Advent Ideas

Once again this year we’re going to do the Advent Calendar, so I’m looking for activity ideas again.

I think this year Eli will be REALLY into it.  This is the first year that I am not able to wrap presents FOR him directly in front of him without him noticing, which means I think he’s finally kind of getting it. The challenge this year will be that all this holiday stuff is ramping him up to a state of insane over the top craziness, and that Katie can be…slightly annoying during some of these activities.  Lately their age difference has been a huge pain in the ass. I know eventually it won’t matter but right now it makes doing fun things with or for Eli really challenging.

Anyway, here’s my list. If you have any ideas, please let me know because I’d love to replace some of these with something less…work making for me. (These are not in calendar order.)

1. Unwrap a Christmas book. Already purchased, go me!

2. Leave shoes out for St. Nicholas. (He will bring pajamas, already purchased, (go me), and gold coins.) (I believe technically this is supposed to happen on the evening of December 5th.)

3. Buy and donate a gift to a child less fortunate.

4. Buy and wrap a present for Katie.

5. Make caramels. (This sounds like a terrible idea to do with a five year old, am I right? Eli really wants to do this though.)

6. Deliver neighbor gifts. (Cookies, lemons, and caramels)

7. Make snowflakes, stick them in the window.

8. Go see Santa.

9. Write a letter to Santa.

10. Have a candy cane hunt. (shamelessly stolen from Jen, this was a huge hit last year, although we were going to do it outside and then it rained or something and I just did it inside and it was still really fun.)

11. Have a Christmas treasure hunt. (I will hide something, probably a game, in the house somewhere and then leave clues leaving to clues, leaving to clues. You get the drift.)

12. Make a gingerbread house. (From a kit, obvs.)

13. Look at lights. (This is Christmas day night.)

14. Put up decorations. (This will probably be the first thing we do.)

15. Go on a nature hike and look for seasonal decor (like berries, pine cones, etc).

16. Buy a new ornament, go ice skating.

17. Make marshmallows.

18. Decorate cookies.

19. Watch How the Grinch Stole Christmas, drink hot chocolate out of my new Santa mugs which I am irrationally excited about.  This is the activity that I will romanticize in my head before hand and that will go horribly awry in every way conceivably possible culminating in one or more of us screaming that Christmas is canceled. Sounds fun, no?

20. Get a tree. Either at a Christmas tree farm or at Home Depot.

21. Decorate tree.

22. Do a root beer taste test. (This is predicated on the idea that I can buy individual bottles of different brands of root beer at Bev Mo. If this is not the case, please enlighten me.)

23. Plant an amaryllis bulb.

24. Watch the Nutcracker.

25. I need one more idea. However, I have this book on request at the library so I am hoping for good things. I shall report back.

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10 Responses

  1. A sneaky, time-tested suggestion: it is perfectly possible to wrap unmarked boxes in front of their intended recipient. Shoe boxes are boring…

  2. Have the kids make cards for out of town relatives? Make cinnamon ornaments? Make a popcorn garland? And I am planning to do this with my kids: http://pinterest.com/pin/221731981624557730/

  3. Also, you may be able to buy different kinds of root beer at World Market/Cost Plus. I AM A HEAP OF INFORMATION THIS MORNING

  4. Do not – I repeat DO NOT – make caramel with a small child. Nay, ANY child. (I made some yesterday and it is hard yo) I would suggest something like chocolate dipped pretzel rods that can be rolled in sprinkles. I put chocolate chips in a small crockpot to melt, and dip, then let the kids roll them in plates filled with sprinkles, crushed candy canes, etc. Just my 2 cents though.

  5. I made my list last night and I will second the cinnamon applesauce ornaments as a good idea (they also make the house smell nice). We are also going to a tree-lighting festival, our town’s Christmas parade, visiting Santa, making cookies, decorating cookies with a friend, ad having a movie night with Rudolph and popcorn.

  6. I have a big list going up later this week on my blog and of course, now I can’t remember any of them. Except we’re making bead bracelets for the grandmas.

  7. Long time lurker here who is trying to be a better commenter. We’re making edible Christmas trees (sugar cone, green icing, candy ornaments), making the cinnamon applesauce ornaments, Christmas lights at the zoo, paper snowflakes, and multiple days of opening a book. I try to be super low maintenance with this

  8. […] to doing an advent activity a day.  I like reading about bloggers who do so, and I LOVE getting inspiration from activity lists, but I can’t handle it.  There are too many nights where Baxter and I […]

  9. We baked cookies and took them to the local fire station, and we spent the afternoon visiting dogs and playing with kitties at the local animal shelter. My kids are about the same age as yours and still talk about both experiences.

  10. Maybe after collecting pine cones, the time-honored “slather peanut butter and bird seed on a pine cone and call it a holiday bird feeder” tradition? (We did this every year at school.)

    Also, I second the not cooking sugar with a small kid recommendation (it can spatter, particularly when you add the cream)- but you could cook the caramels yourself and get his help wrapping them in waxed paper, or if he has his heart set on the actual cooking part, “make” caramels by melting kraft caramels and using them to make caramel apples or whatever.

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