Forget chocolate, this advent calendar is packed full of fun!
I love the book Llama Llama Holiday Drama, as I think it captures the stress of the season so well! All the shopping, baking, wrapping and decorating. It can be a lot for adults, never mind the kids. And sometimes in the stress and long list of to-dos, you can lose sight of what is really important this time of year: helping others and spending quality time with friends and family.
That’s why I was so excited when my colleague Mike first told me about his family’s advent calendar. They sit together as a family at the end of November and write a list: 24 things they can do together. Everybody has to participate.
I thought it was something we might do when our children are older, but when G was three and little g was about to make his appearance, our former-nanny-turned-dear-friend gave us the best gift: a homemade advent calendar with treats AND activities.
She put in some simple activities like ‘colour a Christmas picture.’ And we had so much fun sitting down all together to follow through. I can’t think of the last time we all coloured pictures together but it was really fun.
Baby g arrived on day 2 – the day with ‘make Christmas cookies’ inside the little tin. We were in Bulk Barn picking up supplies when I first realized I was in labour. I insisted on quickly whipping up the shortbread cookie dough before heading to the hospital (there was time).
After baby g arrived, life was a bit nuts, but the calendar was a great prompt to do something all together. One day we went for a walk (‘do something outside with your family’), another day we drove around to look at Christmas lights across the city, and another day we delivered Christmas cookies to our neighbours (‘make Christmas treats for your neighbour’ – my favourite message in the tins).
It’s super simple and doesn’t have to cost a dime. You can spruce it up with a DIY craft like our tins, or put all the activities in a hat and pull one out each day.
If 24 days of activity seems too intense, make it the 12 days of Christmas. You can do whatever it takes to make it work for your family.
Some ideas to include on your list:
- Make Christmas cookies
- Do a craft together
- Make a Christmas card for someone special
- Do something outdoors with your family
- Play a board game
- Watch a Christmas movie
- Read a Christmas book
- Sing Christmas carols
- Have a family dance party
- Walk around the neighbourhood and look at all the decorations