We have a ‘tree’ in our kitchen – well it’s a jug full of twigs – that we hang seasonal / celebration stuff on. So photos and numbers for birthdays, eggs for Easter etc. It’s been covered in the kids’ Halloween crafts until yesterday. Seren said earlier in the week, “we need to take the Halloween bits off or people will come to the house and think it’s Halloween”. (Her sister seems to have taken this literally as she’s gone to playgroup today in a Halloween outfit, but hey you don’t argue with a 2 year old over her outfit choice at 8.30am).
Seren thought we should add some autumn decorations but I think it’s time to start bringing out the sparkle for Christmas.
In the past few years we’ve done a Crafty Advent (a different craft activity each day), a Book Advent (a Christmas book would appear each morning in a Christmas sack) and an Activity Advent, with a different activity each day. Seren was 3 when we did the latter so couldn’t read prompts so it was more an activity that I came up with on the day (with some things booked) than something to open.
I’ve gone for activities again this year though aren’t pegging them to a particular day (apart from booked things). And although there are 24, some are for before December or after Christmas and some days we might not do any and some days we might do 3 at once – that sort of thing. I find that when I’ve planned out crafts, books or activities for each day it starts off really well then it all gets a bit much after a while when things get crazy at the end of term.
I’ve written each activity onto a parcel tag, decorated the back of the tags with washi tape and hung them on our ‘tree’. I’m excited that Seren can read bits of these now – though she criticises my handwriting! – and she suggested some more too. She can help pick which activity to do on the days we are free to choose. The 24 we have (in no particular order of date) are:
1. The local ‘Parade of Lights’ – a light themed charity event with parades through the streets and fireworks.
2. Visit to Father Christmas’s grotto (we’ve booked to go to Springtime Garden Centre in Enfield one night after school).
3. Trip to London to see the lights, trees and shop displays.
4. Pantomime show (Seren is going to see Aladdin at the Millfield Theatre and I think I will book to take Imogen to see Christmas Tales from the Shed at Chickenshed Theatre).
5. Walk round the local neighbourhood to look at the Christmas lights at the front of people’s houses.
6. Our friend’s Christmas party.
7. Go to our school’s Christmas Fete
8. Write to Father Christmas.
9. Make a video for Father Christmas (and receive one back from him via Portable North Pole!).
10. Decorate our Christmas tree.
11. Write Christmas cards.
12. Leave treats for our visitors on Christmas Eve (Father Christmas and his reindeers!).
Getting in the Christmas Mood
13. Watch a festive film.
14. Read our Christmas books.
15. Wear our Christmas PJs.
16. Drink hot chocolate with candy cane stirrers.
17. Wear glitter tattoos (and possibly a bit of sparkly nail varnish when school is out).
Making and Baking
18. Create Christmas decorations.
19. Bake mince pies.
20. Make a ‘sweetie’ (i.e. gingerbread) house.
21. Make reindeer food.
Thinking of Others
22. Feed the birds in the garden.
23. Donate food the the local food bank.
24. Join in on Christmas Jumper Day on 16th December to raise money for Save the Children.
The girls have both traditional paper / picture advent calendars for mornings and a chocolate one as an after dinner treat (I wasn’t going to do the latter but caved yesterday). I’ve treated myself to the M&S Beauty Calendar which I’m struggling not to open yet as it looks amazing! (The girls are convinced the boxes are filled with chocolates hence buying them chocolate advent calendars!).
How are you celebrating the lead up to Christmas?
PS – I’ve filled the sidebar on the right >>>>> with seasonal posts from the past couple of years.
This post was first published in December 2016.