Advent Traditions

Our Advent Calendar

We love annual family building traditions in our household, and one of our favorites is the Advent Calendar.  The boys love to see it go up on the staircase because they know it means fun times ahead.  I love it because in this crazy, chaotic time, our Advent activities help us to slow down and enjoy time as a family.  This year, it is going to be difficult since we have two basketball schedules to work around in addition to our homeschooling, my teaching and performing and hubby’s work schedule.  It seems that we need this though.  This time together.  This making of memories.

Each morning, starting December 1st, one of the boys picks out the notecard for the day and lights the candle on the Advent wreath.  Then we take a moment after breakfast to read the card, read some Scripture, have a prayer, and see what our activity for the day is.  This is the part that takes some planning ahead.  Each day, there is a different activity to do that relates to Christmas.  At the end of November, I make a master list of possibilities, sit down with all our calendars, and attempt to plan out the month.  Some years are easier than others.  This one is a doozie.  Of course, some unexpected things come up so activities are moved to another day, but generally they happen as planned.

I haven’t gotten it all planned out yet, but I still have a couple of days!  I’ve got a pretty good master list going on though:

  • Hang stockings
  • Bake cookies
  • Polar Express
  • Watch Charlie Brown Christmas
  • Sleep around the tree
  • Peppermint Hot Chocolate and Christmas Music
  • Christmas Craft
  • See Christmas Ships
  • Zoo Lights
  • Put up Nativity Scene
  • Get Tree
  • Sing Christmas Carols
  • Make Candy
  • Make popcorn and deliver to neighbors
  • Visit an Italian bakery
  • Visit a German bakery
  • Send out Christmas thank you cards to people who have made an impact in our lives this year
  • Drive around and look at lights
  • Christmas caroling at retirement home
  • Christmas party
  • Go skiing or just play at the mountain
  • Gingerbread Houses
  • Read The Night Before Christmas
  • Tree Lighting at Library
  • Attend Christmas concert
  • Kid’s Christmas program at church
  • Christmas recital (all the boys play piano)
  • Christmas Eve service
  • Christmas Day with family

Usually, I have about 40 possible items on the list and just pare it down to what works for the year.  You’ll also notice that some are quick and easy.  Those are for the busier days.  Others are things that I have no control over such as the Christmas recital.  We’re just too wiped out to try and do anything else on those days, but they are still for Christmas so they count.  Honestly, since doing this, we have made some amazing memories with the kids and we actually do the things that we used to only think might be a fun idea, but never got around to doing.

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One response to “Advent Traditions

  1. this is a GREAT idea!
    gona show this to my brood and see if they want to try this out this year 🙂

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