Advent Calendars

I love the countdown to Christmas almost more than the big day itself. And it doesn’t have to mean oodles of plastic tat or cheap chocolate (hello Palm Oil). Although, there’s probably a place for quality chocolate… as my 5yo described it to my sister in law, “I like your advent calendar, it has chocolate. Mine just has jobs…

Jobs? Jobs?! We have an active advent, where we do something Christmassy each day. We include a gift to the Foodbank, and a wintry woodland walk. A full list of ideas is below, but we make gifts/ decorations, Christmas parties get allocated in, and day by day uncover the Christmas toys that have been hidden all year. Some days it might just be a family movie or a sweet treat (she does get some!). It makes every day a new adventure - well for me at least, for the 5yo - “jobs!”

A quick google will find you any kind of advent you want. There are advents for random acts of kindness - some aimed at adults, some at kids. The Red Cross has one with teaching resources for a whole class, or this one for families. I also love the ‘reverse advent’ where you start with an empty box and fill it with something each day either for a charity shop (declutter!) or the Foodbank. One friend did a Gumtree reverse advent with her daughters: her girls got some extra Christmas pocket money and my girls got great new (to them) toys.

We use the same calendar every year, and write notes on gift tags. I’ve also seen ideas that you can hide the notes around the house with kindness elves (or adapt your own soft toys with a well placed hat or sprig of holly). Or you can have a mason’s jar full of ideas. Though this last one would make it harder to schedule the family movie for the day after that very fun Christmas party…

More advent ideas? There are some great decorative advent calendars where you reveal a Christmas decoration or part of a scene every. Or check out the Lil Pinterest page, I have gone a Lil Advent nuts… Love the calendar you can make (and give) from toilet roll!

Lil Advent Ideas

  1. Go for a wintry walk in the woods
  2. Make a gift for relatives
  3. Make decorations (sugar is a good substitute for glitter >hidden plastic<) data-preserve-html-node="true"
  4. Go to a Christmas market
  5. Decorate our house/tree
  6. Make stick Christmas trees
  7. Write some Christmas cards
  8. Melt marshmallows on a fire
  9. Learn a Christmas joke
  10. Bake Christmas biscuits
  11. Get messy! Do a Christmas painting/ decorate recycled wrapping paper
  12. A book gift hiding under the tree
  13. Watch a Christmas movie
  14. Take some toys for children we don’t know
  15. Family Disco Christmas-style
  16. See if we can find some Christmas fairies / go to a Christmas show
  17. See some Christmas lights
  18. Take a present for your teachers
  19. Help wrap some presents
  20. A photo under the Christmas tree (fancy dress, antlers, hats & nice ones too)
  21. Go for a warming babycino/ hot chocolate (icy treat if you're in a hot place)
  22. A sweet treat tonight
  23. Plant a tree
  24. Leave a treat for Santa and the reindeer

The long list: make a cardboard box igloo, make a real igloo, snow fight!/ water fight! Play a family game. Make a snowman, dance in the rain/snow. Write a letter to Santa, write a long Christmas letter to a friend you haven’t seen this year. Sing carols, donate warm clothes to charity, make a gingerbread house. Do Christmas colouring in, wear Christmas socks. Give compliments. Pick up litter.