“Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord.” Luke 2:11
By Jennifer Mullen
The advent calendar was not a tradition of mine growing up, but I am a BIG fan of calendars! I love marking time and planning things! Last year we tried a calendar where you flip open a flap and read a scripture. It was way too advanced for my two-year old at the time. This year I am incorporating a ton of ideas from both our MOPS craft coordinator and the ideas I found on the best website for professional development for moms…Pinterest! It’s seriously addicting, but a super fun way to search the web quickly for ideas.
I used miniature envelopes, scrapbook paper, wired ribbon, clothes pins, thumbtacks, and my imagination! I simply glued scrapbook paper to the miniature envelopes. I numbered them 1 to 25. Using clothes pins, I attached them to the ribbon and tacked it to the wall in our hallway. I started the calendar with #25 ending with #1. It is helpful for my daughter to understand the how many days are left until Christmas. (Also, we are working on counting backwards as our math skill.)
So instead of getting little gifts, we are going to be making memories. We already do fun things during this season, so why not add a little suspense and excitement to it? Each day we open an envelope to see what we will be doing that day. After nap time I put in a card with an activity written on it, because the activity I choose will depend on how well rested the kids are. Of course, you can do some of these activities more than once such as baking, crafting, and movie night, and I will not necessarily do all these activities this year.
- Go to a Christmas parade
- Go Christmas shopping with Mom late at night
- Make holiday treats
- Make Christmas cards for friends/family
- Movie night
- Drive around to see the Christmas lights
- Write a letter to Santa
- Unwrap a new book/ornament (See article on Operation:Focus on Jesus)
- Do a Christmas craft…if you need inspiration check Hobby Lobby or Pinterest!
- Go to the city square to see the Nativity Scene
- Shopping trip for food bank
- Shopping trip for Angel Tree Project
- Decorate a gingerbread house
- Visit Santa at the mall…again 🙂
- Read the Legend of the Candy Cane and share a candy cane
- “Tea Party” with Hot Chocolate
- Get an e-mail from Santa. Click here to find a super fun website where you can upload pics and some info about your child and Santa will send you a cute personalized video. I think my kids thought they were Skypeing with Santa!
- Birthday party for Jesus
- Travel to see family for the holidays
- A day full of random acts of kindness
- Go to a Christmas program at a church
- Go see a Christmas play at a school
- Go ice staking
As with all things, you can use any of these activities to teach about the LORD. Be creative. Remember Deuteronomy 6: 7: “Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up.”
If you have any additional ideas, PLEASE share. I would love to add them to my list! Have fun making memories with your family this holiday season!