25 Days of Christmas


I love the whole idea of the Elf on the Shelf.

I do not, however, like that elf.  He's creepy looking.  I don't want him perched on my mantle or sledding through my shaving cream or staging marshmallow fights with my daughter's Barbies.

We don't have Elf on the Shelf in my house.  We do have a $5 Grinch doll I bought at Kohl's a few years ago.  And he's sort of like a bootleg Elf on the Shelf.  He works for the same purposes and, even though he has yellow eyes, he is nowhere near as creepy looking as that damn elf.

Since Christmas of 2010, my kids and I have done "25 Days of Christmas," where we do a different Christmas-related activity every day of December.  Last year we added the element of the Grinch.  Not only does he watch the kids and report to Santa when they're being straight up a-holes, but he also brings a note every day with their "25 Days of Christmas" activity.  Works for us.

We started a little early this year
First activity: decorate the tree!

I thought I'd share a few of the "25 Days of Christmas" activities we've done in years past just in case any of you might be interested. 

1) Decorate the Christmas tree
2) Make lists for or write letters to Santa Claus
3) Clean out toys to donate -- and to make room for new ones
4) Make some sort of Christmas candy (we usually do this once a week -- we make peppermint bark, fudge, chocolate covered pretzels, cake balls, etc)
5) Elf Yourself!
6) Watch a Christmas movie (another weekly thing 'round these parts)
7) Send your kids a personalized video from Santa
8) Make gingerbread men
9) *Insert craft project here* Yeah, this is another weekly thing.  My kids love construction paper, scissors, glue, and making messes.  I have an entire Pinterest board dedicated to things for them to do during the holidays.
10) Drive around to look at Christmas lights
11) Have pictures taken with Santa Claus
12) Put together a gingerbread house
13) Make reindeer food
14) Have a cookie decorating party
15) Make Polar Express hot chocolate (and, you know, maybe watch Polar Express while sipping it)
16) North Pole breakfast! (we did this one last year and it was such a huge hit)
17) Make and deliver goodies to your neighbors
18) Go see a performance of The Nutcracker or a Christmas play or even a church cantata
19) Read the biblical Christmas story
20) Read The Best Christmas Pageant Ever (this is my favorite Christmas book EVER.  I tried reading it to my kids last year but they were still too young to be interested.  Crossing my fingers for this year!)
21) Make your own advent calendars (I've been using this one since my days of working at an after school program.  Love it!)
22) Make a trip to a community tree lighting or other holiday festival
23) Talk about different Christmas traditions around the world or other December holidays
24) On Christmas Eve, track Santa on NORAD.
25) Christmas jammies!  Unwrap them on Christmas Eve and cuddle up to watch Home Alone or Christmas Vacation before settling down for a long winter's nap.
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