December 1—24 days until Christmas—December Weather

Take a deep breath because it’s time for wild weather.  Here’s another poem.  I hope it makes you feel grateful you’ve already finished so many preparations.


It begins with

a light breeze,


brightly colored cards

into mailboxes,

tinkling bells on street corners.

The winds

pick up speed,

pushing people

to stores,

swiping money

from their pockets.

And then

great gusts

pound wreaths on doors,

drop Christmas trees

in living rooms,

toss tinsel on each branch.

With the thunder of door knockers,

blizzards of aunts and uncles

gather together

to share this December storm.

© Ann Whitford Paul

And now’s the time to pull a paper out of your advent calendar and have fun with your family.  Enjoy your stress-free, love-filled month.

November 6th—49 days until Christmas—Last Advent Activity Suggestions

Here are my final suggestions.

  1. Go on a shape hunt in your house—rectangles, squares, circles, triangles. How many can you find?  How many are holiday related—Christmas tree is a triangle, circle wreaths, rectangle and square presents, etc.
  2. Write to a friend telling them how much he or she means to you.
  3. Make a list of all the things you’re grateful for.
  4.  Make decorations together for your Christmas Tree—out of pipe cleaners   DSCN0224 or buttons  DSCN0228 (2)  Here are the pipe cleaner directions.  And here are the button decoration directions.
  5.  Tie bright ribbons on your door knobs and bannisters.  012 (2)
  7.  Drive around and look at Christmas lights.
  8.  Clean out bookshelves and donate old books to library for used book sale.

Over the last several posts, I’ve given you well over twenty-five activity suggestions.  Pick your 25 favorite and put them in your bowl.  Then each morning pull out one.  Don’t be rigid about this.  If you’re having a busy day and the activity can’t be done, drop it back in and pull out another more doable one.  As the number of papers decrease, you and your family will see how fast Christmas is coming.  And what a fun time you’ll have together!

Join me for my nest post where we’ll talk about stars.

November 3rd—52 days until Christmas—More Suggestions for your Activity Advent Calendar

Here’s another set of activities for you to enjoy during December with your family.

1.  Spend ten minutes playing with your, or your neighbor’s, pet.

2. Learn a card trick to entertain family and friends on Christmas day.  Google card tricks and you’ll find loads of tutorials.

3. Color a Christmas picture.  Download coloring pages here from the famous book about me.

Christmas_cover - CopyAnd of course the internet is also full of free downloadable coloring pages.

4.   Make a handprint tree to hang in your house.


While the picture isn’t great, you can still get the idea.  I cut out a large, but simple tree shape of read felt, and a smaller one of white, pasted them together.  Had my niece and nephew (each using a different color) dip their hands into the washable paint and then onto the white felt.  They also signed their names and the date.  Their parents loved the gift and hang it up every year around the holidays.

5.  Bake muffins and give them to the oldest person you know—here’s a lovely white chocolate and raspberry muffing everyone will enjoy.  Sorry, no picture.  My hungry hubby and the elves finished them in an instant.  Your family will, too.  Here’s the recipe.

6.  Make blessing bags to carry in your car and give to homeless people.  Fill them with things like soap, tooth brush and paste, raisins and nuts, beef jerky.  What about a deck of cards?  A book?  For a great web-site with more details and suggestions, check this out.

7.  Make recipe for Christmas morning that can be frozen.  Last year I made this quiche and it was a big hit with hungry Santa and our elves.


October 30th—56 days until Christmas—More Activities for your Advent Calendar

I promised more suggestions for your Advent Activity Calendar and here they are.

1.  Make popcorn and cranberries strings to hang outside to feed the birds.

2.  Make a paper chain to hang inside.  Use only red and green paper to match the holiday.

3.  Clean one drawer.  Maybe two.  Donate anything in good condition to your favorite charity.

4.  Shovel or sweep the front walk.

5.  Wrap presents.

6.  Make a favorite family appetizer.  Remember these meat balls from last year?003 (2)

You can download the recipe here.  They freeze beautifully.

7.  Everyone work together making supper.  These Spicy Shrimp are easy and a favorite among the elves, probably because they love licking their buttery fingers when they’re done.

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8.  Go caroling in your neighborhood or at a senior citizens center or homeless center.

Come back again for even more activity suggestions for your calendar

October 27th—59 days until Christmas—My Favorite Advent Calendar

Our countdown is into the fifties! Time is moving on. That’s why it’s not too early to be thinking about Advent Calendars.

My Advent Calendar today doesn’t hold gifts. This one is full of activities the family can do together. The easiest part is making the container—I use an old vase, wide enough at the top so that small elf hands can fit inside and tie a bright read bow to make it seasonal.


Then fill your vase with twenty-five sheets of paper.

What’s written on each paper?

A different activity that you can do together. By the time December comes around, if you’ve been following this blog, you will have completed your shopping so you can relax and make memories that will last a lifetime.

Need some activity suggestions? How about these as possibilities?

1.  Make a card for someone special

2.  Go through your toys and belongings to find those still in good condition to donate to others less fortunate. This has the added advantage of brightening someone else’s holiday and gives you space to put the gifts received this Christmas.

3.  Bake cookies—What about these yummy white chocolate oatmeal cookies?

DSCN0370 (2)

4.  Shut down your computer, no video games. Everyone in the family gather around the table and play an old-fashioned board game. SCRABBLE anyone? MONOPOLY?

5.  Do an outside activity together, walk, jog, ice skate, build a snow man.

6, Start a jigsaw Christmas puzzle. Serious Puzzles on the internet has jigsaw puzzles from 13 pieces up to 6,000! Check them out here.

7.  Read a Christmas book aloud.  Perhaps this lovely collection of poems (My alter-ego Ann Whitford Paul has a poem there.)

manger  Or, better yet, this book about ME!

Christmas_cover - Copy

My next few blogs will be devoted to further suggestions for your Activity Advent Calendar. What fun you and your family will have together!