The holidays are upon us! This year, transform the whirlwind of the season into a gentle breeze of holiday spirit drifting through your December. Doesn’t that sound lovely? When Kristan’s and my oldest daughters were just toddlers, Kristan suggested an advent calendar we create ourselves, and I am still running with it! The advent calendar we make each year has become a tradition that our family relies on to cultivate a season of joy and love. It encourages us to nurture serious quality time together, and pause.
Rather than fitting in family tradition around schedules, we build schedules around family time. This requires organization and planning, but it’s so worth the extra effort!
We’ve tried piecing this together a couple of ways, but the simplest and most successful method we have found is to create a paper chain linking together each day’s activity. Below are some suggestions. You do what works for your family and friends. In principle, we make some things, share, remember our community, and avoid spending a ton of money. In my home it only works if we actually plan out the dates for each activity so that when we link together the chain, it has to go in order. Each day, we eagerly pick off one link. Some days are less involved, like, “ read a Christmas story before bed,” while other days require more planning, --“Nutcracker today!”
The first Sunday of Advent is this weekend and goes until December 24! Try it and let us know what you think!
Happy Holidays, friends!
Hope, peace, love, joy.
Options for Family Advent Calendar
Decorate the house and tree!
Christmas Stories and Hot Chocolate.
Make your Christmas list! (Needs to be higher this year… supply chain issues!)
Prepare dinner, cookies, or cards to deliver to the firefighters.
Special High Tea -- china and cookies and tea and best manners.
Tree Lighting in town.
Decorate the gingerbread house and love it in all of its imperfection.
Visit Candy Cane Lane.
Meet Santa Claus!
Sand Angels and Sand Castles at the beach!
Flute Concert, etc.
Teacher gift making — usually caramel corn, etc.
Nutcracker! This year it will be the American Contemporary Ballet!
Make cookies, bring to a neighbor.
Nature walk. Notice the beautiful earth.
Make a big fancy dinner.
Homemade Christmas cards! Card stock, colors in every form, lots of love!
Act out the nativity or Christmas story puppet show.
Write letters to homebound people.
Make dinner for someone you know who could use a hand.
Send a letter to your postal worker.
Donate to an organization with families in crisis.
Family game night.
Outdoor potluck with friends!
Make manna bags for unhoused in your community.
Participate in a coat drive.
See school play.
See ballet recital.
Sing Christmas Carols!
Decorate Christmas cookies!
Free Printable Advent Paper Chain Template!