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:

Christmas 2015: Let’s get ready!

We’re ramping up for an all new 100-day countdown to Christmas! Lots of great ideas and hot items to discover this year!

This list is hand-picked by me. Every day will feature quality content, not a bunch of spammy links, so bookmark this site and share with your friends!

What’s hot this year? Star Wars, LEGO, board games, Frozen, robots, quadcopters, science, gender neutral, cooking, knitting, and general geekery!

I love to read your comments, so please feel free to add what you like about an activity or item and give your recommendations!

If we start preparing for Christmas now, we will be able to relax and enjoy the festivities with our friends and family instead of out shopping or in the kitchen.

30: The Elf on the Shelf: A Christmas Tradition

We’ve all seen this little guy and wondered, “What’s the deal with The Elf on the Shelf?”

I’ve had a lot of friends adopt this new Christmas tradition and they all seem to be having a lot of fun with it! Some family members take turns hiding the elf around the house each day during Advent and letting the others find it, then hide it, again. If you have time, another hilarious activity is to pose the elf getting into Christmas mischief and mishaps around the house or classroom every day!

There is a whole line of related products and a variety of elves available:

The Elf on the Shelf: A Christmas Tradition with Blue Eyed North Pole
The Elf on the Shelf: A Christmas Tradition with Brown Eyed North Pole Elf,brown skin, black hair
The Elf on the Shelf – Girl Elf Edition with North Pole Blue Eyed Girl Elf and Girl-character themed Storybook

The Claus Couture Elf on the Shelf Skirt Collector’s Edition 2012
The Claus Couture Scout Elf Skirt
The Elf on the Shelf Girl Plushee Pal – Light
Elf on the Shelf: An Elf’s Story Elf Figurines, Set of 4
Elf on the Shelf: An Elf’s Story Santa Figurine
Elf on the Shelf: An Elf’s Story Sound Book

Baby Elf on the Shelf in Bag
The Elf on the Shelf: Activity Book – Great for teachers!
An Elf’s Story DVD

41: Michelle’s Christmas Memories

My friend Michelle sent me a note with her favorite Christmas memory filled with traditions:

“Absolutely, hands down….
Family dinner, followed by the opening of one gift, then Midnight service at church, ending with ‘Silent Night’ by candlelight and coming home and making ‘reindeer food’ with my nieces and nephews.  They’re grown now and we all are in different places, but it warms my heart to think about it!”

What a great evening! There are several elements to this evening that make it special: food, gifts, worship, tradition, and fellowship. Any great memorable tradition combines many of these elements. When all five senses are engaged, the experience is etched in your memory very strongly.

Beautiful photo courtesy of Miriam.

42: Birthday Cake for Jesus

Rhonda, a fellow elf, sent in a favorite family tradition:

“Every year on Christmas eve, we bake a birthday cake for Jesus.  We light some candles and sing Happy Birthday.  We have decided his favorite cake is probably chocolate cake with chocolate frosting.”

My daughter thinks this is a great idea! Kids love birthday parties and it’s a great way to add another Jesus-focused element into your Christmas celebration.

Photo courtesy of Tim Notari.

95: Unplug the Christmas Machine

Unplug the Christmas Machine:
A Complete Guide to Putting Love and Joy Back into the Season

I highly recommend this book as a great way to get yourself centered and focus on what really matters during the Christmas season. Sometimes, we just do things during this time of year because we’re “supposed to,” or other people have certain expectations from us that we keep trying to meet. This is the time of year to look at your family and those who mean the most to you and decide what’s best and most meaningful for them. Would you continue baking a mincemeat pie every year even though only one piece is ever eaten? Just because so-and-so did that, doesn’t mean you are sentenced to it. Take some time to read this little book and figure out what you really want this year.

This is a wonderful selection for small group study or book club to focus on in preparation for Christmas. Get a few copies and invite your friends over for coffee! Make it fun!

You don’t need to be an economist to know what’s been happening this year. Everything is more expensive, jobs are slightly more tenuous, and investments are all over the place. People are losing their homes. In this kind of economic climate, do we really need to go out and get the latest everything so we’re keeping up with the Joneses who are even worse off than we? Seriously, folks! Focus on the important things!