Lights of Christmas

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We are lucky to live close enough to visit The Lights of Christmas every year. They have millions of lights, a train ride, petting zoo, light maze, crafts, performances, and don’t forget Santa! My oldest has performed here several times, as did I when I was in high school. Visiting the Lights of Christmas is a great family Christmas tradition we look forward to every year.

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Christmas Crafts

My mom loves Christmas. She has over 2 dozen large rubbermaid totes filled with Christmas decorations and ornaments (not including large lawn decorations).

She also loves doing ‘grandma activities’ with the kids at Christmas time. Some years it’s gingerbread houses, or gingerbread trees. This year it’s candy trains. She starts buying candies at the after Christmas sales the year before (only the hard candies usually), and then buys the chocolate stuff in November. They turned out pretty cute.

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For her gift this year, I made a quilt. It is far from perfect but, it’s the first large quilt I have ever actually finished (I’ve done a couple baby quilts). I am lucky to have a friend with a long arm quilting machine who did all the quilt work in time (don’t worry I paid her for her time). I think it turned out pretty good, if you aren’t a perfectionist. Now my mom has a Christmas Quilt to go along with all her other decorations.

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And it’s not a craft, but my mother, me and my daughter all performed at a Nativity Festival nearby. It’s so neat to see all the different Nativity sets from around the world.

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Christmas Deployment Package


My husband is deployed. So, he didn’t get too much for Christmas. We’ll get him some things when he gets back, but I wasn’t about to ship a bunch of stuff to him that he didn’t need or couldn’t use. So I decided to just send him some fun things this year.
For his Christmas package I did a “12 Days of Christmas”. I scoured the internet for ideas, including lists of things people usually send to military members. Here is what I came up with.

1st day of Christmas -1 game of Battleship
2nd day of Christmas -2 cans of Pringles (he likes chips)
3rd day of Christmas -3 Fiber One bars (he is on some health kick)
4th day of Christmas -4 bags of combos
5th day of Christmas -5 hot chocolate accessory sets (marshmallow snowmen, peppermint sticks…)
6th day of Christmas – a card game of Fact or Crap (there were 48 cards, so ‘6’ x8)
7th day of Christmas -7 small bags of candy (peppermints, candy coal, and orange jelly candies since we always get oranges in our stockings)
8th day of Christmas -8 bags of popcorn (4 different flavors)
9th day of Christmas -9 hot cocoa mixes (3 different flavors)
10th day of Christmas -a pair of Christmas-y socks, so he’ll have 10 comfy toes.
11th day of Christmas -11 chocolate candy canes
12th day of Christmas -a tin with 12 gourmet butter cookies in it.

I had a little room left in the box, so I sent him some chocolate pudding, a travel sized nutella (comes with little bread sticks for dipping), and a back massager (it’s plastic and looks like a hand). He says he’ll put out a tip jar now and offer back rubs for his buddies.

Advent Activities

Since Christmas is just around the corner, I thought I’d share something we did last year that I am planning on doing again this year. Last year I saw a cute pin on Pinterest that had an activity advent calendar. I have a cute advent calendar that my parents got us on our first Christmas:

The doors open up to reveal 24 drawers. I usually put some small candies in the drawers. But last year I decided that the kids get plenty of treats, so instead I put in activities. I figured out our calendar of events for the month and then planned activities for each of the evenings.
Here is my list of activities (in no particular order):
Go for a drive to see the Christmas lights.
Bake Christmas cookies.
Read a new Christmas story.
Make an ornament or decoration.
Watch a special Christmas movie with treats.
Permission to stay up late.
Hot chocolate made especially for you.
Today we decorate the Christmas tree.
Christmas coloring book!
Make Christmas cards.
Decorate the windows in your room.
Invite a friend over today.
Go to the library to find some new Christmas stories.
Listen to fun Christmas music!
Bundle up. We’re going to the Lights of Christmas!
Learn about holidays in another culture.
Pick out food to donate to the food bank.
Make a gingerbread house.
Go to a Christmas Party
 Make a craft with Mom
Have lunch at a restaurant with our family
Wear new Christmas jammies to bed
Decorate cookies
Read the story about the birth of Jesus

I printed them in red and green and cut them apart in strips. The kids enjoyed doing different activities each night, and didn’t once complain that there wasn’t candy in there anymore. You can have a pdf copy of my list by downloading it HERE.