Natalie here! One of my favorite memories of the holiday season as a child is my mom creating a Christmas advent calendar for my sister and I every year. Each day we would get so excited to open the box on the advent tree and see what activity she had planned for us. It was the best way to make the Christmas season actually feel like a season and not just one or two days.
She continued this tradition with me through high school and college and even now as my sister and I both live out on our own, she does the best job of doing something extraordinary to make this season really special! So, mom if you’re reading this, THANK YOU for making the holidays so much fun.
My sister now incorporates this same tradition with her kids and since I don’t have kids of my own, I’ve taken it upon myself to incorporate this with my fiancé 🤣
If you’ve never created a Christmas activity advent calendar, don’t worry, we’ve got you covered. What’s really great is that this tradition can be as simple or as extravagant as you want it to be – you get to decide! This year, to take the pressure off I’m personally doing 12 Days of Festive Fun in our house. Below you’ll find my top tips to make this easy for you along with a list of festive activities that you can add to your calendar this year!
Tip #1: Purchase or make an advent calendar
This will keep everything organized throughout the whole month. I recommend one with drawers or pockets so that you can put pieces of paper in each day. And if you’re into crafting, Pinterest has some great ideas.
Tip #2: PLAN AHEAD
I think this is my favorite tip for basically anything in life, but for real, all of this is much more fun when you plan out the month in advance. You’ll avoid any scrambling and can know exactly what each day will be. Personally, I sit down one day in late November or early December and list out the activities that I want to do. Later I will come back and decide WHEN they will happen.
Tip #3: Decide how long you want to do your Christmas advent calendar
My mom used to go all out and do almost everyday of the month and it was SO FUN, but I also know that’s not realistic for everyone. Maybe you just learned what Christmas advent even is or you’re reading this post two weeks into December and you still want to take part. The good news is that you’re free to decide what you want this to look like. If you only have it in you to do this for a week, go for it! Sometimes quality is better than quantity, so take the time to be intentional and make that week extra special. If you want to do the whole month, that’s cool too. Like I said, this year I’m personally doing 12 Days of Festive Fun. The whole idea is to get creative and truly enjoy the season! Once you decide the timeline, start planning out which activities you will do on what day.
Tip #4: Keep it simple
The idea of doing Christmas advent activities has the potential to get very complex. Maybe you see all the things that other people are doing and you think you have to live up to that. When that happens, this becomes very unenjoyable and really defeats the purpose. My advice to make this the hap-hap-happiest holiday season is to keep it simple. If you’re doing this for your kids, chances are they won’t notice all of the elaborate details, so there’s really no reason to stress about them. Instead, choose activities or events that will create true memories and leave everyone with a full heart.
Now, on to the good stuff!
Ideas for Your Christmas Advent Activities:
- Watch a NEW Christmas movie with popcorn + red and green M&M’s
- Surprise everyone with a hot cocoa bar after dinner – (blog post coming soon for this one!)
- Go for a drive to see Christmas lights
- Make your favorite Christmas treat together
- Decorate a Gingerbread House – bonus: actually bake the gingerbread
- Gift them with Christmas PJ’s and take your not so typical Christmas pictures at home by the tree with your handy dandy iPhone🎄
- Attend a hometown Christmas parade and tree lighting
- Write letters to Santa
- And then take those letters to Santa 🎅🏼
- Make Christmas ornaments to hang on the tree
- Clean out the toy bin and donate to charity
- Bake cookies for Santa
- Make reindeer food
- Make bird seed ornaments to hang on the trees outside
- Go ice skating ❄️
- Read Christmas books in a blanket fort
- Create homemade Christmas cards and mail them to family and friends
- Have a family game night
- Roast marshmallows in an outside fire pit and eat S’mores
- Have breakfast for dinner