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Monday, November 21, 2022

24 Days of Family Christmas Activities

One of our most treasured family traditions is our advent calendar. Since my daughters were 2, I've been putting together an advent calendar with a small holiday-related activity to do each day leading up to Christmas. I never thought it would become such an important part of our lives but now, with my girls about to turn 11, they start asking about the calendar several months in advance! The last few years our options were a little more limited by the pandemic, but this year that's less of a concern- here's what I'm planning to do this year (and you can too with very little prep work).

Because I am all about low-maintenance, especially as a music teacher in December (if you know you know), most of the things are things that might normally be considered "chores", like decorating and sending cards, but now they are fun family activities! It's a great way to really focus on the small joys of the holiday. Here is a list of what we're doing this year:

1. Put up the Christmas tree

2. Decorate the tree with ornaments

3. Hang the Christmas lights

4. Make gingerbread truffles

5. Make hot chocolate with all the fixings

6. Put out the advent wreath

7. Make plastic cup ornaments

8. Decorate the front door

9. Make and send Christmas cards

10. Write gift idea lists (to receive and to give)

11. Bake cookies

12. Decorate sugar cookies

13. Put up the rest of the decorations around the house

14. Shop for/ make gifts to give

15. Read some Christmas books

16. Wrap gifts

17. "Jingle" a neighbor (here is an explanation and free printable)

18. Watch a Christmas movie (this year will be Hip-Hop Nutcracker)

19. Do this salt crystal snowflake experiment

20. Go caroling to friends and family's houses (in person and video call)

21. Drive through a lights display

22. Hang the stockings

23. Make a gingerbread house

24. Set out cookies, milk, and carrots for Santa and the reindeer

This kind of Christmas countdown / advent activity calendar is so easy to set up because the activities are low-prep, low-mess, quick activities, most of which are things families celebrating Christmas would do anyway. If you want to do something similar this year but don't have time to make a calendar, all you really have to do is write down each activity on a piece of paper and fold it up with the number for the date you want to do it on the outside. Then open a paper each day to reveal that day's activity!

Here is how I made the calendar we use every year (so easy if you have the supplies)- click the image to see the tutorial:

And you can see how my list of activities has evolved over the years as my daughters get older in these posts from previous years: my list for 9 year oldsfor 7 year oldsfor 6 year oldsfor 5 year oldsfor 4 year olds, and for 3 year olds.

If you're looking for ways to add a little cheer without a lot of effort I hope these ideas will help! 

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