a peek inside the fishbowl

14 Nov, 2009

The 25 days of Christmas challenge – 2009 edition

Posted by andrea tomkins in: Challenge me, challenge you

Well, here we are again!


Your challenge, should you decide to accept it, is to arrange 25 days of Christmas activities for your family and share the results on your blog (if you have one, if not, that’s okay) and/or in the Flickr group that was set up for this project last year.

40 Responses to "The 25 days of Christmas challenge – 2009 edition"

1 | Easy DIY advent calendar: 25 small folded paper envelopes >> a peek inside the fishbowl

November 14th, 2009 at 10:25 am


[…] [edited to add: thinking of making your own advent calendar? Consider playing along with me here] […]

2 | BeachMama

November 14th, 2009 at 11:30 am


Hmmm… I may join you on this one, will have to see how organized I can get for December 1st, if I can do it then we will participate.

3 | Judy

November 14th, 2009 at 12:01 pm


I am trying to get organized for December 1st! December is my busiest month and the Husband is a bit of a Grinch. I won’t be making envelopes as I have an awesome fabric advent calendar from the store.

4 | Rebecca

November 14th, 2009 at 1:52 pm


I am in!

A couple of girlfriends and I are going to share ideas.

I have to adjust some of the activities because of the age of my kids, and there is no way December has the decorating of the house (that starts after this weekend ;) ha!

This is such a fantastic idea. But I won’t lie, I haven’t decided if I am still buying a chocolate calendar one or not ;)

5 | Christine LaRocque

November 14th, 2009 at 2:00 pm


We are so in, what a tremendous idea! My husband is excited too. Will be sharing ideas with friends. Will blog and share pictures too. I can’t wait!

6 | Scattered Mom

November 14th, 2009 at 2:14 pm


Now that Jake is almost 14, he’s not quite into this. He’d rather be out with friends or making computer games then doing Christmas stuff with mom.

Although I did get a Christmas themed puzzle and I plan to break that out, and he’ll likely help me with baking.

But I will mention it over on my blog to drum up some more people for you, for sure!

7 | sherry

November 14th, 2009 at 6:31 pm


We’ll be doing it! I cut out your pattern for the envelopes but I’m still thinking of using the mismatched and outgrown baby/toddler socks that I inexplicably still have lying around. For one thing it sounds cute. For another it will make me feel better about still having them – they’ll suddenly have a purpose!

8 | andrea

November 14th, 2009 at 6:45 pm



re: chocolate calendar purchase. I’d skip the paper calendary and buy myself 24 Lindors from the Bulk Barn and hide it in an oatmeal tin. :)

I love the idea of using baby socks or existing calendars.

As for activites – I’ve had some people ask for suggestions, especially as it pertains to different ages/stages. For the younger ones I suggest to keep it really simple with crafts and playdates and special treats.

I had a fellow email me about this… he’s making an advent calendar for his girlfriend (isn’t that cute!) To him I suggest turning this into a month of Christmas romance: quiet dinners, movies, ice skating, snowball fights (ok, maybe that last one isn’t very romantic, but you get the picture!

9 | Soire

November 14th, 2009 at 6:55 pm


We modded it last year and did 20 days of yuletide joy, and it was very fun. I’m breaking out my Calendar on Monday afternoon to start planning this one :D

10 | andrea

November 14th, 2009 at 7:00 pm


Soire – you beat me to the punch. I was going to amend my post to read something a little more non-denominational. :)

Countdown to Solstice, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, until grandma comes to visit … whatever works for your family! :)

11 | Christmas planning in mid-November? I must be crazy!

November 14th, 2009 at 9:49 pm


[…] started my shopping yet (hahaha). However, Andrea over at A Peek Inside the Fishbowl came up with an amazing December challenge that sounds like a lot of […]

12 | Ginger

November 14th, 2009 at 11:13 pm


I remember that 2007 post and loved the idea then and I still love it now. The boys are still so young but I really want us to have some of our own family traditions. I wasn’t going to join in this year but as I thought more about it I decided that I am going to do it. After all, Christmas is a time for every one to enjoy and during this hectic time it will be fun to stop and enjoy some special moments of the season. Every year after Christmas is over I always feel sad that I never got around to enjoying the season like I had planned. And even though the boys are young there are a few things I have planned for them…like their first taste of hot chocolate (which will be more warm than hot for them) and staying up past bed time one night to see Christmas lights because lights are still pretty and sparkly for them! So this long winded comment is simply to say that I am in!

