life on the funny farm

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Chicken-Scratch-Saturday: Advent Stockings

A number of years ago I came across an idea somewhere (Family Fun, maybe?) of a fun way to count down the days till Christmas.

We had done the advent chains, where you start with 24 paper chains and you rip one off each day so the kids (the little ones, especially) can see how many days are left till the big day. Some people write a bible verse on each chain, or an idea of an activity to do, some just leave them blank.

We also do advent calendars, as this is something I remember from my childhood. Somehow, my kids seem to get just as much thrill out of something as simple as looking for the daily number and opening the flap as I did when I was little.

But my favorite Christmas countdown, and it seems to be my kids' favorite as well, is our advent stockings.

I'm still planning on throwing a length of Christmas greenery along the hooks to dress it up a bit, but you get the idea.

Pretty simple to do, and the kids get soooo excited to find out what's in each stocking.

I just went out and bought 12 pairs of red and white socks from Wal-Mart, but you could do this for free just by using socks from your unmatched socks basket.

What? Doesn't everybody have a basket full of scores of unmatched socks???

Find some wallspace where you can hang this. I happen to have a long mirror with hooks on it that I use, but you can get some of those 3M hooks that come off the wall when you're done. Those things are all kinds of awesome.

Run a string through the holes of 24 clothespins, and mark the clothespins from 24 down to 1, with 24 to the left and 1 all the way at the end on the right.

Then have some fun figuring out what to fill the stockings with. If you haven't figured it out yet, this works just like an old-fashioned advent calendar: on Dec 1st, your kids get to see what's in the stocking hung by the "24" clothespin. Dec 2nd they open the "23" stocking and so on down the line till they've opened the "1" stocking on Christmas Eve.

The beauty of this is that you can go really cheap or really elaborate, whatever floats your boat (and your budget).

A few ideas along the range of free to pricey:

*print out some Christmas activity pages, such as word-searches, crosswords, coloring pages,
*cut out strips of red and green construction paper and put those in the stocking for the kids to make a Christmas chain,
*cut out a little Christmas tree from green paper and write "Today we find (or decorate) our Christmas tree!",
*put a Christmas cookie cutter in the stocking to let them know today's the day they'll get to help make Christmas cookies,
*put a little baggie of birdseed in the stocking with a note that instructs them how to make peanut-butter-and-birdseed-pinecone-feeders for the birds,
*candy canes,
*Christmas pencils,
*Christmassy hair accessories,
*jingle bells and some ribbon for the kids to make necklaces with,
*surprise them with breakfast out on the way to school one day (perhaps you could write it out on a star cut-out),
*cute Christmas socks.

You're only limited by your imagination.

Each day, another sock comes down, so they'll have the visual before them of how many days remain till Christmas.

If you can't trust the kids to not peek (and really, if you can, I don't like you very much), then just fill one at a time before you go on to bed each night.

The kids have been asking me for weeks when we can start the advent stockings.

Maybe I'll need to make advent stockings leading up to the advent stockings.


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  1. Thanks for visiting my blog! Love your Advent stockings idea, and I cast my vote, so good luck!! Have a great weekend! ~Lorraine

  2. Super cute! Saw you link up on some link parties. Would love it if you linked up on my blog hop and added it to your list! Also let me know if you'd like to follow each other!

  3. I think its way cute..i did the chain thing last year without any presents..things like "tree up today" .." sugar cookies today"..." sledding"..." Gingerbread houses".visit so and so.."party".etc... So I was wondering if you did say gifts like the hair stuff do you have a sock for each kid? Or would you say put various hair ties for the girls and ...what for the boys? pencils? And do they nicely then sort through it and divide it up? Sorry if I am slow.. I just cant see doing 4 sets of socks..but it looks like you only do how do the gifts work?


  4. Hi guys, thanks for visiting and commenting! WTFab, thanks for the invite to your hop, I just joined. Liz, I just do one set of stockings, not one for each kid. On the days that I put actual tangible items in (as opposed to "let's make cookies today"), they're usually the same things, such as candy canes, but sometimes they're different, like diff kinds of pencils or something. If I think it's not going to be a problem (and it usually isn't), I just let them work it out. If there are specific things I wanted them each to have, I just put their names on the items. Good luck!

  5. This is precious! I think I'll pin it!!!

  6. Hi,
    Loved this so much, I featured it this weeks Mom's Library Link-Up. Hop over a grab an I was Featured on Hey Mommy, Chocolate Milk button! Can't wait to see what you have to link up this week!

    Julie @ Hey Mommy, Chocolate Milk

  7. Hi, I'm a new follower from Thumping Thursday blog hop! This is such a cute idea. My kids would love it! Have a great day!

  8. Such a cute idea!

    New follower from Thumping Thursday.



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