One of my favorite things to do at the end of the year is start our Family Advent(ure) Calendar. It’s a fun way to count down to Christmas with a holiday-themed activity every night. The girls look forward to it even more than I do, for they are children and Christmas is their sacred holiday.
Everyone has their favorite activities. The girls love our traditional first night activity: making paper chains to count down to Christmas. They love the Christmas Candy Taste Test (I buy a bunch of candy marketed towards the holidays like ribbon candy, gingerbread flavored peeps, peppermint Kisses, etc.); the Christmas Light Tour we take in the car in our pajamas; making paper snowflakes and doing a snow dance. They love decorating the tree while we watch Peter, Paul, and Mary’s Christmas concert and the claymation specials. They love picking out toys to donate to Toys for Tots and making a night of it; getting teacher gifts ready; baking cookies and fudge for other school helpers and neighbors. There aren’t many activities they don’t love!
My favorites include picking out books at Barnes & Noble to donate and stopping in the cafe for hot chocolate (or a peppermint mocha). I love Christmas-y crafts, like tissue paper wreaths, felt Christmas trees, making ornaments from scrapbook paper, and writing lines from books onto wooden snowflake ornaments so my favorite authors will whisper through the Christmas tree. I like putting together Santa’s Village Legos and watching Elf while I wrap Christmas presents. And I love, love, love seeing what gets added each year to our Gratitude List.
We have a few new things this year. We’re going to play Christmas Story Cubes (um, with regular story cubes, on the story has to involve a Christmas theme). There may or may not be a Christmas puzzle to work on – don’t worry, Kim: before you get here. And there’s a Christmas scavenger hunt involving stories behind Christmas decorations. (“Find Mom’s first Christmas ornament on the tree.” “This was the decoration Molly carried around the house when she was two.”) There may be a Snowman Marshmallow Roast around the firepit if the weather cooperates!
Those are just a few of the dozens of Advent(ures) we’ve had. It’s been fun watching our activities grow with the girls. We’ve moved from story time and reindeer hunting to design-your-own holiday Lego scene. It’s fantastic. And my favorite part of the holidays!