let the advent adventure of 2011 begin!

ok, first off, i'd like to make a confession...we aren't doing the advent wreath & candles in our house. if you need to know why, then please re-read my blog title...that says it all right?! phew, feel better. thanks! so we'll be counting down the days & building anticipation until Christmas with our {ruckel} family...and our moving day.

i'm not a prepared person. ok, well mostly, i'm not...i try & succeed on occasion. but for stuff like this, i'm definitely not. i didn't buy any supplies, print out pages or look up the correct scripture reference until yesterday...hence, why this post is going up today instead of yesterday. thanks for the grace!

let's start with the calendar itself.
there are all sorts of fabulous & different ideas for advent calendars out there. pick one that works best for you & your family. i chose this one from naptime diaries etsy shop. 2 versions available...printed or printable...i chose printable because this year, i need to not worry about extra things to pack. let alone to pack nicely back in the christmas bin...which is who knows where in the storage shed?!

time to fill it. 
first i took a look at our calendar for the month of december. like most families, ours is full! so there are things that were already planned and those will serve as our activities for those days. then i filled in the days with the things we want to do as traditions with our family. that was easy! with both of those things, we already filled up half the calendar. you can fill the remaining days with festive little things...not too much effort or preparation.
since i'm wanting to keep our advent season not just about traditions, but really making an effort at focusing on the spiritual aspect of the season, i'm incorporating some scripture into each day...or several of the days at least.

our festivities:
1. decorate the house for christmas!
2. make paper chains
date night for mom & dad & sleepover with {auntie kate} for the boys
3. dinner & holiday parade with friends
4. get hot cocoa on the way to church
5. make paper snowflakes
a diy garland via bumpsmitten 

6. make & send some christmas cards & gifts
7. visit santa// read a christmas book before bed
8. visit the train exhibit downtown
9. watch "a charlie brown christmas"
10. lights at the beach or garden of lights
Add caption

11. christmas music dance party
12. color christmas pictures & activity sheets
13. make a card for {ben}s preschool teacher
14. play "where's baby jesus?" with the nativity
great little people nativity for kids

15. birthday celebration for {auntie kate}
16. preschool christmas party//dinner with friends
17. christmas movie night & milkshakes
18. donuts before church
19. wrap gifts
20. open small gifts for car ride/ leave for florida
21. watch christmas movies in the car// do something nice for someone while on the road
22. have a sleepover in the living room
another diy:: tent tutorial via mycakies

23. hang out at {nanny}s house
24.  church//have birthday party for Jesus// open 1 gift (jammies & book)
printables for a birthday party for Jesus

25. biscuits & chocolate gravy for breakfast!
curious?! get a recipe here

and a few resources.
i'm using this book to help with the scripture/ spiritual aspect. but it's a great pre-packaged advent calendar. definitely worth checking into if you have little ones. 
here's a great selection of christmas books to add to your library.
and there are a million different holiday printables out there. i'm using this preschool nativity set.
and pinterest is full of ideas!! check it out.

need some other ideas? try these...

  • ice skating age appropriate of course
  • a trip to the post office is inventible this time of year
  • a family trip to the movies there's always a new family type movie out this time of year. anyone going to see the muppets?!
  • go see a christmas play...like the nutcracker or a christmas carol. 
  • collect some christmas books or grab some from the library. unwrap a 'new' one every night before bed. over the years the kids will love getting to read those stories.
  • drink apple cider
  • go caroling
  • bake & deliver cookies for those who work on christmas eve/ day
  • have kids put on a christmas story play for mom & dad
  • shop for & wrap gifts for others less fortunate. theres lots of opportunities to do this, not just churches.
  • help a food bank by serving or donating food.
  • have a cookie exchange
  • write letters to santa
  • write a letter to a solider


  1. great ideas. i spray painted wooden letters in a deep plum color that say "PREPARE." It's on our fireplace ledge and it is a constant reminder everyday to savor Advent and not get too far ahead of ourselves.

    i had no idea about the train exhibit. Gray is going to flip out. we are heading over to it today...thanks for the tip!!!

  2. @melissa hope y'all enjoyed it. guess we'll see how it goes this week. but you can't beat a free thing to do...especially a train exhibit for boys!



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