This is by far one of my most favorite times of the year. I love Christmas. I love everything it stands for. Hope. Joy. Light. Thinking of and serving others, and spending time with those you love. This is what Christmas is to me. And this is what I want Christmas to be for my children. It is so easy to get caught up in the commercialism of the season. I know it's hard for me to keep focus sometimes, if I'm being honest. But one thing that I have found to combat the superficiality of the Holiday season, that is spreading like a cancer throughout our culture, is traditions. Traditions keep us, as a family, grounded and give us a sense of stability...which is something I think a whole lot of us could use right about now. So, I wanted to share with you one of my favorite traditions that we keep each year. It's the Advent Activity Calendar.
We started doing this about four years ago, after I read someone's blog post about their advent activity calendar. I wish I could remember where I read it so I could give some credit, but as with any really good idea, the point is to share it regardless of who started it, right? It's such a simple idea that adds so much to our enjoyment of the season, that I think everyone who celebrates Christmas should try it at least one year!
Here's what you do. Find or make an Advent Calendar. It doesn't have to be anything fancy, even a paper chain countdown could work. Starting with December 1st, come up with an activity to do each day until Christmas. Some ideas could be as simple as watching your favorite Christmas movie or as complex and involved as signing up as a family to donate and volunteer for a toy drive. The sky's the limit! The point is to do things together. One favorite of ours that makes in there every year is to have a night where we paint each other's toe nails...boys and all. Other ideas that we have done or will do are: bake cookies, drive around to see all the Christmas lights, play charades, have a tea party, give each other crazy hair make-overs and making a craft together. Whatever it is, have fun and don't take it too seriously. There have been several days where the activity didn't pan out, but we made sure to still do something together. A word of caution, however. We made the mistake of trying to fit every single Christmas movie we own in the calendar last year, by the fourth movie night the kids were bored and not really excited to open the next day's activity for fear it was another of the same kind. So don't be like us. Remember, variety is the spice of life!
I would love to know if you try this, and what some of the activities that you do are! So, please let me know!! I would also love to hear about your traditions! Send me an e-mail or leave a comment!