Since we have 3 children, we decided to do 3 different types of Advent Calendars, and each child rotates every day by opening 1 thing from each Advent Calendar. This is our 3rd year doing it this way and it works great! As I've mentioned before, my lack of creative family activities throughout the year is made up in the month of December!
The first Advent Calendar was given to us by Steve's mom when we first got married so it's been in our family for 11 years! That just sounds crazy. It's a simple Nativity Advent Calendar with a door for each day that contains something relating to the Nativity Scene and it comes with a card that you read what each item means. I.E. Day 1 is the star, God put the star in the sky to light the way to Bethlehem, and then of course day 24 is baby Jesus.
The second one is the Christmas book Advent. I wrapped 24 Christmas books and the kids get to pick one and open one every day, and that's the story we read that night before bed. The Christmas Quiet Book is what they opened today.
The third one is the Family Activity Advent Calendar. I came up with 24 activities that we can do as a family & typed them all up with pretty Christmas font. Then I printed out 24 numbers, cut them out, & taped them onto small envelopes. I planned the entire month out, putting bigger activities on the weekends and took into account other things going on in the month, and put each activity into the corresponding day. I bought Christmas ribbon and just used mini clothespins to put the envelopes on the ribbon, so it looks like this. :)
Some ideas we are using this year or have used in years past are:
Decorate the tree
Snowman pancakes for dinner
RAK: Random Acts of Kindness; Don't get caught
Glo Stick Bathtime
Picnic by the Christmas Tree
Trip to London to partake in the Christmas Festivities
Drive around to look at lights
Permission to stay up late
Open a present early (this is always on Christmas Eve, and it's always jammies with popcorn & a movie)
Christmas Movie Night
Snowball fight indoors using marshmallows
Make gifts for teachers
Write cards to all Classmates
Go through toys & books and donate to shelter
Fancy Dress Dinner
Candy Cane Milkshakes
Baking & Decorating Cookies
Delivering Cookies to neighbors
Super Spy Sibling Shopping trip
Go with mom to buy a present for dad
Go with dad to buy a present for mom
Re read a favorite Christmas Book
Send postcards to family back in the states
Call family & sing Christmas Carols
Camp out by the Christmas Tree
Annual Squadron Christmas Party
Make Reindeer food
Walk through the city centre & enjoy the lights
All the kid's Christmas Artwork will be displayed above the Family Activity Calendar.
So as you can see, some things we do every year & I've just incorporated it in the calendar, and others are just fun things we can do together as a family. Do you have a Family Activity Calendar? Would love to hear new & different ideas.