We also had an advent gnome which was hung next to the calendar and had (well most mornings) an activity for us to do such as gathering holly and ivy from the woods to make a wreath, or make Christmas biscuits. It worked really well and it meant we got to do something christmassy everyday and also helped me to plan my day a bit better. I do find that if I have the day planned right from the beginning that it all goes a lot smoother and is more productive.
Here are a few more snippets:
Making christmas cakes, one of which they left out for Santa along with some carrots and a glass of red wine!
Cleaning our shoes for St Nicholas to come (which he only just managed as the car was out of action). We cleaned our shoes and I tried my best to remember the story. That evening R went to bed very excited, I heard her crying at about 9.30pm, when I went up to her she said: 'That man didn't come and put a surprise in my shoes!'. I had to explain again that he only came when we were asleep and persuaded her to try that! It worked and he came and brought a little felt St Nicholas each, some chocolates and some bubbles. They were delighted and quite high by the time they had eaten the chocolates!
One of our advent activities was to create a nativity scene. Everyday we made a few more things, the stable was the trickiest but we got there in the end by sewing some sticks onto an old washing powder box. To my delight the scene was really played with and I often found funny little visitors in it, seals, super dog ...
2 pictures of these starts I'm afraid, not sure how to remove them. They worked well and we did enjoy making them!
We also had some lovely visitors during advent including my mum and we were very busy santa's elves in the evening. Poor thing, I think it was far from a relaxing break for her between my cracking the whip and having her up sewing and kniting til 1am everyand having to constantly 'be super dog or Kebin'!! (Thanks though, it was a lovely time!!)
Christmas day was wonderful, opened Santa presents in the morning, then the electricity went off for half an hour so we had breakfast by candle light. The rest of the day was taken up with playing with our presents, making christmas dinner, watching films on tv and following our usual Christmas day tradition of feeding the ducks. Sadly we picked the wettest half hour of the day to this in...oh well, the ducks did appreciate their Christmas lunch. There are more photos to add but I need to go be with the kids right now!