December 27, 2010

Felt Pockets are Fun...

especially for an advent calendar. Last year I was perusing the web looking for ideas for advent calendars when I found this one........2 inch by 2 inch adorable white felt advent pockets with red stitches on all 25 pockets lined up on a red and white checkered ribbon. And that's when I knew I just had to make some. I had some felt left over from a Christmas gone by and some embroidary I copied her pattern (its free here) and did a few of my own (25 to be exact)....took me most of the year to finish them. But they were/are so much fun!!!

I filled them with an assortment of small gifts and a card with the title of a Christmas Carol or a portion of the Christmas story from the Bible. The little cards were perfect. They just fit inside the 2 inch pockets. Once we knew what Carol we were to sing I looked it up in Christmas Carols for a Kid's Heart and read a little story written to go along with the carol. It was great to have the Carols in order of the story of Jesus birth so it would tell the story as we sang them. This book also comes with a CD of the songs. We played the CD at night as the boys went to sleep.

The boys took turns opening one of the pockets each day...Today it was Zak's turn.
In addition to reading about the Carols and singing them, we read as many Christmas stories as we could before Christmas came. We read the following....
For the Children's hour (Christmas and Winter stories..our second favorite)
The Bird's Christmas Carol (Freebie of the Day)
Light at Tern Rock by Julia Sauer
One Wintery Night By Ruth Graham Bell
I read some VERY good advice from the founders of Living books press....about slowing down Christmas. They suggested that during the Christmas holiday you stop formal lessons at least a week before Christmas and simply read stories. We did that and it was wonderful. We took time after breakfast to open the advent pocket, read a little about a Christmas Carol, sang it, and then read one of the other Christmas books I mentioned above. Then for about one hour or so we worked on a lapbook about our favorite Christmas Carol....The Twelve Days of Christmas. It was a very restful and fun filled holiday for both myself and the boys.

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