Earlier this week we talked about the importance of recognizing Christmas traditions within families. I hope you’ve had time to write down the traditions you observe and try to keep every year. I also hope you have calendared traditions (page 3 of the Christmas Holiday Planner) that need to be scheduled – you want to ensure the important things don’t get missed this year!
Now we’re going to spend the rest of the week concentrating on Advent Activities.
In my family, we like to countdown each day of December by doing something fun together. Maybe that is unrealistic for some families because of scheduling conflicts so maybe a once a week activity would work better.
Whatever your advent activities are and however often you schedule them – it’s time to do just that – schedule them!! Schedule in your activities (along with the traditions) onto page 3 of your planner so they won’t get forgotten and all family members can see what the month of December is starting to look like.
I have put together two different activities lists if you are in need of some new or different countdown ideas.
The first list is Random Acts of Christmas Kindness – service oriented activities:
1. Take a set of holiday books and leave at a mall play area
2. Make a street pretty for Christmas (pick up garbage, sweep, shovel, etc.)
3. Adopt a classroom in need (send holiday party treats and craft box)
4. Buy a hot cocoa for Salvation Army bell ringers
5. Purchase toys for kids in need
6. Tape candy canes and happy holiday notes to ATMS, vending machines, etc.
7. Send a box of mitten and hats to a school
8. Offer to buy a pack of gum or mints for checkout clerk at grocery store
9. Bring peppermint mocha to daycare workers
10. Donate blood
11. Hand out pretty Christmas flowers
12. Bake and deliver christmas cupcakes to library employees
13. Set up a free gift wrap station for friends and neighbours!
14. Pay for Santa pictures for someone at mall
15. Shop for canned goods and donate to food Bank.
16. Pass out candy and spread cheer to folks mailing off their Christmas cards at the post office
17. Set up a helping task force – take back shopping carts, hold open doors for rushed and weary shoppers
18. Leave small Christmas treats/gifts in shopping carts for folks to find.
19. Take presents to hard working post office employees
20. Call animal shelter and find out what donations they need. Make a contribution and visit animals
21. Leave basket of Christmas gifts on doorstep of a family/neighbour that needs it
22. Buy hot chocolate for a stranger at Starbucks
23. Leave present in mailbox for mail carrier
24. Take all night drug store, ER, fire station, police station employees a Christmas surprise
25. Deliver something special to folks who are working at local hospital
26. Make holiday cards and take them to a nursing/retirement home.
27. Donate gently used toys, books, and clothes to a shelter.
28. Do something around the house to make life easier for a family member
29. Focus on being kind to strangers and clerks at the grocery store.
30. Mail handwritten notes or holiday cards
31. Make a list of love and appreciation for each family member.
32. Make cookies and take them to the Misisonaries
33. Volunteer at a soup kitchen or homeless shelter
34. Sing carols at a local nursing home
35. Take coloring books and crayons to the local children’s hospital or doctor’s waiting room
36. Do something nice for a neighbor
37. Offer to assist an elderly couple with their Christmas decorations
The next list is full of Christmas Fun!
1. Write letters to Santa
2. Make tree ornaments
3. Drive around and look at Christmas lights. Take hot cocoa and wear PJs!
4. Bake cupcakes and decorate
5. Have a hot chocolate bar before bed!
6. Pick names for family gift exchange and go shopping for gifts
7. Bake sugar cookies and decorate
8. Children put on a Christmas play for the adults
9. Spin for Dinner! Play spin the bottle and the winner gets to choose the restaurant.
10. Go ice skating
11. Make and sign Christmas cards
12. Go caroling
13. Family Christmas Movie Night
14. Play a board game or card game
15. Invite friends for dinner
16. Read christmas story
17. Make a gingerbread house
18. Have a special Christmas breakfast
19. String popcorn and cranberries
20. Make a paper ring garland
21. Cut snowflakes for the window
22. Go to a holiday movies at theatre
23. Roast marshmallows in the fireplace or firepit
24. Invite friends over in their pajamas to read Christmas stories
25. Play in the snow, build a snowman
26. Go for a walk at night
27. Make some peppermint candy covered popcorn
28. Make gift tags
29. Make snow paint
30. Make homemade gingerbread playdough!
31. Have ice cream sundaes
32. Make a candy wreath
33. Have breakfast for dinner
34. Hand write letters to friends that live away
35. Decorate the tree
36. Go on a wagon ride
37. Read the story about the birth of Jesus
38. Plan to attend a local Christmas tree lighting
39. Backwards dinner – eat dessert first
40. Crash Supper – plan with another mom ahead of time that you are going to bring dinner and spend the evening with them. The kids think it’s a surprise crash!
41. Treasure Hunt Dinner – hide the different courses throught the house and give the kids clues to gather their dinner.
42. Make a nativity
43. Have a camp out around the Christmas tree.
Maybe this year try out a few ideas from each list to make Christmas extra fun and exciting this year!!
I’ll be back tomorrow with a bunch of different ways to present your December countdown activities.