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Sam Dobson Writes: Christmas Activity Advent Calender

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Christmas Activity Advent Calender

It's my favorite time of the year, Christmas! I am a die hard lover of pretty much everything Christmas. If I could, I would happily live in Christmas Town from Tim Burton's Nightmare Before Christmas. Normally, I go all out for Christmas. I get the biggest tree I can possibly fit in my house, spend more than I have on gifts and stocking stuffers, and decorate inside and out, from top to bottom. It really is the most wonderful time of the year...at least for me, it is.

Every year I look for new things to incorporate into our holiday, new traditions to start. I came up with a great idea this year, but with all the crazy last minute stuff for the wedding (only 28 more days...yikes!) we won't really have time for much other than decorating a tree and hanging up our stockings. Even so, I still want to share it with you and I will definitely be doing it next year.

One of my favorite Christmas traditions is the advent calender. When I was a little girl, my grandmother had (in fact, she still has it) this hanging advent calender in which you move a little plush mouse into a pocket with the date all the way up until Christmas Eve. I used to love moving that mouse from one day to the next, just counting down the days until Santa would come. As I got older, my mother would buy the cardboard ones every year in which behind a little dated cardboard door there was a piece of chocolate. My siblings and I would take turns getting to open the day and eat the milk chocolaty goodness.

Now that I'm all grown up, I have thought of a much better way to carry on the tradition of advent calender. Instead of a decoration or pieces of candy to count down the days, why don't we do activities instead? Again, I didn't have time this year to make the advent activity calender and I won't have time to do all the activities but this is how I planned on carrying it out.

First you'll need to come up with 24 holiday activities for your calender. Mine was going to include things like ice skating, getting and decorating a tree, a Christmas movie marathon, getting hot cocoa and driving around to see the lights on all the houses, attending our local boat parade, etc. *Helpful Tip: Look at your actual calender when choosing which activities you will do for which dates. Some may be better on weekend days when you have more time, others may be more convenient on weeknights, and then there are those community events that happen on only certain days.

Next you'll want to construct your advent activity calender. My plan was to get a thick poster board from my local craft store to use as the base. I was going to cut out little rectangles of Christmas themed scrapbook paper. Those rectangles would be folded in half and one side would be glued to the poster board. The outside of the folded piece would have the date written in black sharpie and the inside would have the activity to be done. Pretty simple really, although I would have made it pretty. All that's left to do is follow the daily activity listed on your calender and enjoy!

I realize that it is already December 3rd, but if you still wanted to pull it off this year you could. If not, it's a great idea for next year. If you have kids, you can include more kid friendly activities like meeting Santa at the mall, feeding reindeer at your local petting zoo, building a snow man, making gingerbread cookies, etc. If you don't have any kids, you could still include those activities but I also suggest adding some adult friendly activities too like hosting an ugly sweater party or creating a drinking game to go along with your favorite Christmas movie. Get creative and be merry!

Happy Holidays!

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