As we get closer to Christmas we want to make the most of the festive season. We want all the magic, excitement and festivities that make Christmas special. It’s a time for family fun, joy and happy memories. One of our family traditions is counting down to Christmas with the advent calendar.

We have a wooden calendar that we reuse each Christmas. It was a blank advent calendar that I decorated when my eldest was a baby. It brings back happy memories of our first family Christmas. We fill it with advent activities that we can do together as a family. We love these activities as for that moment in the day they bring our family together no matter what we’re busy doing. The activities can be a real mixture of crafts, baking, decorating, present-making, random acts of kindness and so on.

Choose Your Advent Calendar

There are so many gorgeous advent calendars available to buy or if you’re feeling creative make and decorate yourself. We’ve been eyeing up a canvas calendar with 25 little pockets for activities or gifts to hang from the wall. A reusable calendar with pockets or drawers is ideal for your advent activities and can become a family heirloom. The pockets will hold the paper with your activity on it and any small items to go with it.

For many of the Christmas activities, we keep the matching items hidden elsewhere to stop prying eyes from taking a look. This also gives you a wider range of activities to choose from because they don’t all have to fit into the small pocket or drawer.

Plan for your Advent Activities Ahead of Time

For your family’s countdown to Christmas, a little planning and preparation can help the activities go smoothly. We want to avoid the disappointment of activities not being ready or the stress of trying to think of activities the night before.

We plan our activities out in November and sit down with a notebook and pen to write them down. Many of the activities we do every year but we like to add new things, to let us have new experiences together as a family.

Advent calendar preparation will include listing the activities you want to do and gathering any of the bits that you need to complete. We suggest keeping all of your advent activity resources in one place so they are easy to grab and layout on the day. Activities can range from crafts at the kitchen table to days out at Santa’s Grotto. Some activities will be easier to carry out and we plan them around what else we are doing in the week.

Here is a list of 24 Advent ideas to get you started:

  1. Christmas card making
  2. Write a letter to Santa
  3. Make a decoration for the Christmas tree
  4. Decorate the Christmas tree
  5. Make and decorate your own gingerbread house
  6. Print your own wrapping paper
  7. Have a Christmas carol sing-along
  8. Visit the local Christmas lights
  9. Christmas colouring activities
  10. Wrap presents for friends and family
  11. Have a Christmas movie afternoon with festive snacks
  12. Visit Santa
  13. Make a hot chocolate
  14. Play with Christmas themed play dough and small Christmas toys
  15. Have a Christmas jumper day
  16. Have a Christmas spa afternoon with themed bath bombs
  17. Make gingerbread men
  18. Read a new Christmas book together
  19. Make a Christmas sensory bin for toddler play
  20. Have your own Christmas song dance party
  21. Make paper snowflakes to decorate the house
  22. Have a family Christmas game or quiz night
  23. Make reindeer dust
  24. Make cookies for Santa

Whatever activities you do decide to do, enjoy them and create some happy Christmas family memories. Remember they don’t have to be fixed and you can swap them or change them as you see fit for your family. Plan in some extra low-key activities to have on hand in case you need to swap out a more substantial activity. Children may need a more restful day or the weather might not co-operate that day, but you will still have options.

You’ll soon find that you have a few favourite activities that will become your own Christmas traditions year after year.