Jen has done one of these Advent Activities lists for the past three years, but this is the first time I’ve seen it, and so I am blatantly copying it. Every day from December 1 to December 24, Xander will pick an activity out of an Advent Calendar with a seasonal/holiday activity on it that we will do that day. (I ordered my calendar on Etsy, because crafts are straight from Satan and I ail have no part of them).
Most of the activities I will stuff into the bags the night before, depending on our schedules the next day and how everyone is feeling. There will be exceptions for local events that are calendar specific. (Cross promotional: if you’re looking for a list of local Burlington events to enjoy, then check out my post on Burlington Vermont Mom’s Blog.)
So, in no particular order, the Banks Family Advent Activities:
- Cut our own Christmas tree and decorate it. This will probably happen this weekend, which is a bit early for us, tree wise, but since we are traveling for Christmas, we don’t have to have the tree last as long.
- Make a button tree or wreath. (This, like many others will be, is taken directly from Jen’s post). Jen links to this one. We did a similar tree for John for Father’s Day, so I already know that Xander can do it and will enjoy it. We may give it to Gram and PopPop for Christmas (SPOILER ALERT, Mom and Dad. Sorry.)
- Go to our small town’s tree lighting and train hop. This will, obviously, be a date specific activity.
- A neighboring town has a European style market and the BEST ever Santa Clause. Again, date specific.
- Another local one that won’t help you: our favorite museum is hosting a holiday kick off party with lots of fun stuff (trees and crafts and snacks and YAY CHRISTMAS!)
- A sleigh ride at the farm.
- Candy Cane Hunt. You guys, this sounds SO AWESOME. I can’t wait. We have a park with a short trail right in our neighborhood that would be PERFECT for this.
- Build a snowman. Xander has been talking about building a snowman since Halloween, so as soon as we have a good and wet snow, this will go on the list.
- Sugar on Snow. This is a Vermont, or at least New England thing. I’d never heard of it before, but basically you pour hot maple onto snow and make taffy out of it. A lot of local sugarhouses offer this in the winter.
- Build an indoor snowman. I’m on the fence about this, because MESS, but…it looks like something Xander would love that might be good for a day when Luna is napping while he is not in quiet time.
- Open a Christmas book. I just got a few new Christmas books at Marshalls today. I’ll wrap one of them up and let him open it early, and we can add it to his pile of bedtime stories. This year I’ll try to remember to pack up his Christmas books at the end of the season, so he’s not reading them in May and asking me about Santa Claus and what presents he’s going to get.
- Decorate cookies. Like Jen, I’ll pre make mine and let Xander decorate them.
- Botanical Gardens Lights. This is one for when we are visiting my parents. The Botanical Gardens in Huntsville do a great light show that you can drive through. John and I will pack up Xander after Luna goes to bed and drive down. I’ll pack some fun snacks/hot chocolate.
- Shop for Angel Tree (or similar). I mentioned this in my Traditions post, but I want to start this concept early, so I plan to take Xander to a toy store or the mall so we can buy a toy together to donate.
- Watch a Christmas movie during dinner. I really want to try a Muppets one this year, but I’m not sure he’ll have the attention span. We may have to do something shorter.
- Go ice skating. Xander’s never been, and I haven’t been in ages. I think he’ll like it.
- Make bead candy canes. I can handle this one. I’m sure of it.
- Make a Santa Belly ornament. Jen, you’re the cutest. Really.
- Write Santa a letter.
- Make gingerbread houses. I’m not sure if I want to do a kit, graham crackers, or a non-edible version, but this is such a traditional activity that I really want to include it.
- Go to Starbucks and get a special Christmas treat. John and I, clearly, love Starbucks, so I thought it would be fun to let Xander get a steamer (or hot chocolate) and pick out a pastry.
- Go sledding. Either in our yard, or one of the MANY sledding hills around town.
- Open the Advent Calendar. This will be Day 1, obviously, but I have a reusable cloth one with velcro ornaments and Xander gets to take one down every night before bed.
- Open a present on Christmas Eve. We already do this, but it’s still going in the calendar.
Back up ideas include: open another Christmas book, paint chip Christmas trees, visit mall Santa (please, no), paint swirl ornaments, make hot chocolate, make chocolate dipped pretzels (or similar treat – to give away (mostly)), color on snow with food coloring in spray bottles.
I may try to make one or two of these “party” ideas for him. But, we’ll see. We are still somewhat trapped by Baby Nap Schedule, so who knows. We may end up doing more of the at home ones than the local events ones.
What are YOU doing this year?