a couple of years ago I made a very simple advent calendar for her out of paper, crayons, string, and a handful of tiny clothespins. she adores it and looks forward to checking it each morning during advent and having us read the little card inside the envelope to her. usually there is a suggestion for something fun for us to do together, or perhaps a good deed. occasionally there is a little treat inside as well. I will admit she particularly likes those days. so far this year, this is what we've done:
12/1- let's go to the library and pick out some Christmas books
12/2- let's collect pine cones for our garland(s)
12/3- let's make hot cocoa and make the garlands and more swags
12/4- let's go shopping together for the food pantry and drop it off at the donation center
12/5- let's watch a Christmas movie and have popcorn- Nana and Pipop will be here!
12/6- (shoes filled with a few candies and dollars), coloring pages & a story about St. Nick
12/7- let's invite Nana and Pipop to go see the Winter Lights with us!
12/8- let's get out the rest of the Christmas decorations & take your bike out for a ride
there was also the town Christmas parade, complete with firetrucks and hot rods, a group with newfoundlands, a wolf-dog rescue group, greenway supporters on bikes, some horses, lots of interesting local business 'floats', (by which I mean various sized trucks pulling various sized trailers with varying degrees of Christmas decorations on them) and loads of candy being tossed out at the crowd. and even a pickle sample.
the following several photos are of the Winter Lights exhibit at the NC Arboretum. which was great, although in my opinion quite a bit overpriced. still, a very enjoyable time.
last year Claire started being really interested in nativity sets. I found a couple at the local thrift store and brought them home for her and she loves them. below are her acorn peg dolls, all surrounding Jesus "to keep him safe from the bears".
tonight we got our tree. trees, actually. we have been purchasing trees from the same organization that has a tree lot in town for the past several years. they are a nonprofit residency and counseling program for people with chronic addiction issues. a few local tree farms donate excess trees to them yearly for a tax write-off and they sell the trees (no matter the size) for $20. we got a reasonable 6 foot tall spruce this year, and the very nice guy sent Claire home with her own little 3 foot frasier fir at no cost. 'tis the season. tomorrow's envelope will definitely read 'today. let's decorate our tree!'