Saturday, November 16, 2013

Getting Ready (I Need Your Help!)

In an effort to not fall prey to the "It's almost Christmas and I'm not ready and OH MY GOD, what about all the MAGIC my children were supposed to be enjoying?? I FORGOT TO PLAN ALL THE MAGIC!!!!!" syndrome that happened last year (and the year before if I'm being honest), I've started listing and planning and brainstorming.

Of course, Jeremy is against this, as he feels there should be no mention of Christmas until December 1st at the earliest, and I agree. I mourn the loss of Thanksgiving when everyone is putting up their trees November 1st, but this is different. I'm just planning. Plus, I've been pinning Thanksgiving crafts ... although they're pretty much all turkeys, so if you have a Thanksgiving craft that is easy and doesn't involve turkeys, I'd love to hear it.

This year I'm going to do a Christmas countdown calendar with a planned activity for each day. I've got little projects and coloring sheets and whatnot to pepper throughout the month, but I wanted at least one great activity per day. I've started a list, and I was hoping for some feedback from you guys. Here's what I have so far (in no particular order):

1. Get out the Christmas books (I'm thinking of wrapping them up in a big box and letting them open it on December 1st -- cool or meh?)
2. Make snowflake window clings
3. Write a letter to Santa (not a list, just a letter I think)
4. Make ornaments (I'd like to try cinnamon applesauce this year and at least one other)
5. Get tree
6. Decorate tree and house
7. Hang lights with Daddy
8. Make Christmas cookies 
9. Decorate a gingerbread house
10. Have a cocoa taste test (lots of cocoas, vote for favorite)
11. Pick a present to donate to Toys for Tots
12. Have a dinner picnic in the living room while watching a Christmas movie (I think I'd like to do this every Friday night)
13. Go to the Festival of Trees (If you are local, Josephine will be performing with her dance class at 4 PM on Saturday the 7th. It should be ... interesting.)
14. Go to our town's parade
15. Pick out some hats, gloves, and scarfs to donate to the bin at the library
16. Go see Santa
17. "Wrap" presents (we'll see how well that works)
18. Go sledding at the "mountain" (sledding hill in the park)
19. Make a snowman
20. Drive around and look at lights

And all the Christmas Eve activities, naturally. Jeremy would also like to take Josephine ice skating, but I'm afraid she still lacks the coordination. We'll see if we add it to the list.

So, what other great ideas do you have? What can I add to this list? Is there anything you do with your kids or did as a kid that you think is just essential for the holiday season?

Also, while I'm thinking about it, do you have a favorite cookie recipe that I could try in our baking extravaganza? I'm not a big baker, but I'm hoping to make some magic in the kitchen with Josephine this year (while Genevieve steals the vegan butter and gnaws on it, of course. So so gross.).

Please help a girl out! This is our biggest Christmas yet. Josephine started "getting it" last year, so this year is huge. Magic time, people.


  1. When I was a kid, we'd make paper chains, say, 25 links long, and then everyday tear one off so it was a countdown til Christmas. Loved seeing the chain get shorter and shorter. And, of course (and similarly), Advent calendars!

    1. Yes! We're definitely doing the chain! Jeremy always did it, too. Must have been a Jones thing. :)

  2. I commented on this last night, but apparently it didn't go through? Anyways, I love the ideas you have thus far. I think wrapping a big box of books you already have is good. And, I agree with some of the others who commented on FB about you having enough books for the whole month. Also, I like that Jeremy wants to take them ice skating! Even if she's not very coordinated, it's okay. My dad took us ice skating as really young kids and even made an ice rink in our backyard a couple times! They make training ice skates, or at least they did in the '80s. :) I get preschooler craft ideas in my email all the time from different teacher websites I'm signed up on. I'll send them to you when I get them and if they're cute.

    1. Yeah, I was wondering if they still had those skates with two blades instead of one? But I would want to take her skating outside and not at a rink, and I don't think I want to buy a pair of skates that she will have outgrown by next year. Hmmm.

  3. Molasses crinkles are easy, and fun for kids. (You roll balls of dough in sugar, and they flatten as they bake.) Message me on FB if you want the recipe. And I am REALLY sorry that I will be out of town on the 7th, because I have so many good memories of waiting to see somebody or other dance at the Festival of Trees.!

    1. Oh, too bad! I bet your head would have been full of images of all your little girls on that stage. :)

  4. We have a lot of local things we do near our house. Like we have Bentleyville which is a HUGE outdoor light park that you walk through and see Santa. Then we have a Polar Express train, Santa's village with live reindeer, tons of story time/cookie events, etc. They've pretty much become tradition. Oh and then the mall Santa. We make it a big deal. They dress up, they meticulously make their list, we see Santa and then we go out to a fun lunch out somewhere. This year I was thinking of having the kids make a bunch of "cards" and sending them to a nursing home in our town here.

    1. We have NOTHING awesome like that around here. I would LOVE a light park. Josephine would lose her mind!

  5. It's been almost two months since the last time you posted anything, I hope everything is ok? I really miss your posts :)


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