Sunday, January 23, 2011

Final Christmas Countdown Update

I know this is a little after the fact, but even though our last week was hit or miss with the activities, I'm still happy with how the project turned out.

Day 17: Watch a Christmas Movie
This almost didn't happen because I needed to get a movie from the library, and good Christmas movies were always checked out from our public library and the local college library.  That morning I looked online and the Muppet's Christmas Carol was in, so I left work at 8:59 to go get it. We had our movie night, ate homemade pizza on the couch, and later had hot chocolate but skipped the popcorn since none of us were hungry.  The downside - it's not "Cars" and barely held Henry's attention.  He kept asking where Kermit was, which was almost constant since Kermit does NOT have a leading role.  How the Grinch stole Christmas may have been better, but we own it on VHS and no longer have a VCR connected to our TV.  Oh well.

Day 18: Go Sledding
This was fun.  We went on a tiny little hill behind the school just down the block from us, which was perfect because Henry could climb back up all by himself even carrying the sled.  He had a blast, and Mom and Dad were there just to push him down the hill.  He even tipped back in the sled and went down the hill with his head bouncing off the ground and came up laughing.  Crazy kid.  And then he and Dad tried to sled down the road home.  That didn't work so well.

Day 19: Bake Surprise Meringues
This went pretty much the same as our other baking days: I did it by myself with him popping in every once in a while, mostly to snoop chocolate chips.

Day 20: Bring Treats to Neighbors
We actually brought a few plates of treats to a few local businesses we deal with instead, and Henry came home with a pocket full of suckers and tootsie rolls  I'm not sure who came out ahead on that deal!

Day 21: Look at Christmas Lights
Henry had in his mind he wanted to be doing something else and kept asking to go home, the chauffeur began the trip by saying there's nothing real impressive to look at in town, and Mom was getting frustrated because apparently she's the only one who wants to have fun.  Not the most successful night. :)

Day 22: Wrap Presents and Stuff Stockings
Actually, our stockings never got hung, again.  I started by wrapping Henry's presents when he was supposed to be having some quiet time, and barely got done before he showed up in the office.  He helped some, mostly putting on tape, but then he got sent out of the room when he started using the wrapped presents as step stools.

Day 23: Sleep by the Christmas Tree
This was one of the most successful things, even though none of us got a great night's sleep.  But we didn't have to go to work in the morning so it wasn't a big deal.

Day 24: Make Christingle Candles for Tomorrow's Breakfast
(Chrstingle Candles are the oranges with the cloves and cranberries with a hole for a candle)  Didn't happen.  Not only that but my "special" Christmas breakfast never happened either.  But we left early afternoon for our Christmas party with Doug's side of the family and had lots of fun sledding and eating and sharing gifts.

Day 25: Read Luke 2 After Breakfast
We did have a good breakfast, although I forget what we had.  Probably waffles since that's what Doug usually requests and I rarely make.  We read Luke 2 and then the rest of the day flew by. 

We got ready for church then packed up food, presents, snow clothes, games, toys, extra clothes.  We opened our presents as a family, went to church, came home, changed clothes, piled in the car, went to an extended family Christmas dinner, went straight to Christmas with my side of the family and went sledding again, ate, exchanged gifts, and got home late and exhausted.

Which pretty much sums up my reasons for wanting to do this countdown calendar.  So much emphasis (and pressure) is put on a single day and for parents of young children, this day can often be less than enjoyable with the busyness it brings before it comes to a screeching halt.  It's supposed to be a season of joy celebrating the fact that our Savior came to earth to save us, and doing this helped us slow down a little and enjoy doing some things together and do a little more giving.

What I would change?
Having the grandparents over and sleeping by the tree were definitely the most talked about (therefore most enjoyed) by our 2 year old.
I had a lot of activities, partly because I wanted to do a lot, and partly because the only alternative seemed to be treats.  Next year I'm going to cut back a little - this year I easily got away with skipping activities if it was getting too busy, but I may not always be that lucky.
With the right activities, this can be a great teaching tool as Henry grows.
We will definitely be making this a tradition!


Deb said...

If you are interested in doing something for Easter, I have an idea/instruction sheet and the eggs for using plastic eggs each day for 12 days before. You put in a particular object along with a Bible verse and explanation on the meaning.

Cindy said...

Sure! I think I've heard of that, but have never done it before and Henry would enjoy it.