An Advent Calendar Of (Mostly) Activities

 

IMG_3416

Say what?
It is December?
Surely I am not the only one in denial.
But here it is, December 2 and (past) time to bring out the advent calendar.

My mother, a crafting queen, made C a quilted advent calendar with a pocket for each day.
It beautiful but massive…its slightly imposing size makes me feel like I need to do something advent-y that is worthy of such a masterpiece.
So this year, we are trying advent activities.

The plan is to do a Christmas project (nearly) every day.
I wrote little notes describing the activities and put them in the pockets.
Some pockets also have small gifts (an ornament, instant snow, glitter) that will help us to complete the project.
And some pockets are filled with chocolates…partly because I am sure we will need a few nights off but mostly because I have a sweet tooth!

Here are the activities that I came up with:

1. Visit Santa
2. Write a Christmas list
3. Mail the Christmas list
4. Decorate the Christmas tree
5. Go to the library and take out Christmas books
6. Read a Christmas book (this activity appears more than once)
7. Watch a Christmas movie
8. Sing Christmas carols (this activity appears more than once too)
9. Donate a toy or two to charity
10. Wrap Christmas presents
11. Deliver Christmas presents to friends
12. Drive around the neighbourhood and look at the Christmas lights
13. Make a marshmallow snowman
14. Make red and green (brown) play dough
15. Play with “snow” (Kikki K sell instant snow…you just add water to the granules and you get a white substance that feels a bit like kinetic sand…so cool)
16. Hang stockings
17. Go out for ice cream
18. Make Christmas fudge
19. Make reindeer food
20. Bake cookies for Santa

These advent activities could be great fun.
Or they could be a total disaster.
We did something similar last year…most nights C got a Christmas book but about once a week we went on a Christmas related family outing.
The outings were mostly disasters…imagine an overtired toddler who isn’t showing what the parents are thinking is an appropriate amount of gratitude.

So here is some advice based on what I learned last year.

When assigning activities to a day, have your planner handy so you can see what dates are weekdays and what dates are weekends…I have saved all the bigger projects for the weekends.
Think about timing in terms of Christmas too…you don’t want to bake cookies for Santa early on in December because then there won’t be any left come Christmas Eve!
Along the same lines, think about what nights are busiest for you and have those nights be a chocolate night!
Write the daily activity down in your diary so you can plan ahead…buy cookie ingredients or research the best local Christmas lights.
You can always rearrange your activities or scrap them all together…I have the feeling that once this baby arrives, all my projects might get swapped out for chocolates!
Try not to have too many expectations…I find the less I strive for Christmas cheer, the more relaxed we all are, and the more fun we will all have!

Do you do advent calendars?
Or holiday crafting and cooking?
Or is eating chocolate more your thing?