Counting Down

countdown calendar 2013 at

With Thanksgiving being so late this year, I needed to take down our Thankful banner right after Thanksgiving and replace it with our countdown calendar. I meant to highlight that tutorial much earlier in the month, but November has simply slid right by. Fortunately, this countdown calendar design has open pockets, which is one of the many reasons I love it so much. I can slip in the activity cards as we go. I’ve said before, I know: our countdown activities are things we’d be doing anyway–getting a tree, writing to Santa, sending out cards, and so on–made extra special because each day’s activity, even the simple ones (have hot cocoa + whipped cream, for example), have an element of surprise from the anticipation of seeing what’s in the pocket. Our countdown always starts the same way on December 1–celebrating my firstborn’s birthday. And then we can begin with Christmas in earnest.

I slip some chocolate in there every so often, but overall, this is about doing simple things, together. The kids look forward to it, too, making sure I don’t forget to include their favorites. “Will we be making snowflakes this year?” my oldest wanted to know. “We can’t forget to drive around looking at Christmas lights,” reminds my youngest. I like to think that this element of simple ritual is something they’ll look back upon when they’re older as a beloved part of celebrating the holidays together.

Meanwhile, I’ve been a bit quiet in this space because I’ve been busy getting the second issue of Art Together ready for release the first week of December. This issue focuses on line, and the kids and I have had fun researching it and putting it together. The featured artist is one of my favorites, Piet Mondrian. We have really enjoyed learning more about him. I’m looking forward to sharing this issue with you (and simultaneously quieting that voice that always says, No, not quite ready, not quite yet).

I’m also counting down to Sew Mama Sew’s Giveaway Day on December 9. I’ve decided to participate this year, so there will be something up for grabs here the second week of December. So many things going on here this month! Finally, a little something for the holidays–code HOLIDAY13 will get you 10% off in the shop through December 31.

Phew. I think I’ve caught everything up for the time being. Now, I have a birthday to prepare for before coming back next week to announce the new issue!

5 thoughts on “Counting Down

  1. Dawn Suzette

    I love this idea of the countdown & filling the pockets with simple activities.
    We have had winter fairies leaving little gifts from nature for years but the kids are “out growing” this tradition and last year I felt the need to do something a little different. With our move it is a good time to start something new.
    Thanks for the idea!

    1. amy Post author

      I hope you + the kiddos have a great Advent, whatever you decide to do! 23 days seems like an eternity to the kids and of course to me it seems like no time at all…

  2. amanda

    the few years we did the pockets, we filled them with small things we usually did anyway but like you said, it was still a blast for the kids! happy birthday to your firstborn!

  3. Karen

    funny – today’s countdown calendar item in OUR house was hot chocolate with whipped cream. (and marshmallows!)
    I love the ritual of this calendar. Even though there really aren’t any surprises, having done it so many years in a row, he still races downstairs every morning to read the note and see what the day has in store. His excitement and appreciation are a good reminder that we don’t need to ramp it up or do more. simple and familiar is really good.

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