Wednesday, December 11, 2013

The sticky-note advent calendar

It's not like I'm about to become the centerfold in House Beautiful or anything, but I'm pretty happy with our new advent calendar.

Yup, there it is on the fridge, right next to the "Mommy Dollar Value Chart".  And yes, it's just a list of things to do covered with sticky notes.  I totally took my Christmas to-do list and pretended like it was fun.
December 1. Put up lights.
December 2. Decorate tree.
December 9. Write our sponsored children.
December 14. Make springerli.
 I interspersed my to-do list with a couple of pre-planned events:
December 8. Christmas Caroling with youth group.
December 19. Driver's license dinner.
 I added in a couple of wacky but Christmassy sounding things (I mean, wacky for us):
December 11.  Make X-mas music together.

 So far, I give this advent calendar a big Huzzah.  N-son in particular loves peeling back the sticky notes and seeing what's in store for the day.  And then he pesters me until we do it.

It's a great way for sharing tasks with the family.  In fact, for the first time ever, I handed the decoration tasks over to the kids.
 They had a blast stringing lights and putting ornaments on our cast-iron tree.  (This time of year, it's a Christmas tree, but other times of year it's an Easter tree or a Halloween tree or some such).

And when the calendar revealed that today was the day for making music together, N-son bugged me repeatedly.  When, Mom?

 Now, I play about three songs on the banjo: She'll be comin' round the mountain, Go tell Aunt Rhody, and Will the Circle be unbroken.  N-son plays drums, with equal amounts of talent and noise (lots of both).  The rest of the family grooves on percussion, with more noise than talent.

But we got down tonight.  We rocked the house to "She'll be comin' round the Christmas Tree".  Next week we'll probably go for an encore with "Go tell the Magi".  I might have to break out the ear plugs.
Yeah, baby!


  1. You are the BEST! I love your Advent Calendar idea. Things to do, pretend it's fun. Fabulous. It reminds me of when we were homeschooling and I'd get to a point of utter chaos and then we'd spend a whole day on Domestic Science (cleaning the house) or Horticulture (yard work). The things parents do to keep the troops happy and productive! You're making lots of happy memories. Merry Christmas to you and yours!

    1. The best part about the "pretend it's fun" is that pretending makes it so. Fabulous indeed!

      The geeky, uber-rational side of me notes that a big part of effective leadership is clear communication. In the past, much of the chaos and stress of December came from me feeling like we had to do one thing, while the kids in their own heads were preparing to do another thing. Not a bad thing, just something else. Hence, tension.

      This advent calendar keeps us on the same page, literally. Merry Christmas to you and the chuns!

  2. Ditto! You are so awesome and your family sounds like so much fun! One of these days you should write a book of creative parenting tips.