6 or 7 years ago I started a tradition with my kids that quickly became a favorite. It works particularly well for our family since my kids are off track in December, so we have lots of time to fully enjoy the season. (We are year round school.) Right after Thanksgiving we make our advent chains. On the paper link chain, my kids cut, write, and staple it all themselves. They love it and I love it! Inside each chain, we write one thing we want to do each day for the season. I love this because it helps me from forgetting all those little things you want to do. They love it because it gives them something to look forward to every day of the month and naturally it helps them countdown the days until Christmas. So here's a list of our days this year. Some things are the same every year. But others vary.
1. Christmas Family Home Evening (Lesson about the Meaning and Origin of Christmas)
2. Dance to Christmas Music
3. Write letters to Santa
4. Draw a Christmas picture
5. Watch a Christmas movie
6. Go to The Festival of Trees
7. Carol around the piano together
8. Secret Service
9. Visit Santa (which has always been followed by a family lunch out with kid's free coupons from school)
10. Make an ornament
11. Christmas Readathon around the tree
12. Make and frost sugar cookies
13. Christmas story go-around ... I start a story and then at some point would stop, where my oldest picks up and then stops. Then the next oldest picks up the story and then we continue on to the next child and eventually it comes back to me. Last year, we made up a very creative story together all about visiting Santa at the North Pole, magic mittens, and special elves.
14. Act out the Christmas story- My kids play whatever role they want and I get to play everything else!
15. Make Gingerbread house - this year it really evolved into a gingerbread village... my kids were at this for hours. It made a great family night!
16. Write letters to the missionaries
17. Go see Christmas Lights
18. Act out a Christmas Play
19. Write a Christmas Story
20. Make Snowflakes
21. Tell family stories by the fireplace
22. String popcorn and hang it on the tree
23. Color Christmas coloring pages
24. Make up a Christmas game
25. Open presents!