‘Tis the season! It’s officially time to get all the holiday decorations out of storage and start decking the halls.
One tradition we keep in our family is counting down the days to Christmas with an Advent calendar. My kids love having something to look forward to each day as we wait for Santa Claus to come to town. My family is Swedish, so our tradition is also to leave out something on Christmas Eve for Tomte, an elf from folklore. Tomte has even been known to stop by with gifts for the kids on Christmas even (while Grandpa “holds the reindeer outside”) so we really have to start planning early.
If you want to involve your kids in making this year’s Advent calendar, here are a few ideas I found online. Click on the links for the full instructions.
Muffin Tin Advent Calendar: Great for kids (and mamas!) with a sweet tooth. You can buy these muffin tin covers on Etsy for under $10. Then you just fill the tin with small treats and trinkets, and each day your kids get to take off one cover and enjoy that surprise. You can use them year after year with different items as your kids grow.
Santa Beard Advent Calendar: Add a cotton ball each day to fill out Santa’s beard by Christmas morning! You print out the pattern and let the kids color in Santa’s face, and then all you need is some craft glue and cotton balls to create the beard. If you want, each of your kids can have their own.
Good Deeds Advent Jar: The holidays are a perfect time to teach your kids about giving back and helping out. To that end, use the advent calendar to your advantage, Moms! You can decorate a jar together and then write down 25 “good deeds” that are easy for your kids to accomplish. Things like: clean up the playroom, make a thank you card for your mailman, help set the table. Each day your child pulls out one item to do that day. Who knows, once your kids get in the habit, they might have to turn helping out into a New Year’s Resolution! One the jar is empty, you can fill it with cookies to leave out for Santa, plus tell your kids they must be in pretty good shape for gifts given how “nice” they’ve been…
Merry Early Christmas!