13 | Stefania (formerly The Veg Next Door)

November 15th, 2009 at 7:42 am


We’re in. The Pea and I made the envelopes the other day. Of course, like many of our craft projects it ended in tears. Perhaps too much to do for a 5 year old. In any case, we’re going to finish up this week.

Looking forward to decking the halls “Fishbowl” style.

14 | andrea

November 15th, 2009 at 10:26 am


Stefania: I should have mentioned that envelope making isn’t exactly the most kid-friendly part of this project. Maybe just writing the numbers on the envelopes? Or pinning them to a ribbon? Poor Pea!

15 | Stefania (formerly The Veg Next Door)

November 15th, 2009 at 11:52 am


Her job was tracing the template. I’ll know better next year. We’re going to use some scrapbooking stickers for the numbers. Faster and easier on The Pea.

16 | Crafty! >> a peek inside the fishbowl

November 15th, 2009 at 12:40 pm


[…] This site has been around for awhile, but I think that making some lovely (and free!) paper toys would be a great activity to do during your 25 days of Christmas. […]

17 | Lynn

November 15th, 2009 at 8:10 pm


I’m in…I so loved doing this last year. I already blogged my list of activities:

Can’t wait for December first!

18 | Sue1788

November 15th, 2009 at 10:16 pm


I’m in… I’m off to Michaels tomorrow morning! Love the idea, now I’m trying to figure out where I can hang it!

19 | The Mommy Project

November 16th, 2009 at 1:30 am


I have a whole bunch of ideas standing by!! I will make the (really super pretty) envelope “advent calendar” and insert the most suitable idea into the appropriate envelope the evening before. I’ve already planned out which activities ~need~ to be done on certain days and put those into my agenda so I don’t forget. I’m all set to go and so excited. The girls are gonna’ love this! Thanks for the wonderful idea and the incentive to plan for fun.

20 | Kerry

November 17th, 2009 at 1:09 pm


I’m doing it again this year as well. I may even get organized early enough to make the envelopes this year as well. The kids loved the activities last year. Looking for some new, creative ideas to compliment the tried and true ones.

Our kids’ favourite last year were movie night (with neighbourhood friends & pot luck dinner for adults), camping in the living room (inside tent), and having a bubble bath by candlelight.

21 | Rebecca

November 18th, 2009 at 3:27 am


I’m doing it! In fact, I was so inspired today by your posts, that I made up the envelopes, created my list (based on a partial list I’d already made) and stuffed the daily surprise activity in the envelopes. They are all paper clipped onto some ribbon and ready to roll.

I’m a bit of a non-conformist, so I have more than 25 days as I like something after Christmas to take the edge of the inevitable deflate. And our celebrations begin on November 29, so I made 2 extra envelopes for November.

And I’m not usually this keen!

I don’t plan on posting to the flickr group, though (sorry!). I will be keeping up with things on my blog.

Thanks for this great idea!

22 | Michelle

November 22nd, 2009 at 8:08 pm


We are totally going to do this…and take pictures too! I’ve been wanting to do an advent calendar for a couple years, but my kids have been too little until now (they are 4 and 2 this year). I already have my list. We are going to start the day after Thanksgiving. :)

23 | Melissa

November 25th, 2009 at 8:32 am


I blogged mine a couple days ago: http://refashionista.wordpress.com/2009/11/23/adventures-in-holiday-celebration/

Our calendar has little pockets in it so, instead of making little envelopes, I printed out our activities in a funky font and rolled them scroll -style before tucking them into the wee pockets.

On day 25, we’ll be opening an envelope containing a picture and note indicating the gender of the new baby. ;)

24 | Diana

November 25th, 2009 at 9:20 am


Here is my recycling Christmas gift idea. You will need 1 mason jar, 1 piece of paper and a collection of items easily found around the house.
It’s called “the memory game”.
Scour your house for small bits and bobs ie: a piece of lego, a plastic farm animal, a crayon, a button, a marble….you get the idea.
Cut your piece of paper to fit the inside of the mason jar, perfectly. Take it out and colour up your game label on one side “the memory game” and on the other write up a list of your small items, and playing instructions.
Fill jar, tie a bow & your done.
This is a great kids party game.
Playing instructions are: dump out jar contents on a tray.
Allow kids to look at the tray for 2 minutes. Remove tray.
Each kids goes to a separate corner and writes down all the items they can remember, each kid reads out their list
What is accomplished? memory, writing, reading

25 | Life is Good…At the Beach » 25 Days of Christmas

November 25th, 2009 at 8:39 pm


[…] Andrea set out another challenge.  The 25 Days of Christmas. […]

26 | Loukia

November 26th, 2009 at 10:04 pm


Wha…. no shopping? Um? Gulp. Okay. ;) I want to play, too. If I can myself organized enough!

