christmas, Family, Mama life

Ideas for a meaningful Advent Calendar

Ok so I know I should start with a photo of an advent calendar but I haven’t taken one yet 🙈 so forgive me and read the ideas instead!

Like so many families, we have an advent calendar that we use to count down from December first until Christmas. I find that it’s a brilliant way to help the kids understand the countdown and get excited about the coming festivities (and honestly, seems like soooo much less work than the stupid elf on the shelf!!)

This year I wanted to try something a little more meaningful than filling each drawer with chocolate so I’m trying to add an activity/ event/ experience to do together each day instead. We will open the drawer each morning instead of in the evening and it will dictate one of our activities for the coming day (and I can swap around for weather etc if necessary).

I’ve added a few extra ideas just in case one of them doesn’t suit your children (too old/too young/ not interested), and I’d love to know if you use them and how you go x

1. buy a Christmas tree and decorate as a family

2. bake Christmas cookies click for a Sugar cookie recipe

3. trip to the park

4. visit Santa for a photo

5. go to the shops and choose an ornament for the tree (or make/decorate your own but this is our tradition already)

6. bake or just decorate a gingerbread house Click here for a thermomix Gingerbread recipe (I use a thermomix for my gingerbread but there are heaps of recipes available!)

7. go to the playground

8. go for a ride on a bus (the girls have been begging to do this for months!)

9. decorate pictures of Christmas trees Click for printables

10. make Christmas paper chain decorations

11. watch a Christmas movie click here for a list of ideas

12. go to the Christmas carols

13. read a Christmas story

14. go for a Picnic lunch

15. buy a gift for the wishing tree

16. go Christmas light looking as a family

17. donate some of our old toys to those less fortunate

18. learn a Christmas carol (jingle bells, Santa Claus is coming to town, silent night, Rudolph the red-nosed reindeer, the 12 days of Christmas, we wish you a Merry Christmas)

19. make Christmas cards for loved ones

20. complete a random act of kindness

21. decorate wrapping paper to be used for the presents

22. make potato stamps to create Christmas paper/ decorations/ just for fun click here for easy ‘how to’ clip

23. Say something kind – eg. Tell everyone in your family something you like most about them

24. Leave out milk and cookies for Santa and a carrot for the reindeer

25. Ella’s choice – dedicate one day to each child choosing an activity of their own

26. craft activity – make a Santa click for one craft idea

27. spread some holiday cheer by visiting someone – eg grandparents, local retirement home, local hospital

28. take a Christmas family photo

29. play with Christmas play doh (red and green) and Christmas themed cookie cutters

30. Decorate pine cones with glitter for decorations

31. make salt dough decorations to bake and hang on the tree Click here for recipe

32. write your own Christmas story (let the kids add in as many crazy ideas as they like) and then read it as the bedtime story that night

33. find some large, flat pebbles and paint them with Christmas pictures (or just Christmas colours if your kids are too young)

34. make a Christmas snow globe for easy step by step instructions, click here

35. make paper snowflakes (if your kids are used to a white Christmas) for easy step by step instructions, click here

36. help choose/ buy/ make a Christmas gift for someone

37. help wrap some of the gifts (using their homemade paper if you did #21)

38. go to the supermarket and buy some food to donate to a Christmas appeal – it’s a great opportunity to talk to your kids about those who are less fortunate

39. write a Christmas wish list (for activities they would love to do or feelings, like feel happy, loved, excited and how they can feel like that, not one that asks for things)

40. start a new family tradition for Christmas (go to the Christmas Eve church service/ volunteer at a shelter, op shop, nursing home etc/ family carols/ matching Christmas pjs)

Good luck, and

Merry Christmas xx

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