gallamore west: Advent Calendars & Favorite Traditions {A Link Party!}

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Advent Calendars & Favorite Traditions {A Link Party!}

Welcome to my 1st Link Party!  I'm super excited that you're here... long or short, lots of photos or just one, I'd love to have you link up at the bottom of this post!  
{p.s. Next week will be all about Christmas Trees!}
* * * * *

I love Christmas Time... I mean L.O.V.E. it.

the lights...
the sweets...
the celebrations...
the decorations...
the food...
the anticipation...
the gifts our boys pick out for us from their Christmas shop at school...
the traditions, old and new...

and of course, the real reason for the season.

Luckily for me, I have three little boys who L.O.V.E. it all just as much as me {and one Grinch of a Hubs... seriously, I bought him a Ba-Humbug shirt one year.  He wears it to hang our lights outside!  But he's a pretty good sport.} 

And since one of my most important goals as a Mama is to fill my boys with traditions that remind them of who they are and how loved they are in our family, I eat up every second of the season enjoying the magic of the holidays through the eyes of my boys.  I also eat up every last bit of fudge, but that's another story.

One of our favorite traditions for the past few years has been our Advent Calendar.  But since the month of December is packed full of sweets every day, try not to give them more candy "just because."  So I fill our Advent Calendar with slips of paper that list different family activities for each day of the month.  

In past years I've used a store-bought Advent "Chalet" with cute little doors, but this year I wanted to switch it up so I made my own {printable numbers from The Crafting Chicks taped onto letter-sized envelopes cut in half then turned sideways like a little pocket, and a little slip of paper tied with a ribbon inside of each for the daily activity to be written on... I don't write them ahead of time because I sometimes change up the plan depending on how our day is going.  I wrapped twine around the chalkboard and used mini clothespins and double-sided tape to attach the daily envelopes}

{I LOVE our "new" vintage chalkboard... such a fabulous find recently from the brand new shop Stitched. for just $22 and it's HUGE,but I should've tried harder to erase Sam's writing on it before taking these pictures... whooooops}



Here's some of our favorite advent activities...

Family movie night {which basically means we watch Elf... over and over and over... and even in July, long past "the season" has ended}.  Here are my own little elves.


Making and decorating sugar cookies and gingerbread cookies...

Doing Christmas crafts...

Going somewhere fun like Knott's Berry Farm...
 {2010}

Or Jungle Bells at the Zoo...
{2008}

Or sometimes even a fun family vacation, like the time we went to Yosemite...
{2007}

Or to the Polar Express by the Grand Canyon...

We were totally that family who ALL wore matching pajamas... what was I thinking?!
{2008}

Our boys wearing cute new pajamas that they get to open every year on December 1st 
{on the 2nd this year, darn you UPS!}
{2009}

Making gingerbread houses
{2007}

And one of my very favorite traditions... driving around looking at Christmas lights.  Every year we vote on our favorite house, then leave that family a treat on their doorstep with a note telling them that our kids voted their house as the BEST of the neighborhood!  Seriously, how fun would that be to get something like that after all that hard work that goes into putting up those decorations?  Before we moved, this was our favorite house {mostly because they had a really cool train track set up in the garage that the boys LOVED}. 
{2010}
I can't wait to see which house our boys choose this year now that we've moved!


Oh, and sometimes I guess I DO give them a little bit of chocolate!
{Sam in 2005}

I would love to see your Advent Calendar, and read about some of the fun activities you do to celebrate Christmas.  As you can see, we're definitely a "celebrate it all month long" kind of family.  I can't wait to see what you do in your house to make the holidays special.  You can link to a blog post {new or old}, a public Facebook album, or a Flickr acct. And this is my very 1st Linky Party so forgive me if I don't do it just right... I'll try my hardest :) I'll leave this link open for a whole week until we move onto Christmas Trees next week.

Link up below!!  
{Pretty please :)}

4 comments:

Jennifer said...

How fun! Love your advent chalkboard!! I'll have a post about mine next week so I'll be back!!
I'm co hosting something similar every Monday...love for you to link up!!
And your button worked great! It's up and running!

Jen said...

I was just working on a post about our advent calender to post today! This gives me even more incentive to get it done. (Although ours is going to be eerily similar to yours...once again. Haha!) I love seeing your pics of past Christmas activities. Maybe I'll post a few of those, too. :)

Brianna Tucker said...

I love all your ideas. Advent calandars are one of my favorite things. We open PJ's but on christmas eve!!

Reannah @ {Shaped by Grace} said...

This is such a great idea!! And cute posts already! I wish I had something to link up! Maybe I'll work on something this weekend. ;o) And I agree - the chalkboard advent is really cute! :)

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