The Christmas Activity Advent Calendar

holidays, Little Aussie

ChristmasActivityYou might guess from my previous post that the magical mood known as “Christmas spirit” can be hard to come by when you’re a Northern Hemisphere squirrel transplanted into a Southern Hemisphere summer holiday. I’ve made a lot of concessions and alterations to make the holiday feel authentic – in with the pavlova and out with “I’m Dreaming of a White Christmas.” Yet, I often still find myself in “fake it ’til ya make it” mode. Now that we have a child who is old enough to understand holidays, I want to gift her the wonder that can be the Christmas season, as I felt it when I was growing up.

So, in that spirit, I jumped right on board to holiday-spirit town when I saw someone on my local mother’s group Facebook page post about a Christmas activity advent calendar. I didn’t have an advent calendar growing up, so had never given them much thought. I just thought of them as cheap paper boxes with waxy chocolate inside. I loved the idea that we could turn this into something so special for our family this season.

(It was such a well-received idea that North Shore Mums turned it into an article on the website.)

I bought an advent calendar with pockets for $12 at Target, and then filled it with handmade slips of paper indicating our daily activity. The activity list is a mix of big events and smaller tasks so that we don’t burn out. And, on days that we already had something planned (i.e. -a  Christmas party), that became the daily activity. Choosing an advent calendar where I could access the papers easily was important because I like the ability to tailor the activity to the weather or how busy we are going to be – for instance, “See Christmas lights” on a sunny day or “Get new Christmas pajamas” on a day when I have to go shopping, anyway. I also included a few acts of service to make sure that becomes part of the of thread of the (51)

We’re a little over half way through, and it’s been marvelous. I’ve been posting updates most days on my Instagram (join me!). Every day, Hushpuppy says, “my calendar?” and then picks her little paper with such happy anticipation. Each card has a small picture on it to give her a clue, and then I read it to her. No matter what it is, the reading of the day’s plan is met with a joyful, “Ooooooh!”.Many days, she’s kept track of and held onto that little piece of paper for ages, like it was her ticket to ride.

I have to thank the Christmas activity advent calendar for giving us transplanted squirrels so much joy this holiday 2 (21)

Here’s our full schedule of activities:

  • Put up the Christmas tree
  • Get a new Christmas book x2
  • Do a Christmas craft x2
  • See Jingle Bell Jazz at the Sydney Opera House
  • Christmas Carols at the park x2
  • Make a gingerbread house
  • Watch a Christmas movie
  • Stuff Christmas baskets for families in need with Helping Hands North Shore
  • Christmas lunch with our Unitarian group
  • Make Christmas cookies
  • Do a Christmas rubbish clean up at the park
  • Santa Fest at Darling Harbour
  • North Sydney Christmas markets
  • Playgroup Christmas party
  • Dance party to Christmas music
  • Make snack packs for One Meal
  • See the Christmas lights display on St Mary’s Cathedral
  • Santa photos
  • Make Christmas cards
  • Pick out a pair of Christmas pajama
  • Christmas Eve festivities!

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Feel free to follow our Christmas activities on Instagram.


13 thoughts on “The Christmas Activity Advent Calendar

  1. Simone

    It’s such a special time of year with kids in tow. Thanks for sharing your link on the Aussie parenting blogger Facebook Page. A daily activity with kids has really helped me get into the Christmas spirit too 🙂

    1. Cristin Post author

      Yes, this is the first year mine has been old enough to enjoy the holiday, so I think this is going to be a great new tradition for all of us.

  2. Lauren

    What a great collection of activities and a lovely alternative to traditional advent calendars. Would love to try this next year when my little Miss is a bit older (and I’ll have to get organised in November!) LOL xx

  3. Hugzilla

    Oh wow, this is a really kick-ass idea. I love that these centre on activities to do together, rather than kids squabbling over a tiny piece of chocolate every day, begging for more and then stealing the packet on day 3 and eating the entire thing while hiding in the bathroom… Which is exactly what happened here….

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