The first Christmas my husband and I were married, I bought this little house advent calendar from Target.They still sell them and they’re super cute. I thought up 25 Christmas-y things to do and put one in each little door. So every day we would open the door for that day and do the activity that it said. Once Caroline was born I was so excited to have a child around for Christmas. Kids just make Christmas that much more magical!! Her first Christmas she didn’t really know what was going on, but we still did activities like watching White Christmas or decorating the tree. Last year we had even more fun and this year will be even better! So this month, my husband and I will sit down and decide on one activity for each day to put in the calendar. We make sure it is stuff that our daughter can do and will enjoy and nothing too complicated to ensure that we will do it. We even have a few things that include our baby Benjamin, although he’s a little young to know what’s going on. So here’s our list…feel free to use for your own family calendar!
December 1st – Lighting of the Commons This is an event that Oklahoma Christian University has every year and is so much fun. You can take a carriage ride, get some hot chocolate, take a picture with Santa and see as they light up campus for the holiday.
December 2nd – Make an Ornament – We’re going to make a snowman out of a Popsicle stick. I’ll paint the Popsicle stick white and let her glue buttons on and then I’ll put a face and a hat on the top.
December 3rd – Shop for a present for our adopted family. Its important for me to get some activities in that we can give to other people.
December 4th – Decorate Christmas tree.
December 5th – Of course we’ll be at the Oklahoma City Mom’s Blog Breakfast with Santa!
December 6th – Celebrate St. Nicholas Day. My brother’s new wife is from the Netherlands, so this is a new day that we like to celebrate in honor of her. This year I will print out a drawing of a wooden shoe and let Caroline color it and hang it on the fridge. She does have little wooden shoes that her aunt and uncle brought back from the Netherlands, so I’ll likely set them out and St. Nick will leave something for her.
December 7th – Bake Christmas cookies. I let Caroline help put things in the bowl for mixing of the cookies – two year olds love to help do “people” things like cooking and cleaning.
December 8th – Take Christmas cookies to a fire station. I love the idea of taking Caroline and Benjamin to the fire station and police station so that they know what people who will help them look like. And the firefighters are always so grateful for surprise cookies!
December 9th – Make gifts for grandparents. We’re making coasters this year out of square tiles from Lowe’s. You can get them for around a $1, glue some cork on the back of them, and then paint them or modge-podge pictures on them. We’re putting Caroline and Benjamin’s hand print on some of them, and then pictures on the rest.
December 10th – Buy supplies for the Food Bank and drop them off. I want to start encouraging my kids to serve the community and Christmas time is a great time to do that.
December 11th – Make homemade eggnog. Caroline isn’t big on sweet stuff , so I’m not sure that she’ll really like eggnog and, of course, Benjamin can’t have any…this one might be more for my husband and I than them and we will enjoy some of the eggnog by a fire after the kids are in bed!
December 12th – Saturday’s with Santa! This is an event that Devon puts on downtown. You can find out more about it here.
December 13th – Christmas Movie Marathon. Hello White Christmas, Muppet Christmas Carol, and How the Grinch Stole Christmas! We’ll probably throw in some Curious George Christmas as well.
December 14th – Read the Christmas Story. This year I really want to emphasize the reason our family celebrates Christmas. That reason is the birth of Christ. We like to read the book “God Gave us Christmas” by Lisa Tawn Bergren, but I know there are a lot of books out there for kids that teach about Jesus’ birth.
December 15th – Build a ginger bread house. This will be more like destroying a ginger bread house, but I think Caroline will have a lot of fun.
December 16th – Wrapping gifts and shopping.
December 17th – Read favorite Christmas stories. We like How the Grinch Stole Christmas, and Merry Christmas Curious George. What are some of your favorite Christmas stories for kids?
December 18th – Make hand print trees. I got the idea for this here. I love doing anything with baby and toddler hand prints or feet prints… so sweet!
December 19th – Watch Mickey’s Christmas Carol.
December 20th – Make Christmas goodies with the grandparents. We’ll be with my parents for Christmas so this day really kicks off our family festivities.
December 21st – Make a paper chains and popcorn chains to decorate the house.
December 22nd – PJ’s, Hot Cocoa and Christmas lights. We’ll all go around and look at Christmas lights in our PJ’s. This might be my absolute favorite thing we do all season. Where are some of your favorite places to look at lights?
December 23rd – Watch Charlie Brown Christmas and color Christmas pictures for Santa.
December 24th – Christmas Eve dinner. We always have Clam Chowder on Christmas Eve, open one present picked by mom and dad (this present just so happens to always be new jammies), and leave milk and cookies for Santa!
December 25th – Merry Christmas
I love doing something Christmas-y every day. I also love that we make our basic preparations for Christmas into something fun for everyone. Sometimes it’s hard to find things for a toddler to do, and obviously this list will change as the years go on and Caroline and Benjamin get older. They won’t always know exactly what’s going on, but so far we’ve had fun and made some great memories.
I encourage you to make an activity advent calendar, it’s so much more fun than just getting candy every day until Christmas!
What are some traditions you’re starting with your little ones?
*2015 update! Download your own OKCMB Advent Calendar for an easy plan to your holiday season!*