27 | michelle

November 28th, 2009 at 8:44 pm


We played last year and I honestly think it was one of the best Christmas seasons I ever had. Looking forward to this year! Photos to come via flickr…stay posted!

28 | Hege

November 29th, 2009 at 11:30 am


I’m in!
We’ve had activities calendar the last couple of years, and I love to do things together instead og just give the kids a chocolate or a present each day!

29 | Jess

November 30th, 2009 at 8:54 am


I’m totally going to do this! I’m preparing today while the children are at school! :) I look forward to this project.

30 | Bev

November 30th, 2009 at 5:35 pm


definitely doing this! I’ve just finished making my calendar, yay :D

31 | The 25 Days of Christmas « The Small Moments

November 30th, 2009 at 10:21 pm


[…] I have in my whole body, has organized another creative challenge.  This challenge centers around Christmas and an Advent Calendar.  Since she first posted about her family advent calendar in 2007 I have held a secret plan in my […]

32 | 25 Days of Christmas: day one! >> a peek inside the fishbowl

December 1st, 2009 at 9:19 am


[…] This post is part of the 25 days of Christmas challenge. It’s never too late to play […]

33 | Tim Tinkel

December 1st, 2009 at 8:33 pm


We’re in! But since I didn’t see this until today, it may have to be the 24 days of Christmas for us : )! I’ve never been on Flickr, so I’ll have to check this out. Do I need to have a Flickr accnt.? Or, do I just post it on your group? I’ve not checked it out yet, so perhaps when I do all of my questions will be answered. Thanks for the great idea.


34 | andrea

December 2nd, 2009 at 8:57 am


Tim –
You need a (free) basic account to post photos to Flickr, but it’s not a requirement of this challenge. I just like to see what people are doing! :)

Have fun!

35 | Danielle

December 4th, 2009 at 3:04 pm


Love the idea – we adopted it this year and plan to continue every year! We just a great family tea party last night which was a blast – thanks for the cool ideas!

36 | Julie

December 6th, 2009 at 6:03 pm


This will be our third year. We are moving on the 15th, and I thought about the advent calendar, and it being too difficult this year, but we decided to go ahead. The children said it just wouldn’t be the same without it. I agree.

37 | 25 days of Christmas: our day six >> a peek inside the fishbowl

December 8th, 2009 at 12:55 pm


[…] post is part of the 25 days of Christmas challenge. It’s never too late to play along!  You can check out the Flickr group […]

38 | Life is Good…At the Beach » Days 4-9: 25 Days of Christmas

December 10th, 2009 at 12:58 pm


[…] have been trying hard to continue with our 25 Days of Christmas, so I have made up a photo collage to fill you […]

39 | Get down n’ crafty >> a peek inside the fishbowl

December 11th, 2009 at 8:37 am


[…] taken me this long to get with the program again (25 days has helped – I will post an update soon) but I’m still working on it. But I don’t think […]

40 | 25 days of Christmas: days 7 - 9 >> a peek inside the fishbowl

December 12th, 2009 at 9:40 am


[…] post is part of the 25 days of Christmas challenge. It’s never too late to play along!  You can check out the Flickr group […]

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My name is Andrea and I live in the Westboro area of Ottawa with my husband Mark and our dog Piper who is kind of a big deal on Instagram. We also have two human offspring: Emma (23) and Sarah (21). During the day I work as a writer at The Royal Ottawa Mental Health Centre. I am a longtime Ottawa blogger and I've occupied this little corner of the WWW since 1999. The Fishbowl is my whiteboard, water cooler, and journal, all rolled into one. I'm passionate about healthy living, arts and culture, travel, great gear, good food, and sharing the best of Ottawa. I also love vegetables, photography, gadgets, and great design.

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