99: LEGO Star Wars Advent Calendar 2015

It’s that time of year, again! Get the all new LEGO Star Wars Advent Calendar for 2015! You do not want to be left out in the cold when this sells out.

This is the brand new 2015 version!

  • Open a window every day to reveal 24 different LEGO Star Wars themed gifts; features 5 minifigures and 2 holiday-themed Droids
  • Vehicles include Jabba’s Sail Barge, Sand crawler, Star Destroyer, Millennium Falcon, AT-AT, A-wing Starfighter and a sleigh
  • Also features an Ewok weapon rack, catapult, gun turret, blaster rack and Hoth command post
  • Play out fun LEGO Star Wars scenes on the fold-out playmat
  • Makes a great festive gift for humans and Sith Lords everywhere

Our family has enjoyed the LEGO Advent Calendars for many years. With 2 children, we decided that the kid with an even birthday gets the even numbers, the odd birthday with the odd. That has served us well! The great thing about the number 24 is it has a lot of factors! The tricky bit might be if you have 5, 7, or 9 kids, and at that point, you might just want to buy 2 calendars or offer special incentives to claim the remainder days.

If you start preparing for Christmas gradually now,
you will be able to relax and enjoy the holidays!

In case LEGO Star Wars isn’t your thing, here are a few different themed calendars:

72: Vacation days left for 2011?

If you haven’t put in for vacation for the remainder of the year, you’ve got to do it now. Everyone will want to take time around Thanksgiving and Christmas and unless you are the first one to ask for it, you aren’t going to get it. Have a family meeting tonight and figure out how to spend the rest of your free time this year.

59: Christmas Time is Movie Time

Christmas has traditionally been a great time for movie watching with the family. There are already a couple of movies out for the whole family, but Christmas will have some new releases for your viewing enjoyment.

I took the kids to see High School Musical 3 on Friday, and I thought it was a really good movie! The kids enjoyed it and I was surprised and impressed by the scale and quality of the whole production. Some new ones coming out for the holidays include The Tale of Despereaux, Bedtime Stories, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, Yes Man, Marley and Me, Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa, and Bolt.

Don’t wait. Guarantee your seat before you go and avoid a sold out show. Skip the box office lines and buy movie tickets at Fandango.com.

70: Museum Memberships – A Great Family Gift!

Here’s a gift to consider for that special family on your list. Find out what’s available in your gift recipient’s area and get them an annual membership. In our area, some of the favorite places include the zoo, science museum, aquarium, children’s museum, art museums, and others. If your recipients already have a membership, it is usually very easy to add another year to their membership.

Photo courtesy of the Brooklyn Children’s Museum

80: Karaoke Fever

Do you have a karaoke machine? This is an awesome thing for parties, sleepovers, and holiday gatherings. We had a wonderful time with a karaoke microphone system at a birthday party we hosted today. The price was right and has already provided hours of fun family entertainment! Party gold! I’m looking forward to future gatherings with the grownups singing loads of classic rock. We mostly used Disney’s Karaoke Series: High School Musical today, and everyone was entertained. Grab one for your Christmas party season!

Leadsinger LS-3222 Duet Microphone for LS-3700 All-in-One Karaoke System

Photo courtesy of saeru

88: Family Picture Prep

Start thinking about having a family photo taken for your Christmas cards. What will you wear? Do you like to coordinate colors or have matching clothes for the kids? Start thinking about what you want your photo to look like so you have plenty of time to really shop the sales, knit matching scarves, or sew dresses and bowties.

Family photo ideas:

  • black turtlenecks and jeans
  • winter scene in the snow with matching scarves
  • beach scene with jeans, white shirts, and bare feet; scatter shiny red Christmas balls in the sand
  • get the family dog in the picture with a matching sweater
  • choose three colors and have everyone stick to those colors for a unified look

Do you have a favorite photo idea? Share it with everyone in a comment!

98: Where will you spend Christmas this year?

We live very close to our entire family, so our biggest complication is determining how we are going to exchange gifts. When I was a kid, we often had grandparents travel to our house for Christmas. All of the grandparents had worked out a schedule with their kids that seemed to work out. Sometimes we traveled to the grandparents’ houses, but that can be very complicated with a car full of kids, I imagine.

While being involved in professional music ministry, traveling for Christmas has never really been an option. For the first time in about 20 years, I didn’t have a gig this past Christmas Eve, so, I felt like we could host our families for Christmas dinner. Since that day (that I will talk about tomorrow,) we have seriously contemplated traveling over Christmas. It would be a lot of fun with the kids and it would give us a break from some of the commercialism. How fun would a “Camping Christmas Trip” be? I’ve had other friends go on a Christmas Cruise and I heard nothing but good things about that.

I think that having Christmas at home or grandparents’ houses is almost a necessity with little children. When the kids become teenagers, a traveling Christmas might hold more appeal.

Another attractive travel holiday option might be to rent a mountain cabin in a (hopefully) snowy locale. If you don’t have plans for Christmas, yet, you need to get cracking on your holiday plans!