Easy Advent Calendar with a Paper Bag

***I am reposting this from 2 years ago – the only change I will be making for this years advent calendar will be at the end of this post***and sadly, I have to report that there was no big Powerball win for us last night – here’s to hoping no one won!

Last year the kids and I made a paper bag Christmas tree which they partially decorated using markers. Here’s the way our advent tree works.

On December 1 they receive a paper ornament which states something we will be doing, watching, or making that deals with Christmas.

One of the boys gets to glue it onto our tree. The next day the other one gets to glue it on.

On certain days they receive their ornament before school while other days they receive their ornament after school (it depends if I have my act together or not). Here’s a picture of the finished project.

advent treeHere’s a close up of some of the ornaments. Some days they would receive one ornament while on other days they would receive a bonus one.

There is a small part of me that cringes when these are glued onto the tree every which way. I do have to tell myself that having symmetry in this craft is not the purpose. But oh how I sometimes try to make suggestions of where the ornament could be placed.

This year I’ve made a tentative list of activities for our family. Some will change based on schedules and weather but it’s a start:

  • Wed Dec 1 – Watch The Grinch
  • Thurs Dec 2 – Make Christmas cards for grandparents
  • Fri Dec 3 – Choose Angels from Angel tree
  • Sat Dec 4- Andrew’s Christmas program
  • Sun Dec 5-Shop for Angels
  • Mon Dec 6 – Have hot chocolate & marshmallows
  • Tues Dec 7 – Watch Frosty’s Winter Wonderland
  • Wed Dec 8 – Turn in Angel gifts & get cookie at mall
  • Thurs Dec 9 – Watch Santa Claus is Coming to Town
  • Fri Dec 10- get tree?
  • Sat Dec 11-Photo with Santa at school
  • Sun Dec 12-make snow globes
  • Mon Dec 13-Assign & Hang Stockings
  • Tues Dec 14-drive around and look at lights
  • Wed Dec 15-?
  • Thurs Dec 16- Andrew’s school Christmas party
  • Fri Dec 17-Alex’s school Christmas party
  • Sat Dec 18-Frisco downtown – Santa parachutes in?
  • Sun Dec 19-wrap some presents
  • Mon Dec 20-Go see Northpark train display?
  • Tues Dec 21-Make Christmas cookies
  • Wed Dec 22-Aunt Amanda, Uncle Ryan, and Gramma & Grampa arrive
  • Thurs Dec 23-Aunt Kelly & Uncle Ben arrive
  • Fri Dec 24-go to ICE! display in Grapevine
  • Sat Dec 25 – Christmas

***Changes this year – Now 3 children will be placing ornaments on the tree *** Our activities each day has changed *** I am using large brown craft paper that I also use to wrap gifts in***

Do you have any unique ways your family celebrates the holidays?

The Countdown has Begun

Folks, it’s time we get serious here.

I’m going to tell you something that may excite you but it may panic you.

Are you ready?

Christmas is less than 100 days away!

In fact, it’s only 94 days away!


For some (my children), it seems far away and for others it seems like it’s right around the corner.

I must confess that I have started shopping already. In fact, I’ve almost completed some people off my list. What can I say, buying for my little nephews is just so much fun. Big people, well, they’re a little trickier.

I came across this site the other day with free Christmas organizing printables and I thought it would be worth it to share.

I have in the past, bought something for someone, completely forgotten about it, and bought them a second gift. Not that anyone is complaining but I do plan on using some of the printables in order to avoid that mistake this year- the shopping list, the gift list, and I kind of love the master checklist.

So confess now…

Are you a Christmas shopping planner or are you a the last minute shopper?


Celebration List – It’s a Printable!

I am the world’s worst person when it comes to remembering birthdays or anniversaries.

My entire family and group of friends are all nodding their head in agreement right now.

I have two friends who I have known since birth and I only know that their birthdays are at the beginning of November. The 6th? The 12th? The 14th?

I don’t even know my sister-in-laws anniversary. I know it was sometime in the summer since I was wearing a sleeveless dress at the ceremony –  July? August?

Sad. I know.

Well friends, I’m going to remedy that situation in 2012.

I created a celebrations page which allows me to write down everyone’s birthday and have them all in one place. Yes, this is something that could be on a computer but I wanted a hard copy to keep by the fridge. After all, I go by the fridge 16 – 20 times a day, I’m bound to see it.

For those of you who have a birthday on the 29th, 30th, or 31st let’s just get your feelings out there. Yes, I had to combine some dates in order for all 365 days to appear. That’s just the way it is. Would you have preferred I take them off completely :)?

If you’d like a copy of this 2 sided document, click here.

Please consider becoming a follower of Big D & Me if you decide to download


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