Tuesday, December 27, 2011

The end of the Countdown to Christmas

This is it, the final installment of our family countdown to Christmas.  I am anxious to have this done.  The fun memories we created were definitely worth documenting.  However, I'm also in my self-imposed year-end crunch to have the blog year wrapped up before the annual New Year's Eve year-in-review.  (Translation: I've got a lot of blogging to do this week and I'm ready to move on from this particular topic)

Here are links to the first 3 installments in case you missed them:
Days 1-7
Days 8-14
Days 15-19

And for the grand finale...or at least the finale...
Days 20-24
and the final ornaments on our Countdown Tree

 Day 20 (5 sleeps until Christmas)
Read Luke 2 and do a puppet show about the story
We only took video this night so I don't have any pictures.  We were in the throws of packing and about to leave for Christmas travels.  Plus it was way past bedtime.  But I loved reading the Christmas story to the kids, the Message version in Luke 1 and 2 is awesome.  My favorite part is reading about the reactions to the news: 19-20 Mary kept all these things to herself, holding them dear, deep within herself. The sheepherders returned and let loose, glorifying and praising God for everything they had heard and seen. It turned out exactly the way they'd been told!

The kids were wild and antsy with excitement of going to Nonna and Papa J's house and because it was so late, but they participated in the story telling after I read.  And I love that each time we go through it again there are new details that they have retained.

Day 21 (4 sleeps until Christmas)
Take turns hiding and finding a Christmas ornament
We were FINALLY at Nonna and Papa J's house so we got to do our last few activities there.  When we took turns hiding and finding an ornament we chose a "safe" one off of their tree, that wouldn't break.  The kids had so much fun finding creative places to hide the ornaments.  Then we all paraded around together looking for them.  Best hiding place was under Papa J, which of course required three rascals to climb all over him. Tips: 1-we made sure an adult always knew where the ornament was and 2-The kids needed some help with the whole are we hot/cold concept.

Day 22 (3 Sleeps until Christmas)
Find pictures online of Christmas in other Countries
I wish we had put more time into this ahead of time, but we still found some cool pictures of famous Christmas trees and traditions in countries around the world.

Day 23 (2 sleeps until Christmas)
Share a peppermint shake at ChickFilA
So maybe I put this one in the mix for my own personal enjoyment.  Every day I hoped it would be the day for this ornament...so of course it did not come around until the second to last day.  Of course.  It was a fun treat and made for some great pictures.

Day 24 (the very last sleep before Christmas)
Make an acrostic using "Christmas". 
We did help the kids a little with this, but for the most part let them do it on their own.  This is another one I really hope we do every year because I think it will be neat to compare the years as they grow-up.  This time, it was sweet...but a little random.  Like T for Teague.  I mean, I'm as excited about our sweet little one as anyone, but I definitely did not expect his middle name to make our Christmas acrostic.  He is one of our Christmas blessings we are thankful for, though, so I let it roll.  The only one I nixed completely was when I said "R rrrrrr, what starts with R?"  And Cbug exclaimed proudly "RUM".  We found out later he meant "rum as in a car goes rummmm, rummmm" but regardless, rum was not added to our acrostic for the year.

C is for Cookies, H is for Hay in the manger, R is for Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, I is for Ice, S is for the Star, T is for Teague, M is for the Manger, A is for Angels, and S is for Shepherds and their Sheep.

well, the end of the countdown.  Still to come, Christmas itself.  We had fun celebrations with family, extended family and more good food than one week should be allowed to hold!


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