We've had an advent calendar for a couple of years now, but it's basically served as a countdown to Christmas and nothing more. This year, I felt like the kids were old enough to start grasping the real meaning of the Advent season and have tried to incorporate these teachings into our Advent calendar.
Each morning, they open up another door in our Advent calendar to see what the activity of the day will be. I've tried to mix things up and make them a combinations of fun family activities, Christmas memory activities, and ways to help and serve others. We wanted to put an emphasis on joy, family, love, and giving during this season, so that is what we are trying to cover through each day's activity.
So far this month, we've written a letter to Santa, gone to the Children's Home to celebrate their Christmas tree lighting, made peppermint play dough and taken it to school to share with our classmates, made salt dough ornaments to decorate our tree, and learned about St. Nicolas (who also left us some goodies in our shoes this morning on St. Nicolas Day!). So far, it had been a lot of fun. I've tried to mix things up so we're doing something new every day but nothing too stressful or involved. So far, so good!
Making our salt dough ornaments
Tonight we're off to one of our favorite Christmas traditions, the Tanglewood Festival of Lights! I'll be sure to fill everyone in on the rest of our Advent activities as they happen (and so I can remember for future years!). Let me know if you have any good Advent activities or teachings, I'd love to hear them!