My Christmas A to Z, combined with my daughters advent calendar, requires a different activity each day to bring the theme/ word of the day to life. This is the page I have dedicated to documenting and planning.
2013 CHRISTMAS A-Z ACTIVITIES
■ Day 1 – A – Advent Calendar - we have 4 advent calendars. I started by showing Ana the different types we have (wooden with drawers; paper with pictures; chocolate; stickers) and explaining that we use them to count down to 25th December which is Christmas Day. I also told her about other varieties I could remember that we don’t have, like a candle advent calendar.
■ Day 2 – B – Baubles - we spent the day looking for baubles everywhere we went, noting the different shapes, sizes, colours and styles. We did this in books, shops, the neighbourhood, and our own christmas tree. Ana decorated her felt christmas tree, and we painted our home made salt dough tree decorations.
■ Day 3 – C – Christmas Cracker - invented mid nineteenth century, I could mention these under V but I’m looking forward to Ana pulling her first cracker and exploring what’s inside!
■ Day 4 – D – December 25th - christmas falls on December 25th probably due to a Roman winter festival that already fell on this date before Christianity became their official religion. It has much to do with the winter solstice (shortest day followed by longest night) and both historically and worldwide people have met the day with festivals and celebrations. It’s the day we’re counting down to and I want Ana to know many other cultures will be celebrating too, but we will all be doing it in our own special way, and possibly for different reasons. We are all different: and that’s a good thing! Today’s activities are a celebration of differences.
■ Day 5 – E – Evergreen Tree - Ana loves christmas trees and points them out everywhere (big/small/real/fake). Today we are going to make one. We will sing the Carol O Christmas Tree and possibly make a wool covered mini tree or use ideas from this blog.
■ Day 6 – F – Food & Fun Festive Feasts - I could have done a list dedicated entirely to today’s theme! Instead I hope to make gingerbread men, and eat mince pies.
■ Day 7 – G – Gifts (Generosity – Giving not receiving – Charity) - As today is about generosity and giving we are going to make presents to wrap and give to family and friends that we see today. Possibly some of the salt dough decorations we made on Day 2, or Gingerbread men we made on Day 6. To me Christmas should never be about getting presents! And I don’t want it to be for my daughter either.
■ Day 8 – H & I – Holly and Ivy – I hope to find some in the market on Day 6 or 7 to decorate our house with today. We will sing The Holly and the Ivy carol.
■ Day 9 – J – Jesus - as a Christian this is an obviously important day to me. We are going to read the Christmas story and I will hopefully have a Nativity scene completed by then. I hope to make it out of polymer clay.
■ Day 10 – K – Kiss (Mistletoe) - I hope to buy and put up mistletoe today and give Ana lots of kisses.
■ Day 11 – L – Lights (Candles on the tree) - I’m going to light a christmas candle today, make christmas fingerprint lights, and look at displays accross Newport.
■ Day 12 – M – Music - one of my favourite topics! We shall sing carols, play instruments, and listen to old and new christmas number ones! I hope to have learnt a few carols to play on the piano by now.
■ Day 13 – N – Noël - the French word for Christmas.
■ Day 14 – O – Oranges (Family Tradition & Pomander) - my Mum has always said oranges remind her of Christmas, so now they do me too! We are going to make a pomander.
■ Day 15 – P – Pantomimes - musical comedy stage production designed for families, and an apparently very English tradition, with it being most popular in the nineteenth century. Today we are going to dress up in silly costumes.
■ Day 16 – Q – Quiet Night (Peace) - in contrast to yesterday, today is about peace. We may practice being calm, kind and do a calming activity drawing a Dove as a symbol of Peace.
■ Day 17 – R – Robin Red Breast - a colourful winter bird whose red breast reminds us of Post Boxes, red holly berries and even Santa’s red suit. Make a Paper Plate Robin.
■ Day 18 – S – Stocking – I’ve made Ana a Christmas stocking which I will give her today. I hope we will together make one for her Dad, which I might first prepare by cutting the shapes and punching holes for Ana to sew.
■ Day 19 – T – Twelve Days of Christmas - time to find the words to the song and act them out. I will also mention Epiphany and Twelfth Night.
■ Day 20 – U – ‘Us’ (Family and Love) – THE most important part of Christmas. Today I hope to see family, play simple games, and make happy memories!
■ Day 21 – V – Victorians Christmas (Dickens) – most of the traditions we know and love have foundations in the Victorian era. Today is the day to watch A Muppets Christmas Carol, if we haven’t already a million times.
■ Day 22 – W – Winter Wonderland (Snow etc.) – embracing everything wintry, we are going to make paper snowflakes and snowmen with cotton wool.
■ Day 23 – X – Xmas (Santa, Rudolph etc.) - read Twas the Night Before Christmas and make Santa and Rudolph crafts
■ Day 24 – Y – Yule Log - I’d love a real Yule log to burn, but I think we will opt for a tasty chocolate one instead.
■ Day 25 – Z – Zero days left until Christmas – we’ll probably forget to do this letter. Time to enjoy Christmas!