Thursday, December 6, 2012

Christmas Pinspiration

Ok, so I have always been kind of crafty, but when I was introduced to Pinterest (and I mean really it was like my understanding of crafty got blown to smithereens. I now consult Pinterest pretty much daily in search of neat crafts or fun activities for my kids or recipes or exercises or home decor or photo ideas or funny quotes or....well you get the idea. It just amazes me the types of things that people have thought of, created, tried, washed, rinsed, and repeated, and I, in hopes of being the best mom I can, have decided that I can benefit from other people's varying degrees of genius.

So now you know a little bit about my Pinterest interest (haha, I crack myself up!). I supposed you might like to know a little bit about me. I am 25...well I guess I could just go ahead and say I'm 26 since my birthday is in 3 days. I have a most of the time wonderful husband, but in all fairness I am also only a most of the time wonderful wife. His name is Matt, but I think for the most part of this blog I will let him be known as General (a nickname he would like to have stick, but hasn't yet lol) No- he's not a general in the military...he earned his General Field Professional ranking with Halliburton and if people call him General then he would have the name of a famous car... you figure it out. All kidding aside he really is pretty wonderful. I also have the 3 most beautiful daughters IN THE WORLD. I'm not kidding when I say this either. I'm sorry to say, that while you other moms may have pretty or beautiful or gorgeous daughters, they just aren't as stunningly beautiful as my girls. I don't mean to burst your bubble or sound mean, I'm just stating a fact. While some of you may know me and know my gorgeous daughter's names, those of you who don't know me will only know my children by their initials :) Sorry...I'm one of those protective mommas. My oldest, S is 7, I is 3, and baby A is just that a a brand new baby. As of this post baby A is 2 1/2 weeks old. See? I wasn't lying. She's tiny. And I love her! I love all my girls :)

Now, what have I pinned and tried lately? Well, my girls are enjoying the Advent Calendar I created for them to count down the days to Christmas. I took a few ideas from Pinterest and made them my own. I always loved advent calendars when I was little, and I still do. My favorite is of course the kind with candy under each date. But, I don't know how to make those, and it never fails that when I go in search of something specific like that at the store, I can't ever find what I'm looking for. So, I made one for my girls. I had a felt snowman countdown wall hanger that I had gotten a few years ago in the $1 spot at Target. Its pretty basic and you're supposed to move the attached candy cane each day to count down until Christmas. To me, this was boring. Soooooo.....I looked at Pinterest in hopes of finding a way to make it more exciting. I found this:

I thought this was a great idea! Instead of chocolate or a cartoon picture each day, my girls could DO something to get in the Christmas spirit. I used some of these, some I thought of on my own, and some from other Pinterest posts. I wrote one activity on a Christmas tag, rolled them up and put one in each of the date pockets of my $1 Christmas countdown. So now each morning, I and S take turns reading what their activity of the day will be. They really seem to be enjoying each activity, which helped spark a whole new Christmas discipline plan. (I'll explain that in my next blog post). Here is the list of activities that I included in our Christmas countdown.

1. Watch a family Christmas movie (ABC Family's 25 days of Christmas provided us with "Elf" this year)
2. Go through old toys and make a donation to Goodwill
3. Make paper snowflakes (the only snow we'll see living in Texas!)
4. Make a paper chain to decorate their rooms
5. Wrap Christmas gifts
6. Write letters to Santa
7. Buy a gift for a child in need
8. Make an ornament
9. Scavenger hunt for a Christmas toy (Dollar Tree- here I come!)
10. Make and send Christmas cards to a recovering soldier
11. Have hot cocoa and watch a Christmas movie in our PJs
12. Decorate a gingerbread man (so much easier than a gingerbread house)
13. Go see Santa
14. Drive around and look at Christmas lights
15. Write a Christmas story
16. Sing/Listen to Christmas songs
17. Read a Christmas book
18. Make reindeer horns/elf ears then take silly pictures
19. Make Christmas cookies
20. Have candy canes and read the story of the Candy Cane
21. Make a Christmas card garland, using past family cards
22. Have a Santa Suds bath
23. Have hot cocoa and watch a Christmas movie in our PJs (repeats are totally ok!)
24. Read the story of Baby Jesus

Now, I may know what each date is, but my kids don't, so they're still surprised. But I need to know in an effort to make sure I have all of the necessary materials they might need for that day's activity. The best part about this list is that its really pretty inexpensive and most things can be down with items you do already have at home!

This is how the final project turned out. I have it hung so that both of my big girls can reach it and they take turns pulling out the day's activity each morning. 

If you have any other ideas for activities that I might be able to use next year or that other readers might enjoy feel free to leave a comment on this post! And just because its December 6, doesn't mean that you can't start doing some of these now! Many of these are fun for everyone so do something and be Pinspired!

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