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Advent. Making the Most Merriment

Posted on Dec 1, 2013 in The Fam

Last year was the first year of Christmas Advent in which I ventured beyond tiny numbered doors hiding chocolates and did something a little more festive.  I scrawled out ideas of special things big and small to do each day and wrapped notes or items that represented those things for Tyler (or in some cases myself) to open.  The kids were still clueless about Christmas and traditions, so my plans for Advent weren’t really for them, but for me. It was fantastic.  Maybe it says something about me, but even though we didn’t end up doing all of the activities, just the fact that I planned ahead and had the thought of doing it was enough to make me happy.

This year our schedule is filling up already and I’m swimming in a sea of possible excursions.  It’s a challenge to juggle the desires to both max out the merriment and stay home at peace (accompanied by some hot chocolate of course).  Nevertheless.  Here’s a snapshot of our Advent Plan for this year…

1-Dec Festival of Lights Parade
2-Dec Get Tree – Decorate while eating M&M’s
3-Dec Start Reading Christmas Books (pick a short story to read aloud as a family)
4-Dec First Fire in the Fireplace – drink hot cocoa, eat popcorn or smores
5-Dec Christmas Crafting (make Rosemary Wreaths or Felt Trees for the kids)
6-Dec Go see the Living Nativity in Santa Clara
7-Dec Eat special breakfasts
8-Dec Take Photos and Make Christmas Cards
9-Dec Watch a Christmas Movie as a Family
10-Dec Start a Puzzle
11-Dec Get a Giving Tree gift at the mall
12-Dec Make Gingerbread (graham cracker) houses
13-Dec Go to San Jose’s Christmas in the Park
14-Dec Search the house for spare toys/items for charitable donation
15-Dec Family Bike Ride (Journey to Bethlehem?)
16-Dec Elf Time – shopping and/or making gifts
17-Dec Bake Treats for the Neighbors
18-Dec Sing Christmas Carols at the piano
19-Dec Visit the Farm (Emma Prusch) and look for mangers
20-Dec Put bubbles in the bathtub
21-Dec Make a Christmas Playlist to listen to on the way to Grandma’s house
22-Dec Drink Milkshakes
23-Dec Wrap Final Christmas Presents
24-Dec Christmas Eve Service at Church

Happy December!  May you enjoy anticipating Christmas in your own special way – – or better yet, come join us!

(photos from last year)


Christmas Puzzle and Homemade English Muffins. Advent Candles.


The Living Nativity. FAR exceeded my expectations…AMAZING!


Daily packages announcing the activity (or thing to be enjoyed).


Visit to SF for a Cable Car Holiday Lights Tour. Gotta love Groupon!



  1. I love it Michelle! We have slowly been trying to add to our Christmas festivities each year and with Niko now 5 things have become incredibly exciting. I think I am going to borrow this idea. Happy Holidays to you and your beautiful family and we can’t wait to see you. On our list of to does are going to Christmas in the park in San Jose, we should try to colaborate

    • Yes! That’d be great! Excited to see you at Christmas – let us know if you make it to Christmas in the Park!

  2. We had never been to the Nativity in Santa Clara until 2 years ago and I was so completely blown away by the detail and prep involved. We went back a second time that year to take my folks. I am so stoked to go again this year because it truly is the best way to get heart-prepped for Christmas. It’s a don’t miss. I have tears in my eyes just thinking about it. 🙂

    • Michelle, I loved seeing your pictures from this year. We went on Thursday as planned, and it was better than I remembered from last year (my first year going). And the kids are starting to engage in the activities more – they made little clay shekels! We’re so lucky to live close to this! And I can’t believe it’s free.


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