Sisters with Flair

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

My advent calendar ideas

I seriously can not figure out what's wrong with me, I'm just not really in the mood to decorate for Christmas this year. Crazy, right?! I usually love decorating, but with a 1 and 3 year old running around the house, the thought of putting out my treasured nativities and a tree full of breakable ornaments seems like a recipe for disaster. So, I'll probably put it off a bit. BUT, one of my favorite parts of Christmas is our advent calendar of activities. LOVE it. You can find my original advent calendar post here. Can't wait to get started with the fun! So I thought I'd share with you my tentative plan for our advent activities this year. Here it is (in no particular order):

Read "The Elf on a Shelf"

Make a paper Christmas countdown chain

Watch Christmas Vacation

Get hot chocolate and see the lights

Get and decorate the Christmas tree

Decorate a gingerbread house

Take treats to our neighbors

Watch Elf

Go to the ward Christmas party

Go sledding

Sing Christmas carols

Christmas book night

Do some secret service

Build a snowman

Go to Arthur Christmas

Make and decorate sugar cookies

Go shopping for brother gifts

Read Snowmen at Christmas

Watch the Santa Clause

Watch The Christmas Story

Read Luke 2 and watch the Nativity movie

Read and watch the Polar Express

Go shopping for stocking stuffers

I guess we'll be busy watching all our Christmas movies. And I'll have to watch the 90's version of Miracle on 34th Street because that's Andrea and my favorite but no one else wants to watch it here:( Womp, womp.

Anyway, hope this gives you a few ideas of things to add to your holiday list! Any other suggestions for fun family activities??

Friday, November 18, 2011

Meaningful Gifts

You know I'm obsessed with finding the perfect gift, right? You know the kind that brings tears to the receiver's eyes when they open it? Yeah, that's what I want every gift I give to be like. No pressure right? The problem is, when you find that perfect gift and it's everything you hoped it would be, everything after that is just a let down. It's hard to just give a gift card after that! Oh the things I stress myself out with :)

So a few years ago I wondered "If I died, would my family know how much they meant to me? Would my brothers, that I don't talk to enough, know how much I adored them, and how much fun I had growing up with them?" So I began one Christmas to sit down and write letters to each of them. I thought it would be hard, since I have 6 siblings and it's tricky to stay close now that we're all grown up and living so far away. But as I wrote, the memories of shopping cart races, dolly bomb fights & glow in the dark tag easily came. And after I had written 6 letters to my brothers and sisters, I had a pretty good history of our childhood. I thought my parents would enjoy them as well and so I wrote them letters as well. Then, I compiled the letters and published the book for my parents to keep. Since I live far away, I don't have a picture of that book. But I did a similar one for my own children and hubby last year, if you remember. From my favorite book publishing site- It looked like this:

Each child and hubby have a two page layout with a letter from me.

I typed up my hopes and dreams for each of them and of course I had to include my favorite photos of them. Photo's are my favorite gift of all time. They evoke so many emotions when I see they're chubby baby faces or remember how much they loved that particular necklace or always had to have they're hair a certain way.

Here is another way to show how much you care for someone:

The original idea was found here and I just love thinking of how fun it would be to open each letter and relive each memory. On someone's birthday, however old they're turning, you turn over a pen & paper to that many people. For instance, your dad is turning 60, you find 60 friends, grand kids, and family to write a memory of him. Compile them in a book like I did, or stack them in envelopes and tie them up pretty. The idea is simple, but so meaningful! It's the perfect time to start this, since so many families will be gathered together for Thanksgiving!