1st Day: Grinch-Givers & Advent Wreath Craft

On our first day of our twenty-five days we kicked it off with a ‘Grinch Day’ as well as starting our advent wreath.

The day started off wonderfully as we headed to Barnes & Noble for their special story time.  Marshall made cards at the craft table for the veterans at the VA Hospital.  This was pretty special for us as Marshall’s paternal step-grandpa works for the VA and his maternal grandpa is a disabled veteran.  Mads loves crafts so he spent some time on making those cards perfect for the veterans and then we explained that we had to put them in the box so they can be delivered.  Marshall had a hard time at first with parting with his artwork, as it is usually displayed in our home, but after some talking he decided he liked the idea.

Making cards for the veterans

Placing glitter stickers just right
    After decorating cards for a little bit we went over for story time where we were read “The Grinch”.  Marshall did so good sitting and pointing and reacting to the story.  He sat so patiently during the story that he got goodies after!  He was pretty proud of himself.

Marshall being read “The Grinch”
He was given a free Starbucks strawberry smoothie
Soooo happy about his smoothie

After Barnes we headed home to continue the fun.  We watched The Grinch and we made a special snack to go along with the movie.  As I mentioned last year, we do these twenty five days for the experience and as a healthy twist on the chocolate advent calendars.  So we put a healthy twist on our snack as well.

We made our usual monster smoothies but today we called them Grinch drinks and drank them from ‘nice’ glasses instead of sippies and plastic cups.  These drinks I attribute with helping raise Marsh’s iron levels therefore helping his anemia; he has loved these since he was much younger because of the pineapple in it as well.  Like the Grinch, I stole the food portion idea from my sister, Angela’s, pinterest.  We made Grinch kabobs with green grapes, bananas, and strawberries pinned with a tooth pick.

Grinch-tastic snack
Brad loving the kabobs
(they are suppose to look like the Grinch wearing Christmas hats)
Tricking toddlers to have their spinach


Marshall loves it

After we were done watching the movie and having our snacks we moved on to doing more crafts.  This time we were celebrating both Marshall’s heritage as well as religion.  We decided that since this year Marshall was old enough to have a little bit more of an understanding and he has an obvious love of crafts that we would do a home made advent wreath.

I grew up making the little popsicle stick advent wreathes in Sunday School and love the beauty in them.  We also talked about the meaning behind them in the Catholic church as well as the origin of them with the Germanic people & pagan Scandinavians.  Click here for more history on the advent wreath.

Marshall loved the craft and we were able to get it done in time to light it tonight- the first Sunday in the advent wreath.

Gluing pine decor onto the popsicle circle


‘Marshall Angelo’ having fun making his Christmas creation
The finished wreath complete with candles

The first day was fairly laid back, Marshall learned to let go and give a part of himself go to give a little bit of happiness to those who have fought for our freedom.  That if you do let go and have just a pinch of patience it can pay off in the end (sometimes in the form of yummy Starbucks).  We also learned a little more about our roots as Catholics and the boys’ heritage as German/ Scandinavians.  It was a great Grinch-y day and we can’t wait to see what the rest holds in store!


Grinch Drinks Recipe
(serves four)
1 1/2 cups skim milk
4 (yes 4) cups of fresh baby spinach

1 1/2 cups frozen mixed fruit- we like the strawberry, mango, pineapple bag
2 medium bananas

Blend well and garnish with a grape.  

Advent Wreath
(All from the dollar store for extra savings)

1 sprig of pine decor
2 green popsicles
4 birthday candles- 3 of the same color with 1 different
1 tube of craft glue

Cut the two popsicle sticks in half and glue into a square.  Allow to dry before giving it to the kids to finish.  Strip the ‘sprig of pine’ of the decor- pinecones, pine needles, berries, etc.  It should just slide off the sprigs.  Generously add glue to the sticks to apply the decor.  Add candles around the edges and let dry.  Super easy and teaches children history, meaning of the season as Christians, and builds motor skills in toddlers.



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