I’ve been doing this activity style advent calendar now for the last 3 years and it really has to be one of the highlights of our family year. I love December and think its worth milking the whole month for all the Christmassness it has to offer – it is the only chance we get afterall.
December is already full of events, preperations, jobs we have to do, jobs we love to do, things to see, crafts to make, foods to enjoy… so rather than struggling to fit these things and juggle the busy-ness I sit carefully with my calendar at the end of November and plan these activities in as an advent calendar for the family. Each day has a parcel containing a clue, a ‘ticket’, some ingredients or a recipe, a craft, a trip…basically something we ‘do’ that day.
The children love this so much. They have been talking about it non stop. It really feels like Christmas starts in the morning here. They talk about their favourite activities of previous years and the ones they really hope we’ll do again. They really are so excited. Some of the days are mundane things… this isn’t a costly thing at all. I don’t think there is anything in the parcels that I’ve bought for the sake of this Advent Series… its all things we would do anyway. For example one of the days is a pack of their Christmas cards and a bag of chocolate coins so that they can write their class cards. Wrapping this up as an activity in a parcel makes this ‘urrrgh’ task into something they feel excited to do… and means it gets done in one evening rather than dragging on and on and on as it can do!
So as we start the next 24 days of advent I will be blogging each activity we do, and if you are reading this and doing something similar or have ideas to throw into the mix I would love to hear them in the comments below. Someone I know has just started doing this for the first time this year and is calling it their ‘Advent-ures’ I love that (!) and have been more than happy to share my calendar with her… and I’m sure I’ll be borrowing ideas back as I see the posts of hers too.
I have to plan carefully alongside after school clubs, what times we get in from work on certain days etc but generally I try to put in a craft, a baking, a trip, and evnt and a chilled out treat each week.
So as an overview here is how my next 24 days should look.
1st Christmas Tree Trip
2nd Baking Rudolf Cookies
3rd Letter Decorations
4th Christmas Shopping Trip
5th Christmas Movie and popcorn
6th Trip to Journey To Bethlehem (a free local event)
7th Christmas Cards
8th Letters to Father Christmas
9th Making Snowglobes
10th Christmas Party
11th School Disco
12th Wrapping Up
13th Gingerbread House
14th Trip out
15th Teachers Gifts
17th Mince Pies
19th Christmas Movie and Popcorn
21st Walk in the woods and DIY family photoshoot
22nd Walk round the local Christmassy shops and going for a hot chocolate
23rd Making a mobile
24th Crib Service and Decorating the Christmas Cake
Looking forward to ‘unwrapping’ each day with you as we go!