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01 December 2006

Advent

The Christmas decorations are starting to appear all over town, and I'm starting to regret the fact that our Christmas decorations are currently somewhere in the middle of the Atlantic.

Tomorrow is the 1st December and we don't even have our Advent calendar with us.  I was toying with the idea of buying or even making one -  though the Minx really is too young to understand - and came across this fabulous idea on the awesome Kiddley.com.  Instead of chocolate, the child is given the gift of a different fun family activity each evening - ranging from eating dinner in fancy dress or going out for sushi to writing letters for Santa.

Each activity is attractively 'wrapped' (Claire's idea is to make little envelopes out of origami paper or a jar of prettily covered matchboxes) and a new envelope is opened each day.

Check out the link for the full list of activities Claire planned.  Her readers and those at Little Birds (where I believe the idea originated) also came up with some wonderful ideas.

I'm not going to do it this year as I think it will be wasted on the Minx, but I'm posting this now so that I can find the link in future years, as I think it would be a wonderful family tradition to start.

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Comments

Have just presented Nell with advent box from Vinegar Hill with a hideous plastic mini-Winnie in each drawer. Bitch was up at 6 this morning in order to get her hands on the first one. Have yourself a White Trash little Christmas...

See, you should have planned an activity calendar instead. She wouldn't have got up at 6 for that. Could you also kindly refrain from advertising my competitors on my blog? ;)

Just discovered your wonderful blog (and shop) this evening, as two visitors from your site had come to mine. I see you had kindly included me in your links section. Thank you. I will be adding your link at my site.

Your photos and content are terrific and I hope you gain an even wider audiance.

My work is with parents and young children, and I loved this idea of origami envelopes of advent activities. We've used a paper loop advent activity chain in our family for years, and my older teen still enjoys it. Once a child can tape or staple (about age 3) they can assemble colorful paper strips of preprinted activities into a looped chain themselves, or it can be a family activity just before advent. It's then hung up whereever the child likes, and each day of advent the child removes one link of the numbered chain and can do with the family what is described (sometimes singing a special song, sometimes a cookie recipie, sometimes an easy activity for preshcoolers. One such activity can think of off the top of my head is rolling a small pine cone in something sticky like peanut butter (watch for nut allergies) corn syrup or sueit, then rolling it in wild bird seed and hanging it out on the balcony or a tree by a string for the birds. We got the masters for the loop strip papers from a library book of advent ideas and copied them on red and green, then cut them apart into 24 strips. With your design background, you could come up with your own great ideas--perhaps using beautiful patterned paper. Just letting toddlers wad up fun papers into "snowballs" and piling them up in a little bowl or basket for play or seasonal decor is wonderful fun.

Glad to have come upon your site. I will visit often.
-Kim

P wrote "See, you should have planned an activity calendar instead. She wouldn't have got up at 6 for that"

Yes, but then I would actually have to DO ACTIVITIES with her when I slump home after a 12-hour working day instead of watching EastEnders...

What a great idea, I am going to do that for my little boy....

Kim said :
"roll a small pine cone in something sticky like peanut butter (watch for nut allergies) corn syrup or suet, then roll it in wild bird seed and hang it out on the balcony or a tree by a string for the birds."

How do you know if a bird in your garden has a nut allergy?? 8-0

I've just spent 25 minutes putting together a Playmobil advent calendar with my youngest. Get a piece of playmobil every day from a numbered box which together make up a Christmassy scene. Didn't read on the box that the bloomin' boxes had to be made by a parent. That's enough activities for me....

Psst! Lissie....is it obvious that we're the jaded mothers of three, past our yummy prime?

Lissie wrote 'Yes, but then I would actually have to DO ACTIVITIES with her when I slump home after a 12-hour working day instead of watching EastEnders...'

But if you were cunning you could have as an activity 'watch melodramatic soap opera full of unprepossessing spivs and gangsters' 24 times.

Kim, ignore my friends :) thanks for the fab ideas, and thanks for linking. Loved your 'Bob' photo.

Wendy, I miss your blog. Who else can I talk about Strictly with?

Camilla, once a lawyer always a lawyer...

Daughter says that if it boils down to a choice between acquiring small yellow bears enacased in rubber outer garments or singing a special song/rolling pine cones in grease/eating raw fish/enduring any activity that involves yet more hair brushing, she'll take the bears any day. Is clearly a chav.

Also tells me (and was almost too consumed by mirth to speak) that her bf Emily has a Sponge Bob Squarepants chocolate calendar, with Spong Bob in the shape of a tree. I did detect a nascent snobbishness in her manner when describing this wonder, so all hope is not entirely lost. She sends lots of love to L, by the way.

Caz, learnt about Playmobil the long and hard way. I remember being up to 4 am one Christmas Eve trying to assemble two pirate boats...

Lxx

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