During the advent period heading up to Christmas I have seen a few people doing experience advent calendars instead of chocolate or gift ones and it made me wish I had done the same with my boys when they were smaller, as it is such a good idea.
I wrote recently about just doing Christmas your way and not feeling the pressure to try and do what everyone else is doing and the experience advent calendar works perfectly with that, as it is all about making memories and spending time together as a family, which is so important. You can spend as little or as much as you like and do activities etc on as many or as few days as you like too. You can really personalise it.
Now my two are a little bit old for doing the sort of experience advent calendar that I would love to have done with them in the past, but for those of you who want to plan ahead for next Christmas or have a few days over the Christmas period to fill, here is my list of ideas for an alternative advent. A lot of the things on the list are things that we have always done with the boys anyway.
Write letters to Santa whilst listening to Christmas music
Watch a Christmas film
Attempt to make a gingerbread house
Go for a drive or a walk around to see all the Christmas lights lit up in the area
Choose a new bauble for the tree and/or make a new decoration for the tree – if you do this every year then your tree will be full of memories.
Have a carpet picnic for tea
Donate food to the local food bank as a family
Make Christmas Cards
Make personalised Christmas placemats for everyone – a laminator comes in handy if you have one, below is the image we put on one a few years ago
Go to see Santa
Make Christmas biscuits
Go to the cinema or ice skating
Have a family board game night or day – we usually do this on Christmas Eve and New Years Eve in our house
Make hot chocolate with marshmallows and sprinkles
Go out for the day to somewhere new
Listen to Christmas music and play party games that involve dancing – musical bumps etc for a bit of nostalgia
Go for a walk in the woods and do a scavenger hunt
Write a list of everything that you are grateful for and write a wish list for the next year of things that you all want to do as a family
Go to a lantern parade/carol concert/pantomime – which ever you prefer and is on locally
Have a pyjama day where no one gets dressed and you spend the day colouring, drawing and reading Christmas books
Make a Christmas cake
Go to a Christmas Fair
Do a random act of kindness each
Christmas Eve – open one present early, open your Christmas Eve box – whatever your family tradition is.
If you don’t fancy waiting until next Christmas to try this out, why not grab an empty jar and all decide on 12 different things that you want to do as a family for the year and then each month have a special family day where you grab something out of the jar to do? In fact now I’ve thought of that idea I am off to find an empty jar myself!
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