Advent Calendar



This year I was planning to wait until December first to start decorating for Christmas, but the excitement of the littles got the better of me and we did it early last week. (Still better than last year, where we had our Christmas tree up so early that by the time Christmas came, if someone sneezed in the Mexico, needles fell off the tree.)

We have a lovely advent calendar that my wonderful mother-in-law made for us a few years ago. The kids can hardly wait to pull it out every year and begin the countdown to Christmas. There are 24 little pockets on a quilted Christmas Tree which each get filled with family activities to do together as we anticipate the coming of the Light. For me it is poignant as we enter the darkest days of winter that we are waiting, waiting, waiting for light, hoping for light, and that we can do that together as a family is even better.

So the advent calendar awaits its filling, hung expectantly on the living room wall. The littles have already stuffed small toys into some of the pockets, and they ask every day how many days until advent. In the past we have had some days when little gifts would appear, but this year I actually found playmobil advent calendars that go along with the kids Christmas gifts, so those will be used as well. Our family calendar then, will be focused on family activities (quiet ones) and giving to other people.

Here is our list…

  1. Snow gnomes come out to play (these are blue and white wood and felt peg gnomes that I made)
  2. Choose a wonderful tree and be careful not to squish any elves that might be hiding inside
  3. Decorate the tree
  4. Christmas event at the library
  5. Make dragon’s eggs (water balloons filled with food coloring and water and then frozen and peeled)
  6. Christmas stories by candlelight
  7. Make crystal snowflakes (with borax and pipe cleaners)
  8. Orange pomanders (oranges stuck with clove designs)
  9. CLWR bags (we’ll go shopping for school supplies for refugee kids)
  10. Make and decorate sugar cookies
  11. Secret Santa Sugar Cookie delivery to friends and neighbours
  12. Ice Sculpture Day (pre-frozen colored ice in every container in the house, made into a sculpture on the front lawn using water to stick blocks together)
  13. Feed our feathered friends (make pinecone bird feeders)
  14. Breakfast in bed for the littles
  15. Shop for the food bank and deliver the groceries to the food bank
  16. Make and decorate gingerbread house
  17. Winter Hike at Wilmore Park
  18. Polar Express movie and popcorn night
  19. Hot chocolate in the woods
  20. Sunday School pageant and lunch out
  21. Christmas Light tour in which we drive around town looking at everyone’s decorations
  22. Make Tin Lanterns
  23. Night Lantern walk
  24. Make a family list of 100 things we are thankful for and put it under the tree.

I can hardly wait to get started.



5 responses »

  1. Beautiful. I love family Advent traditions. My kids are grown but we do have an annual family Advent party where we will be making Advent logs this year and visiting a church pantry and clothing center bringing things to share.

    I enjoy your blog. I’m Aimee’s mom.

  2. I love it. Those are wonderful ideas. May you have many great moments together as a family. We too are anticipating the coming of the Light.

    I love advent.

  3. we are loving advent, too….earlier tonight we made our wreath with candles (light the candles every evening in the weeks leading up) and the kids are eagerly anticipating their individual cardboard trees with little drawers filled with treats every morning (from the “santa fairies”) , and we have a symbolic “Jessie Tree” tradition as well (a little bible verse and place a symbol on the tree every evening). I love the activity every day tradition that you have…maybe I will adapt it/adopt it….

  4. i luv the ideas you came up with for your advent activities. i’m trying to come up with some ideas right now (hey, i know i’m late, i always am . . . but at least i’m doing it this year). i want to have the activities focus on family time and giving too. i loved your gnomes . . . the kids must have been thrilled!

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