The best part of Christmas isn't Christmas morning. Don't get me wrong--I absolutely love the magic of Christmas Eve and Christmas morning, and seeing the joy in my children's faces as they tiptoe down the stairs, see the tree lit with all the presents underneath it, peek into their stockings for the first time, and open that one gift that they've been praying for (and that I've been dying to give them). For me, it's everything that leads up to that morning--all the wrapping, shopping, decorating, baking, reading, light-seeing, concerts, plays, parties, craft-making, snuggly movie & popcorn nights, secret santa runs, visits with family & friends, and more. I love the journey as much as or more than the destination, and I love how it brings out little family closer and establishes much-loved traditions.
You all know I love advent calendars, and one of my favorites ways to count down the first 25 days of December is with a fun family activity each day. It doesn't have to be fancy, cost a lot of money, or take a lot of time to prepare--sometimes the most most simply activities are the best ones! My kids absolutely love this, and they look forward to each morning when they find out what we'll be doing that day. Many of these things very likely are activities your family will be doing anyway, but planning it out, and making it a surprise changes everything!
Crunched for time? To help make it easier, I've compiled a list of some of our favorites, and ones that I plan to include this year for our family. In addition, I included some general labels, that might be easier to fit more families' needs--i.e. "attend concert or play" or "attend party". I also created a printable sheet of labels--one activity per label--that you can either print on labels, or on cardstock. If you use the labels, you can mat them on cardstock or scrapbook paper and cut them out. If you print them on cardstock, just cut them out!
You can place them in special envelopes or in another advent, or even write it on a family chalkboard or whiteboard for all to see each morning. I plan to use mine in the paper sack advent I posted about last week...and I'm SO excited!!!
1. Act out the Nativity & read the Christmas story
2. Make homemade hot chocolate
3. Christmas movies & popcorn
4. Make & decorate sugar cookies
5. Go Christmas shopping as a family
6. Drive to see Christmas lights
7. Go ice skating
8. Have snowman pancakes for dinner!
9. Make paper snowflakes & hang in windows
10. Write letters to Santa
11. Deliver treats to neighbors & friends
12. Make& decorate gingerbread houses
13. Invite friends over for a Christmas sing-a-long!
14. Baking Day!
15. Visit Santa
16. Deliver treats to local fire stations
17. See the Nutcracker ballet
18. Go for a winter walk
19. Stuff & stamp Christmas cards
20. Gather friends to go Christmas caroling at a local nursing home
21. Make Christmas crafts
22. Make a snowman (inside OR outside!)
23. Family Game Night!
24. Make reindeer food!
25. Secret Santa night
26. Attend Christmas concert, play, or performance
27. Decorate Christmas tree
28. Go to library and check out Christmas books
29. Attend Christmas party
30. Make handmade ornaments
To download the Word file to print as labels (Avery 15160, 1 x 2.63 or compatible) : HERE
To download the PDF file to print on cardstock: click HERE
To download the psd file for photoshop, so you can create your own images: click HERE
Merry Christmas, and Happy Countdown!!!