Each year December rolls around and I get bummed that I didn’t plan ahead and create an Advent calendar – one with activities to do as a family and little random acts of kindness. I try very hard to keep this the slowest month of the year for our family. With homeschooling we definitely have the schedule flexibility to add daily activities without it feeling like a weight or one more thing to squeeze into the day. I want to take advantage of that flexibility, but don’t always do so well.
My biggest issue was I just forgot to make it happen or felt like I didn’t have the time to create one of those amazing Advent calendars I saw on some design website.
December arrives and in the past I’ve thought if we didn’t begin by the first day of Advent, well, all was lost.
This year I decided that is ridiculous. I didn’t need to let WHEN we start take away from WHY we were counting down the days.
So, last week (December 3rd) I spent an hour at my kitchen table putting stickers on tags and adding little activities for each day on the back of those tags.
I wasn’t sure where to hang them, so I just taped them right to the living room wall.Christmas Adam. Christmas Eve. Christmas Day got extra fancy with some tape because those are extra special days of celebration.When my kids came downstairs the next morning not a single one of them asked why the numbers started with “4”. The thing that I got hung up on in years past (not starting on time) was a non-issue for my family. I’m a slow learner.
The visual countdown is exciting, but so are the intentional activities for each day. When I picked the activities, I had my calendar on hand. For busy days, I picked simple things like, “have an epic ‘snowball’ fight with socks” and “research Christmas jokes to tell your grandparents.” On slower days, I chose things like, “buy hot chocolate and deliver to a Salvation Army ringer”, “make cinnamon rolls and take to friends”, and “pile into the car to go see Christmas lights.”
I did searches on Pinterest for “Advent Calendar Activities” and “Advent Random Acts of Kindness” for ideas to include. I kept a printout for all the activities so I could look ahead or switch around the days if needed.
Our Christmas countdown cost less than a $1, took about an hour to make and we started it ‘late’….pretty much typical Campbell style!