The basic idea is that the children (or fun loving adults!) get to open a little package each day with a secret inside. Sometimes the secret is candy. Sometimes it's an inspirational quote or fortune. Sometimes it's an ornament for the tree. It can be anything really. Commercial advent calendars sold by Lego or Playmobil offer a small figure or toy each day. What will you put in your family's advent calendar?
Daily Surprises & Activities
|(L) Score! Recycled Tweed!|
(R) Bead Palette
I suggest tailoring the goodies to your family. If you have a child interested in crafts, you've got it made. Do they like beaded jewelry? Put a bead in each day so that by Solstice, they will have a completed a gorgeous bracelet or necklace. Do they knit or crochet? A special tool or ball of organic yarn each day would do the trick.
|(L) Peter's Chocolate Shoppe in Butler, PA|
(R) Kali's Candy in Erie, PA
(R) dragonfruit slice
|(L) Sage bundles|
(R) Gems Pictures
|(L) Loving It |
(R) Christmas Cracker
|(L) 20081011_9999_2b |
(R) Christmas Ball
Alternates to Candy & Toys
If you'd rather not make the calendar about material things, there are still tons of options. You can assign a section of a color by number each day, so that on Solstice you have a completed piece of art. You can announce a game for the day, something silly like "Every time you say 'snow', you have to make someone a cup of cocoa." Or perhaps a daily craft, like "Make someone you love a friendship bracelet today." Or even just a family activity, "Today, walk around your neighborhood and admire the decorations."
|(R) Xbox 360 buttons|
|(L) Call Grandma |
(R) Donate a coat to charity
Types of Calendars
An advent calendar can be as simple as paper bags with the numbers one through twenty or twenty-two (depending on when the Solstice falls that year) on them. They can be envelopes which are daily placed under the tree.
|From: Bugs and Fishes back in 2009.|
They can be small, inexpensive gift boxes set out on their plate at breakfast each morning, or their pillow each night.
|From: Dollar Tree|
How about a garland of mittens, stockings, or little drawstring sacks hung over the fireplace or banister?
|From: SouleMama's blog back in 2005.|
|From: Infarrantly Creative back in 2010.|
Just another way to enjoy the holiday season with your children and loved ones daily!