Instead of three waxy chocolate filled advent calendars, we had a snowman calendar. With 25 pockets, he had plenty of activities in store for us during December.
Some things - like decorating the Christmas tree and mailing holiday cards - made things easier on us all. Next year, we're going to put 'hang holiday lights' on the calendar since we didn't get around to it.
Some ideas flopped. Hayden decided he was afraid of the dark for two weeks (thanks to a movie)...and so we had to light up halfway through the candlelight dinner and the candlight bubble bath was candleless.
Some ideas were improved upon. Instead of buying a gingerbread house kit (that we always toss later) we made houses from graham crackers and leftover halloween candy. HUGE hit with the boys. The calendar suggested Happy Meals and a drive to look at holiday lights, but we stepped it up and made that Zoo Lights, out to dinner, and a drive through the neighborhood lights. Much better.
Some things were simple - hot chocolate, cinnamon rolls, write letters to Santa, make snowflakes, read holiday books, pizza night, game night, movie night with popcorn, holiday movie with caramel corn, make cookies, and open one present.
Other things I hope become traditions and cherished memories - making reindeer food, sleeping under the Christmas tree...
I think I'll collect a few more ideas before the snowman goes up on the wall again next year.