Pinecones and Euyonomous The Prudent Homeamaker

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Last year, I made an advent calendar to help us have more fun together as a family in December. I included crafts, special treats, and activities we would be attending. I found that writing out a list made it easier to make sure we did the special things I wanted to do as a family.

Here is this year’s list:

Advent Card The Prudent Homemaker

Here are our activities:

1. Collect pinecones. These will be used for decorations.

2. Decorate the Christmas tree, while listening to a live Chamber Orchestra performance

3. Cut paper snowflakes and put up Christmas lights

4. Make paper trees

5. Draw a pastel snowman and watch a free live choir and Philharmonic performanance online

6. Drink hot chocolate while mom reads a Christmas story

7. Watch the First Presidency Christmas devotional on December 7th (a live feed will be available in 16 languages, including Portuguese, German, French, Russian, Spanish, Italian, and Mandarin). 

8. Listen to a Christmas story

9. Read Snowflake Bentley, check out Russian photographer Alexy Kljatov’s snowflake photographs.

10. Make more paper trees and watch a free live Wind Symphony performance online

11. Make Christmas tree paintings while mom reads a Christmas story

12. Attend a Christmas recital in which three of my daughters will play Christmas music

13. Make snowman pancakes for breakfastsnowman hot chocolate for snacks, make some snowman art

14. Watch a video about Christ’s birth

15. Listen to a Christmas story

16. Listen to a Christmas story

17. Make Christmas crafts

18. Make Christmas crafts and listen to a Christmas story

19. Watch a Christmas movie

20. Make cookies

21. Play board games and eat popcorn

22. Enjoy some Christmas cheese ballscrackers cut with Christmas cookie cutters, and olive penguins

23. Make rosemary olive oil bread. Wrap it up with rosemary and tags and deliver it to friends.

24. Read Luke 2

 Advent Cards 2 The Prudent Homemaker


You can see the crafts we want to make on my Pinterest board.

We’ll listen to Pandora‘s Classical Christmas stations when we’re doing crafts.

For these free printable advent cards, you can click here.


Our list of Christmas books includes the following:

The Candle in the Forest: And Other Christmas Stories Children Love

I Saw Three Ships

The Lion in the Box

A Celebration of Christmas

The Ideals Treasury of Best-Loved Christmas Stories

Flourish 6

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  1. There are some in the mountains. These, however, were planted here. While the area of the valley area that I’m in doesn’t naturally have any trees, people have planted them in their yards, and homeowners’ associations have them as well. Some people have them planted around the perimeter of their yards and the cones drop onto the street.

  2. Love your ideas. Something my girls always love to do at Christmas is unwrap a Christmas book every night and read it. This is our advent calender. I have saved and collected Christmas books since my 22 yr old was a baby. My two youngest are 7 and 4. Every year I wrap up 25 books and number them. We count down until Christmas with the books. I pack the books away after Christmas so they are “new” every year. This year I wrapped them in white craft paper I got at an estate sale. So the cost was $1 maximum. We also do a 12 days of Christmas bucket list. I look for free or low cost activities around town to do. Making a list really makes it more fun. Our local movie theater is showing free Christmas movies on Saturday afternoons during December this year!! This is a great treat for us.

  3. There are several types of pine tree native to different parts of the state…lodgepole, sugar, western white, ponderosa, pinyon and bristlecone…plus others! 😀

  4. Christa, I really love your idea! Christmas books can be bought so cheaply at yard sales and thrift stores. But wrapping them up the same stories each year and making it a surprise each night which one you will read adds a nice element of fun and surprise! Wish I had thought of that when my daughter was younger.

  5. I really love reading your blog. You are so encouraging. It is so nice to see all of the wonderful activities you do as a family that cost very little money. Thank you for all the time you put into this website. I really believe it does supply encouragement and wonderful tips for so many.
    What are some board games you play as a family?

  6. I collected a stash of pine cones decades ago now—and one year had the idea of spraying them lightly with gold (radiator) paint. Ever since they have been used in one way or another as decorations. They can go on the dining table–often with branches cut from the bottom of the tree, although now we have a fake one since we’re older. I’ve used a simple strip of gold ribbon down the center of the table–straight or swirly, either works–or green and red votive candles (very low cost!) with the pine cones, and some years have set up a number of smaller tables and spread the decorations out on all of them. (We don’t light the candles with children around, which is most of the time!. Some one keeps having more every year.) I think I’ve done everything with them, EXCEPT stack them in a pretty white bowl, so that might happen this year–and thanks for the idea. Sometimes they go on a living room shelf which serves as a mantel, unless it’s covered with my collection of snowmen, which it often is. At this point I could decorate two houses and at least two trees, so I’m trying to give some things over to my granddaughter, and anyone else who will take them. I do rotate some things from year to year but certain things come out EVERY year too.

  7. Thank you for sharing, brandy! I will be adding several of these ideas to our list. We also do the “book a day” advent calendar. My daughter is 11 months, so it’s really my husband and I enjoying the stories and family time together after dinner. She just wiggles! I like though that I can choose books with a Christian element, to help us focus some Christmas attention each night on “the reason for the season”!

  8. We’ve been in survival mode for months. Our income will either end or drop drastically on December 21. I’m not stocked up. I’ve never been so poorly prepared for a down time. Your post encouraged me. Thank you!

  9. Laura, I’m so sorry to hear about this. Best of wishes to you and your family – I hope you are able to find joy, beauty, and peace this holiday season.

  10. This is such a wonderful idea. We have an Advent calendar and do a daily reading, but I had not thought to include one simple Christmas activity with each day. I love it! Even though today is a week into Advent, I think I will sketch out some similar ideas for us this year.

    Thank you!!

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