Christmas is getting closer, and my social media feeds are filling up with ideas to make it Pinterest perfect. Elf on the shelf, Advent calendars and other Christmas countdowns are popping up everywhere, filled with little (junky) gifts or chocolates for the kids to have every day in the lead-up to the big day. The thing is, I don’t want more clutter in my house, and my kids don’t need any extra reasons to eat junk food (there is already more than enough opportunities throughout December). I do, however, love the Christmas season. I love the anticipation that comes in the lead-up to the big day, so here is an idea for a Christmas advent calendar that cuts out the clutter, but still adds a little excitement to the countdown to Christmas.
Grab a Christmas Advent calendar with either pockets or drawers, but instead of putting gifts or lollies in each pocket, pop a little note into each one. You could even just fold up some notes, and peg them to some string with a number on each note. Sometimes the note might list an activity to do on that day at home, or an event we are going to, and sometimes it might just have a little message or saying. In our home, we have just one Advent calendar for the whole family, and the kids take turns of pulling out the note each day.
If you like the idea but are stuck for ideas, here is a whole bunch that I have come up with:
Things you can make:
- Bake some food.
- Decorate biscuits (even shop bought biscuits with a little bit of icing are a lot of fun).
- Make a craft (click here for some ideas – my fave is our Christmas windows).
- Make a gift.
- Make a decorative garland for your bedroom/front door.
Things you can do:
- Deliver gifts to neighbours.
- Design some Christmas cards.
- Paint “snow” on the windows (if you don’t mind having to wash your windows in January).
- Wrap gifts for siblings/teacher/friends.
- Have a rest/ sleep under the Christmas lights (if you can convince your kids to have a rest – pop some lights in their room).
- Put up the tree.
- Decorate the house.
- Look at Christmas flash mobs on YouTube (my kids LOVE doing this!!).
- Play with the nativity and act it out. (Here is a link to a super cute printable one!)
- Go for a drive to look at Christmas lights.
- Go to see Santa.
- Go to a Christmas carol service or carols by candle light.
- Go to a preschool/playgroup Christmas party.
- Shop for Christmas dinner (hey you have to do it anyway, make it sound like a treat).
- Go to the end of year school concert/disco etc.
- Watch a Christmas DVD (try Home Alone, Arthur Christmas, or Elf).
- Read a Christmas story book.
- Purchase some food or gifts for a local charity.
- Read the Christmas story from the bible (Try Luke Chapters 1 and 2).
- Listen to a Christmas CD.
Of course, no-one wants to have to do a set activity every day for a whole month, so mix up the activities with some little notes that just contain a little message to encourage and praise your child or an inspirational quote about Christmas. I’ve put together a Pinterest board with lots of little Christmas quotes if you’re needing inspiration! You could also put in a joke – here’s a link to a page where I found a whole lot of family-friendly jokes.
You really don’t need to get fancy with the notes, but if you want to make some a little more special, you could whip some up using Canva – mine took me less than 10 minutes. If you want to just use mine, here is a link to the design.
The whole idea is to enjoy the anticipation of Christmas coming, without the lollies and junk that often seem to accompany it.
Have you seen any other good ideas for Advent Calendars? Have any other suggestions for activities?