If you are on Pinterest or if you follow many blogs, I am sure you have seen a ton of advent calendars lately. If I am being honest, I find it all a little overwhelming. So much so, that I almost decided not to do an advent calendar this year. We already have so much planned, why would I add one more thing to the “to do” list? And if we did do one, how would I process ALL of those ideas out there to come up with one that fits our family?
But then I realized I was thinking about it all the wrong way. I decided:
- It didn’t have to be hard. I could just include what we already have planned and the things that are most important to us.
- Having a plan might just help me stay on track with all the things we want to enjoy before Christmas.
- It is a tradition that I know my kids will love, and the rest of the family will, too.
- Keep it simple!
- Make a list of fun activities, holiday related tasks your kids will enjoy, and special events you already have planned. You do not have to create 25 NEW projects to do to make it special for your kids…and YES you can repeat activities from year to year! Hold on to those traditions that your family enjoys most.
- Check the holiday TV calendar if there are some movies your family likes to watch, and add those with the dates to your list. You can expand and make it a family theme night or just enjoy watching the movie together.
- Grab your December calendar and double check to see whether there is anything you forgot (holiday parties, field trips, play dates, church events). All of these can be part of your advent calendar.
- Include projects that you already know how to do or that you already have supplies for.
- Involve family members. You don’t have to do every activity with your children. Grandparents, older cousins, and extended family can lead some of the projects. At our house Mimi enjoys doing all things related to baking.
- Remember that this is one Christmas. Leave some special projects and ideas for next year!
- Remember that this should be fun. If it stresses you out or stretches you too thin this month, then it won’t be fun for you or the kids.
Our Advent Calendar
With these tips in mind, I came up with the following list for our family calendar. We are hosting a play date on the 15th, so many of the activities prior to that will help us create activities for the kids to enjoy on that day. After that we will focus on creating gifts and things for others to help us get ready for Christmas Day.
We will also be doing many activities related to Truth in the Tinsel, but I did not include those here. They will be part of our school day activities. If you are looking for something that is bible-based and plans it all out for you, Truth in the Tinsel might be a great option for your advent calendar.
If all goes as planned, I will come back to this post and update it to describe more about what we did for each day.
1. Make Advent Calendar Together
2. Make Ornaments
3. Write a letter to Santa
4. Christmas Movie and Flavored Hot Chocolate Experiment
5. Christmas Tree Cone Decorating
6. Make Felt Christmas Tree
7. Make Green Playdough
8. Christmas Parade At Home
9. Make Gingerbread House
10. Make Gingerbread Playdough
11. Make Felt Gingerbread Cookies
12. Video Christmas Carols and Send to Family
13. Polar Express Family Night
14. Make Peppermint Playdough
15. Christmas Play Date
16. Make Cookies
17. Make Ribbon Trees (to use as the front of cards for Day 19)
18. Grinch Family Night
19. Make Cards for Neighbors and Friends
20. Make Santa’s Treat Plate
21. Deliver Gifts to Neighbors and Friends (and the Christmas tree farm)
22. Nutcracker Ballet
23. Christmas Shaped Pancakes
24. PJs, Hot Cocoa, and Christmas Lights
25. Christmas Day!
Do you create an advent calendar for your family? What special activities do you include? Do you have any tips for keeping it simple?
Looking for something a bit different for your Christmas Advent Calendar?
Each family is different, and luckily there are tons and tons of options for you to choose from when planning your advent activities. Here are some other options that might be just right for you.
Random Acts of Christmas Kindness-Focus on spreading kindness this holiday season with an editable RACK (random acts of Christmas kindness) printable pack. It has everything you need to countdown to Christmas with kindness this year. It features 4 types of calendars including an editable RACK calendar. You get to make up whichever acts of kindness you want to do on which day. And get all of the printables you need to make doing RACKs with kids as easy as possible.
Store Bought Advent Calendars–But what if you just don’t have time for all of that this year? I get it! Each season of life comes with it’s busy times, and the holidays can easily get out of hand as we try to soak up all the fun together. If the above options don’t fit your life right now, no worries! We’ve gathered 18 of our favorite store bought advent calendars. Simply buy, open, and enjoy!
Simplify the Holidays Even More
Hands-On Holidays eBook-Get even more inspiration for your advent calendar.
Less stress, more connecting this holiday season? Yes, PLEASE!
From the arrival of fall to Halloween to Thanksgiving and Christmas, the last four months of the year can be a wonderful opportunity for making family memories and spending time together, but they can also be stressful as we try to collect ideas, recipes, and activities to try together.
Stephanie Morgan, founder of Modern Parents Messy Kids, a site that’s been voted Best Craft Blog in Parents Magazine and one of babble.com’s Top 50 Craft Mom Blogs, recently released a new eBook to help us have a little less stress and more time to connect with family this year.
Stephanie’s goal is to make it easier on all of us to enjoy the holidays with our kids. Hands-On Holidays is 100 pages full of her family’s very favorite ways to connect as a family over the holiday season. I love the convenience of having so many ideas in one place, and most of them are simple enough for even my toddler to participate in.
The book includes picture book suggestions, DIY decor, activities, and treats. Bonus sections also offer even more ideas to enjoy. Click here to view more details.