Easy Advent Activities
When I was a kid, my mom hung a homemade advent calendar on the wall. It had these big pockets which my mom would fill with chocolate or little gifts or slips of paper with Bible verses or scavenger hunt clues on them. We marked each day leading up to Christmas in a simple, meaningful way. It was nothing fancy, but I have the best memories of that tradition.
Two Decembers ago, my husband and I wanted to do start the same tradition with our then 8-month old daughter. It’s funny how kids bring out the desire for starting traditions. We kept the activities simple, spent very little money, and made some priceless memories.
Last year, we were finishing up a bathroom remodeling project in the middle of December. Take it from me: sanding drywall and installing tile with “Jingle Bells” playing in the background leaves much to be desired in the fuzzy holiday spirit department. Christmas came and went in a blur; it felt like we barely took the time to enjoy and appreciate the season.
This year, I resolved to return to the joy of the season by marking off each day with an advent calendar, reading Scripture, and doing fun simple activities together.
Whether you own an advent calendar or buy a chocolate advent calendar, there are tons of options on different ways to mark the days (check out our ). I am incredibly craft-impaired, but I can cut paper and operate a glue stick so I decided to just make a simple paper chain this year.
The following list is a combination of things Angela, Kate, and I do with our own little families, from simple to elaborate. I also listed a bunch of cool events going on in the Portland-metro area. Some I have done with my family, and some I am hoping to add to our family traditions as our kids get older. I tried to include a wide variety of ideas to appeal to different interests and budgets. If you are getting a late start on advent, just celebrate the 12 days leading up to Christmas!
Remember, it is possible to mark the days leading up to Christmas in meaningful ways, without spending much money. Sometimes the best memories are created from the simplest ideas.
Planning inexpensive & fun activities
- Cutting down & decorating your Christmas tree together (go to find a tree farm near you)
- Baking and decorating cookies or gingerbread houses (Grab a to make it easy! Or just go to Costco.)
- Serving a “Red & Green” themed meal
- Reading Scripture together
- Playing games or doing puzzles
- Watching Christmas movies
- Making hot chocolate or hot apple cider
- Going to a living nativity at a local church
- Reading Christmas themed books
- Heading up the mountain to play in the snow
- Baking a birthday cake for Jesus
- Making sugar cookies or gingerbread cookies
- Going ice skating
- Doing crafts together (snowflake patterns, origami ornaments, sock puppet kits, etc.)
- Going for a pajama drive to look at Christmas lights in your area
Giving gifts of time and/or talents
- Visiting a nursing home or care center with kids & cookies
- Delivering a meal (or delicious loaf of bread) or treats to a friend or family member
- Putting up outside Christmas lights for an elderly neighbor or single mom
- Volunteering, when possible
- Donating food or clothing or money to a shelter or other ministry
- Sending packages to far-away troops or family members
The Christmas Family Fun Guide will give you the most up-to-date information about events happening around the Northwest this Christmas.
Leave a comment! How does your family mark the days leading up to Christmas? Any fun events you would recommend to others in your area?
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