Don’t let Christmas become a stressful time for you and your family. Follow these tips to simplify Christmas with this easy family advent calendar. In this post I teach you how to stop buying advent calendars that you throw away. Learn how to reuse the same advent calendar each year and incorporate all your favorite Christmas activities.
Simplify Christmas this year with this Family Advent Calendar
Last year one of my favorite bloggers, Christy from Stained with Style, shared a Huffington Post article on her Facebook page. The article was titled “Holiday Magic Is Made By Women. And It’s Killing Us.” You can read the entire article here, but the general theme is that, as women, we tend to carry the burden of creating holiday magic for our families. In doing so we get exceptionally stressed out and start to think we aren’t doing a good enough job. As I read the article last year, I found myself realizing that as stressed as I am with 3 kids (and a mom living with us this year), I’m not stressed about Christmas at all.
The reason I feel this way is because I found a fun way to include my kids and husband in creating the holiday magic. Each year we make an easy family Advent calendar together, and it’s changed the way I deal with the holiday season.
I want to make sure you can feel relaxed and confident about Christmas too. That’s why I’m sharing the easy family Advent calendar that we put together.
How to create a family Advent calendar
I picked up this idea at a Moms of Preschoolers (MOPS) meeting in 2017. It was my first MOPS meeting ever and I had no idea what to expect. The speaker for the meeting was a preschool director at the local Baptist church. As a cradle Episcopalian, I’ve always celebrated the season of Advent, but I’ve never done more than buy a candy Advent calendar and read the readings while lighting our Advent candles each Sunday.
Our speaker shared her family’s tradition of creating a family Advent calendar together. I’ve seen the 25 days of giving, and 25 days of kindness calendars on Pinterest, but I’d never thought to do 25 days of family activities. The best part about this is that it’s essentially a free way to celebrate Christmas with your family.
Here ‘s how to make this so easy:
- Sit down as a family and make a list of everything you enjoy doing during the holidays. Write down everything. Nothing is too big or too small.
- Look at your school and church calendar and add those into your Advent calendar so that you incorporate events that you are going to do anything.
- Write down a numbered list from 1 to 24 and put one family fun activity into each drawer of your advent calendar.
I love to put things on the calendar that we would do anyway. For example, we put Christmas preschool party, bake cookies, make presents for teachers, shop for presents, and visit Santa on our calendar. We also looked up all the free activities in our city and put those on our calendar.
We sat down as a family at breakfast one day and wrote down all the things we wanted to do during the holidays. The boys suggested hot cocoa, reading Christmas books, and watching Christmas movies. I added those to the calendar then typed them up, printed them, and put them into my reusable Advent calendar that I bought on sale after the holidays several years ago at Target for $4!
24 Days of Family Activities for a Family Advent Calendar
- decorate the Christmas tree
- bake cookies
- visit Santa
- buy Christmas presents for family members
- watch a Christmas movie
- read a Christmas book as a family and drink hot cocoa
- go on a drive to see Christmas lights
- decorate a gingerbread house
- make wrapping paper (kids color on butcher paper)
- make Christmas cards (kids write Christmas cards to family members)
- have a family picnic by the Christmas tree
- have a pajama dance party to Christmas music
- make Christmas ornaments
- make (or buy) presents for teachers
- make (or buy) presents for friends
- host a holiday themed play date
- donate canned goods to charity
- go to a tree lighting ceremony
- make up your own Christmas carols
- color a Christmas coloring sheet
- deliver cookies to neighbors
- go to a Christmas parade
- go to Christmas events at your child’s school
- participate in Christmas events at church
More easy Advent ideas
- Create an Advent wreath and read readings during each Sunday in Advent.
- Do the 25 days of books by wrapping books from the library each week.
- Pick up the 99 cent chocolate calendars from Trader Joe’s.
Where to Buy a Reusable Advent Calendar
My biggest tip is to buy one on sale after Christmas. We got ours for $4 one year during the Target Christmas clearance sales. I see them at craft stores for super cheap!
If you can’t wait until the after holiday sales, check out this affordable one from Amazon. Head here to shop for your own Advent calendar.
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