By Kathryn Peck
Every year, we count down the holiday season with a little help from an advent calendar. We’ve had traditional paper ones with flaps to open, those with windows holding a chocolate candy for each day, and more recently we’ve had an over-the-door fabric advent calendar with pockets for tiny treats or trinkets each day.
But this year’s holiday season is shaping up to be quite different. My kids are schooling from home during this time, and we’re missing the holiday art projects they’d be doing at school, the opportunity to participate in toy donations and organized food drives, and the holiday concerts and caroling they’d be doing under normal circumstances. So, this year I’m going to use our advent calendar to create experiences as a family and to fill in what’s missing this year.
So, this year I’m going to use our advent calendar to create experiences as a family and to fill in what’s missing this year.
I’m going to fill the pockets of our advent calendar with easy, practical holiday-themed activities that we can all participate in with the idea being that not all gifts have to cost money. Spending time together, making memories, giving back, and helping others are perhaps some of the greatest gifts. And of course, I’ll throw some chocolate treats in those pockets as well.
24 advent calendar activities ideas
- Decorate the Christmas tree.
- Write a letter to Santa.
- Pick a book to donate.
- Make ice cream sundaes for dessert tonight!
- Make paper snowflakes.
- Have a Christmas scavenger hunt.
- Have a dance party! “Alexa, play Christmas music.”
- Make an ornament for someone else in the family.
- Pick a toy to donate.
- Write and mail a Christmas card to someone.
- Make a gingerbread house.
- Go for a winter walk.
- Movie Night! Make popcorn and watch a Christmas movie tonight.
- Make hot cocoa with marshmallows.
- Play Christmas-version of “Would You Rather.” (A favorite at our house!)
- Gather canned foods for donation.
- Read only Christmas books at bedtime.
- Make a pinecone bird feeder with a note that says, “Merry Christmas birdies!”
- Have a Christmas-around-the-world themed coloring contest.
- Drive/walk to see Christmas lights
- Decorate Christmas cookies.
- Have a red- and green-themed dinner.
- Bake banana bread for the neighbors.
- Read “‘Twas the Night Before Christmas.”
About the author: Kathryn is the owner of Bicycle Pie and mom of 4 little ones. Also a writer, editor, and former owner of one of Boston's premiere baby boutiques, she continues to write about motherhood, children's products, family life, and all other things that test our skills and patience as parents.
Photo credit: iStock.com/mediaphotos