December 26th ~ Boxing Day ~ We hide a small gift box in the house for each kiddo to find. Inside: a big chocolate marshmallow, a package of special hot chocolate mix, and a small surprise
  • December 27th-30th ~ Spend time planning some fun food and activities for New Year's Eve, and generally just try to relax as much as possible 
  • December 31st ~ New Year's Eve ~ We'll do a big appetizer spread and watch a movie or two, decorate "champagne" glasses, make a banner to welcome the new year, and countdown to midnight by popping one balloon each hour. This year, Rose is dancing in a local New Year's event, so we'll squeeze in our usual traditions around that
  • January 1st ~ Happy New Year! Everyone gets their new calendar today to hang in their bedroom (I like to wrap them up & put them at their place at breakfast) and we always eat red beans and rice, collard greens, and black-eyed peas (all supposed to bring good luck for the new year).
We'll be trying to keep to a regular homeschool schedule until the week of December 18th ~ with our Christmas activity always taking priority each day. Then, from the 18th through New Year's we'll be on break. I hope to pop in often during Advent to share photos and thoughts about all of our doings. 

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