When I was a kid, I had a favorite aunt who sent me an advent calendar every year. They were wonderful and special, very cleverly made cards with little treats in them or little games behind tiny windows. But beyond the card, my family didn't really do anything formal for advent.
This is the 3rd year that we have done an advent calendar. It was such a hit with the kids the first time we did it that they look forward to it all year-- they talk about it more than Christmas itself. This is something of a victory, because our advent calendar is all about making things and doing things together.
Our first advent calendar was a cute little matchbox calendar, which worked really well for our small space. However, when I pulled it out of storage this year, it was looking a bit scruffy, so I decided to try a new format. These are little white favor envelopes clipped with tiny clothespins to twine hung around the window in front of our kitchen table. I generally start the advent calendar after my birthday in December, so that's why the numbers start at 5.
This year I stuck with some of our favorite activities... gingerbread houses, having a picnic dinner in a fort, and making cookies and ornaments. I also tried to add in a few more "generosity" prompts like "make a card for someone else" and "do something nice for someone else." Oh, and most days there is a little treat to sweeten the deal... stickers or an all-natural sweet treat.
|Graham cracker gingerbread houses, dinner in a fort, sandwich cookies|
Here's the full list:
5 Find a special present and open it
6 Decorate for Christmas
7 Build a fort and have dinner in it
8 Make popcorn and watch a movie
9 Go to the Nutcracker
10 Make a Christmas ornament
11 Do something nice for someone else
12 Find a special present and open it
13 Make a card for someone
14 Have breakfast for dinner
15 Go downtown and look at lights
16 Make Christmas Cookies
17 Make a gingerbread house
18 Make a birdfeeder
19 Make a present for someone else
20 Make snowflakes
21 Wrap a present for someone else
22 Go look at lights (Watkins Glen)
23 Sing Christmas Carols
Do you make an advent calendar?
Enjoy the season!