"How many days 'til Christmas?" is a question every Mom wants to hear only so many times.
So in our house, we made an advent calendar on a piece of yarn strung between the door and the picture window. We used old pictures the girls had drawn and scrapbook paper that was not put to use elsewhere. They colored and pasted and painted to their hearts' content to make the rest of them. Then, we cut them into envelope shapes and glued them together. After they went to bed, I filled them. On December 1, we started taking them down for all kinds of excitement.
We filled the envelopes with the following items:
1. Set up the manger, but don't fill it.
2. Make Christmas ornaments.
3. Lindor's chocolate balls (mint flavor).
4. Make Christmas cards.
5. Glass menagerie animals from our local drug store.
6. Make snowflakes.
7. Make Christmas cookies.
8. Money for donuts (and a coupon for a trip to Timmy's!).
9. Hot chocolate mix.
10. Go shopping for Dad's presents.
11. Sing Christmas carols together.
12. Drive around in our jammies and see the lights.
13. More glass animals.
14. Candy canes.
15. Make suet and seed cakes for the birds.
16. Gift certificates for free Domino's garlic cheesy bread.
17. Money for a special treat (and a coupon for a trip to the candy store).
18. Watch a Christmas movie together and devour homemade popcorn.
19. Lindor chocolate balls (raspberry flavor).
21. Go shopping for the cousins.
22. Money for a treat (and a coupon for a trip to Beachy's).
23. December Book-It certificate - which assumes they have met their goal. Otherwise, I'll substitute.
24. Track Santa on NORAD and play games.
The whole thing cost us a whopping $8.87, not counting money we gave them for treats. Pretty cheap entertainment, I'd say. And the best part? Not once have they asked me, "How many more days until Christmas?"