Over the years we’ve had all sorts of different advent calendars from the usual chocolate kind to the more exciting Lego or beauty calendars but this year I wanted to try a bit of an alternative advent calendar.
I wanted to make an advent calendar that was all about experiences rather than things, just like we tried to do with Christmas last year where we gave the kids a mix of actual presents and presents that involved an experience of some kind. The experiences we gave them, especially Master Frugal’s, were so much fun and they appreciated them more than most of the presents they got so I thought we’d do similar this year – starting with a family Christmas Traditions alternative advent calendar.
I started thinking about the calendar last month and bought a pack of 25 little red organza bags from eBay for just £1.25 which was brilliant considering it included delivery and the bags arrived within 3 days! When they arrived I was planning to number them all 1-24 using a Sharpie but with the fabric being organza, I just couldn’t get the letters to stand out.
I went for plan B and bought a pack of 25 coloured envelopes from the shop for a pound instead – they won’t look as pretty as the organza bags but they’ll do the job.
I copied the list below into Word, made everything Big, Red and Bold and then cut each one out ready to pop in the corresponding envelopes.
- Make a gingerbread house
- Bake Christmas biscuits for the neighbours
- Decorate the tree together
- Go for a walk to look at the lights in the neighbourhood
- Make snowman soup
- Make reindeer dust
- Watch a Christmas movie together
- Make some homemade Christmas cards
- Make an ornament for the tree
- Listen to Christmas carols while we make paper chains
- Buy a present each for a child who’s less fortunate than us
- Have a family camp out around the Christmas tree and sleep with the tree lights on
- Make a Christmas wreath together
- Make Christmas crackers.
- Sort out a carrier bag each filled with toys, games or books to take to the charity shop
- Make a Christmas bird feeder
- Roast marshmallows and drink hot chocolate in the garden
- Go Ice skating
- A trip to Costa to try the Christmas drinks
- Make some Christmas fudge as gifts and deliver them to family, friends and neighbours
- Make our own wrapping paper and wrap our secret Santa presents up in it.
- Go shopping for the local food bank.
- Go to the local garden centre and see Santa before having a mince pie in the cafe there
- Make Christmas cupcakes
There’s nothing particularly exciting on my list and most won’t take long at all to do together but everything on there is something that we can do together as a family and that I know we’ll all enjoy.
I got the kids onboard with numbering and decorating the envelopes although they have no idea what’s in them as they passed them to me as they finished decorating each one and I popped one of our activities in there. I can’t wait to see their faces with some of them!
I’ve been a bit clever with the activities and I have a corresponding list in my bullet journal so that I know what’s planned for every day so I’m prepared with whatever we need. Another important thing I considered when putting the activities in the envelopes was what day of the week it was going to be – there’s no point having a Christmas sleepover around the tree on a school night for example or planning a visit to the garden centre or an ice skating outing on a school day.
I considered displaying them all fancy by hanging them from a lovely small branch I found in the woods last week but I decided that I’m going to put them in a lovely Christmas box that I have and keep them under the tree. Simple but pretty. 😉
Now we’re all ready for the 1st December so we can start opening our Family Christmas Traditions Alternative Advent Calendar and I’m really looking forward to some of the family time we’re going to have together.
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