We are starting a new holiday tradition this year with our first family advent calendar. We are counting down the days leading up to Christmas (yes, all 24 of them!) by doing an activity together as a family. It could be related to holiday crafts, treats, thoughtful gestures to others or anything that is fun.
Blogland showcases a lot of ways to do an advent calendar. Since this is the first time we are doing it, I chose the simple route. I wanted something store-bought (gasp!), inexpensive and easy to set up (as I need 24 of them!). So imagine my delight when I saw a set of 24 mittens backed by a clothespin, ready to be used as a countdown ornament. The best part is that it only costs $2. I already have a large wooden picture frame sitting on my fireplace perfect for hanging these mittens. Here it is...
The idea is that each day, my little one would open the note behind the mitten and we would do the fun activity indicated for that day. I tried to incorporate “known events” into the countdown calendar like our scheduled photo session with Santa, get togethers with friends or bringing of presents to school and daycare. Movie night is also scheduled on a Friday (as we have a no-TV-during-weekdays policy) and ice skating is scheduled on a Saturday evening. In case you are interested, here are the things I included this year:
1- Have our picture taken with Santa
2- Decorate our Christmas tree together
3- Bake cookies together
4- Read a Christmas story together
5- Have your picture taken by the Christmas tree
6- Dance to a Christmas song
7- Sing a Christmas carol
8- Get together with friends
9- Family brunch
10- Donate to Food Banks
11- Create a holiday ornament
12- Drive around the block and look at Christmas lights
13- Frances to take a picture of Mom and Dad
14- Camp out in the family room and watch a movie together
15- Get together with friends
16- Bake holiday treats for the office
17- Make a card for Santa
18- Drop by our dessert place for a quick treat (you can wear jammies!)
19- Drink hot chocolate with marshmallows
20- Bring Christmas presents to school
21- Bring Christmas presents to daycare
22- Go ice skating
23- Call Grandma and Grandpa24- Wear our new jammies
I have accepted early on that there may be instances when we will get busy with other things so we may need to postpone or replace an activity with something else. And that is okay. What is important is seeing my DD’s face light up with excitement every time it is time to open the “mitten for the day” and the smile on her face when we actually do the activity. Since this is the first time we are doing this, I included some relatively simple activities in the mix to keep me from stressing out too much, ha!
Happy to share that we have so far done 3 out of 3 of our mitten activities. We’ll see how it goes the rest of the month (wink, wink).