Which happens to be where I bought all of my fun supplies.
A little known side effect to consuming turkey is that it triggers the release of craft-y-mone (a recently discovered hormone), which is why Hobby Lobby can afford to list all of their Christmas products at 50% off the day after Thanksgiving... they know we'll be out looking for scrapbook paper and glitter glue.
After the success of last year's magical advent season, I decided, in spite of the holiday doldrums, to continue the advent activities tradition this year.
Here's what I did (and here comes the Pinterest-ready photos... har har har):
After I managed to pry my fingerprints off with the double-sided foam tape that came with the 12x12 corkboard squares, I stuck 'em up on the wall in a mostly square square. For the more anal retentive among us, I suggest a thingy with the bubble in it that makes sure things are level -- oh! there it is, the device we professionals call a "level."
There once was a time when I used scrapbook paper to scrapbook, but those days are gone like a freight train, gone like yesterday. Now, I will be purchasing seasonal squares of scrapbook paper as background material for my boards o' cork and using them for kids' pictures and other super-fun Mommy kind of things. If I didn't have this turkey triggered craft-y-mone, I might have just stopped here because I think this is just about the cleverest little display I've ever conjured. But wait, there's more!
Using some multi-brown colored cardstock to match the kitchen decor, I cut out some Christmas-y shapes, like stars, bells, trees, bulb ornaments, and a boot that looks more like a train engine if I turn it sideways. After I got the cutting done, I laid them out on the table to make sure I didn't put all of the poop brown ones in one corner. This seemed important. Then, I labeled 'em in order from 1 to 24 and wrote down someone else's really handy Pinterest idea, which is to read a passage from the nativity story in Scripture each evening. The verses for that are here.
Once all of that was done, I handed the tags over to my kiddos, equipped with stickers, glitter glue, and little sticky gemstones. I did my best to resist rearranging stickers in order to make each ornament either symmetrical or balanced and avoided a lecture on proper glitter glue technique ("Don't squeeze so hard! Squeeze from the top! Egads, don't smear it like that!"), but I did supervise a few strategic sticker placement attempts, thus averting the very serious top-heavy sticker crisis of 2013.
After feeding the children and watching 2/3 of Elf because the children are losing interest and ricocheting off furniture with their Star Wars Lego battleships and gymnast maneuvers cleverly propelled from the seat cushion of the couch to the ottoman, escort them off to their rooms where they will whisper, "Good night, Mom. I love you, Mom," after you've sung "Take you for a ride on my big green tractor" to them even though it's about taking a girl out for a ride on a tractor and you've modified it for your starry-eyed farmer sons, then sit down with the advent cards and start plotting out the possibilities for December leading up to Christmas.
Here's what we're doing (don't tell the kids!):
December 2 - Make cinnamon ornaments
December 3 - Play Christmas music
December 4 - Read a Christmas book
December 5 - Look at family photo albums
December 6 - Polar Express movie night
December 7 - Tuba Christmas @ Ashland
December 8 - Make Christmas cookies
December 9 - Read the story of the Nutcracker and open "special gift" (nutcrackers)
December 10 - Take a winter walk
December 11 - Buckeye Express Diner night
December 12 - Package Christmas cookies
December 13 - Popcorn and pajamas movie night
December 14 - Christmas shopping
December 15 - Lingro Family Christmas
December 16 - Deliver Christmas cookies
December 17 - Wrap Christmas gifts
December 18 - Eat Christmas cookies
December 19 - Fancy dress-up dinner night
December 20 - Look at Christmas lights
December 21 - Go ice skating
December 22 - Mystery event
December 23 - Color Christmas pictures and cards
December 24 - Davis Family Christmas
December 25 - Christmas Day
I feel a little less panicky and depressed about the holidays than my last post, partly because this project is done and I've outlined the holiday season, but also because I really do love the holidays-- the whirlwind of family gathering and laughing, the late night car rides looking for early Christmas lights on the way home from Thanksgiving dinner, the ever-available Christmas cookies, the quiet glow of the Christmas tree... ah. There it is. My Christmas spirit.