I’ve always loved the idea of having an Advent Calendar with an activity to do each day of December up to Christmas, but I’d never found just the right one. Early in November this year, I saw and fell for this one on the Sew Mama Sew Blog: Advent Calendar. I modified the calendar slightly (I really am planning to practice free-motion machine quilting one of these days). Overall, though, I followed the instructions there, and the result is exactly what I was hoping for.
It actually took me more time to come up with the activities than it did to sew up the calendar. I really wanted activities that were centered around spending time as a family and giving to others.
Here’s my list of activities–feel free to use any or all of the ideas! In fact, I’d love to hear what you think!
1. Make button wreath ornaments.
2. Color pictures for troops overseas.
3. Visit a relative (or a friend) for lunch. (We’re driving out to visit our oldest daughter at college.)
4. Go see a family Christmas theatre production. (Our local playhouse is doing A Christmas Wizard of Oz.)
5. Walk in (or you could just watch) the city Christmas parade.
6. Buy gifts for a needy family. (We choose one from the Angel Tree at our church, but there are many organizations that you can give through.)
7. Have a family game night. (Board games and popcorn! Our favorite family games are Mexican Train and Speed Scrabble.)
8. Buy canned goods and deliver to a local food pantry. (You might want to call ahead and ask what they are specifically in need of. Our church’s pantry actually told me that need meat and bread more than canned goods right now.)
9. Watch Frosty the Snowman (or any other classic animated movie).
10. Make jar mixes for our Christmas dinner guests. (Jar mixes are nice gifts to have on hand for expected or unexpected Christmas guests. They’re fun and easy for kids to put together, too.)
11. Attend company (or ministry or other group) Christmas party.
12. Visit a living nativity. (We have a local church that does a beautiful one each year.)
13. Make Christmas card ornaments.
14. Make cards for Nana and Papa.
15. Make cards for MawMaw.
16. Bake cookies.
17. Take cookies to the local firestation. (We’re actually going to invite some other local homeschool families to join us in this one.)
18. Go out for dinner. (Enjoy a special night out at your family’s favorite restaurant. I’m not sure whether it’ll be Italian or Mexican for us.)
19. Go Christmas shopping for siblings. (We give each of our children a budget and let them shop for each other.)
20. Watch A Christmas Story (or another live-action Christmas movie).
21. Drive around to see Christmas lights. (You could drive around your neighborhood or go see a big light presentation somewhere close by.)
22. Make playdough and play with Christmas cookie cutters. (This is one of my kids’ favorite activities, and we don’t do it often enough. We like to make Kool-aid playdough. I thought this one would be a great calming activity for just before Christmas when things can get a little overwhelming.)
23. Visit and take pictures with Santa Claus.
24. Make a birthday cake for Jesus. (This a traditional family activity of ours that helps us to put the focus back on what the Christmas season is really about. We even gather around the table, light candles and sing Happy Birthday to Jesus.)
I have a two back-up ideas on hand in case something doesn’t work out, too: string popcorn to hang outside for the birds and plant an indoor herb garden. My husband also suggested that next year we see if we can ring the bell for the Salvation Army one day.
Here’s our calendar hung on the wall and ready for Tuesday:
The kids are really excited about finding out what each activity is going to be. (We’re keeping them a secret until they open the envelopes each morning.) I’m really excited about getting started, too!
You inspire me in so many ways. A true sister in Christ!
Katie B says
Hi, Bonnie! I made an advent calendar using this same pattern, and I really enjoyed it. I love your idea of using activities! I got a bunch of little toys for mine, and activities would’ve been much more special. Maybe next year!
Several other boys and girls of about the same age were gathered about.