When I make my son's advent calendar every year I like to mix physical presents and non physical ones that are more about sharing family time and creating special memories. So, I gathered some of my favourite ideas for little gifts and family activities to share them here with you.
If you don't have an advent calendar yet, you can find DIY ideas here.
- Favorite treats and chocolates. Here we love lindt chocolate.
- Get a Lego box and divide the pieces in 24 lots. Very successful for a few years now.
- Get a DIY box and divide in small lots.
- Stickers, magnets, temporary tattoos and more. You can find some Petit loulou ones here.
- Coupons or vouchers for various activities.
- Books. I like to put a coupon in my son's calendar with a little treasure hunt so he can find a book hidden somewhere.
I love when it's raining outside so I have an excuse to stay at home and bake. I even taught mathematic to my son with baking during covid... he got really good at measuring flour and counting eggs... and we ate lots of cakes... maybe a bit too many.
- Bake and decorate gingerbread men
- Bake and decorate a gingerbread house
- Make Christmas cookies
- Invite a few friend over for a cookie decorating party
- Make chocolate you can gift for Christmas
- Prepare a plate with a carrot, a cookie, and some milk for Santa and his reindeer on Christmas eve... Make sure to eat and drink a piece of each, so when your little one wakes up on Christmas, you can tell him Santa and Rudolph loved their presents!
- Make eggnog
- Make hot apple cider
- Roast marshmallows
- Decorate the tree with a petit loulou wooden ornament you can find here
- Decorate a wreath together
- Hang some mistletoe and give out kisses. Can’t find mistletoe, I got you covered! You can make your own by following this tutorial: http://www.stayathomeartist.com/2010/12/make-your-own-mistletoe-tutorial.html
- Make a paper garland to decorate the tree or your house
- Make a star to put on the top of your tree
- Go to a Christmas show (The Nutcracker, for example)
- Attend a handmade Christmas market.
- Get the kids in pyjamas and go on a late night drive to see the neighbourhood Christmas lights
- Visit Santa!
- Cut or pick out a Christmas tree
- Attend a Christmas parade
- Attend a Christmas concert
- Check out books from the library about how people celebrate Christmas in other nations.
- Attend a holiday themed story time at the library or bookstore
- Go pick out a special ornament for the tree
- Ride a Christmas train
- Take each child on a Christmas shopping trip for their sibling, parent, or grandparent
DID IT SNOW?
Here snow arrives generally after Christmas, but if you are a lucky one with snow here are some ideas for you. My favorite things with snow is to spent time outside and come back with red cheeks make a hot chocolate and play a board games with my family.
- Go sledding
- Build a snowman with the whole family
- Go sleigh riding
- Go ice skating
- Go on a sleigh ride
- Make a snowball fight
- Go hiking in the snow
- Make snow angel
- Make salt dough ornaments
- Wrap special gifts or even draw on big piece of paper to create your own wrapping gift paper!
- Make colored ice sculptures
- Craft snowflakes
- Make a gift for a teacher
- Make Christmas cards
- Make a Christmas ornament
- Write a letter to Santa. The best way to secretly know what your kid wants for Christmas! Also I don't know if you have this in the US but here we can write to Santa and give the letter to Canada Post and a few weeks later we receive a letter from Santa!
Visit my previous post "A homemade Chritmas" and "Winter is the most wonderful time of the year ... to craft" for more crafty ideas.
- Adopt a family for Christmas and go shopping for them
- Fill a shoe box for Operation Christmas Child or any other children's charity
- Write a letter to a loved one that lives far away
- Sort through your old toys and donate to a local charity
- Take a few small gifts to a shelter
- Make thumbprint snowmen
HAVING FUN AT HOME
- Have a Christmas movie night
- Play board games together. Here are 2 games we love to play when my son was little
- Make special hot cocoa together
- Read a Christmas themed book
- Have a living room dance party!
- Let everyone in the family choose a country, and then google that country to see how they celebrate Christmas there
- Unwrap and read a new Christmas book
- Have a family story night, and read all your Christmas storybooks while enjoying a plate of cookies and milk
- Have a funny Christmas photo shoot (80’s Christmas sweaters?!)
- Make a “pillow bed” on the living room floor, and watch some classic Christmas cartoons (Rudolf, Frosty, etc.) together
- Let each child choose a friend to invite over for a Christmas-themed tea party
- Implement a "fancy dress code" for a special dinner one night
- Check your shoes on Saint Nicolas Day – December 6th [Leave the kids a few pieces of candy]
- Do story time under the tree