Each December we go through our Family Advent Calendar. Our calendar is made up of 24 boxes and inside each box is a family-related activity that the kids look forward to leading up to Christmas. We start on December 1 and continue all the way to the 24th! This creates a time for intentional togetherness throughout the holidays, which is one of our family values and it’s usually quite fun. For our family, we try to make the activities a mix between giving, sharing, learning, and experiencing.

We thought you might like to create your own Family Advent Calendar and so we’re sharing some of the activities we include in ours in case you’d like to add them to yours!

Here are 15 of the advent activities that we include but feel free to change them and make them your own! After all, you know best what your family will enjoy.

  1. Play a board game as a family.
  2.  Make a card for someone.
  3. Decorate cookies.  
  4.  Make crepes for dinner.
  5. Go on a family outing! This could include a local Christmas Market, a seasonal play or whatever holiday event might be going on in your neighbourhood.
  6. Decorate the house. The kids especially love the nativity sets.
  7.  Visit grandma and grandpa or another family member. It’s always fun to visit loved ones during the holidays!
  8.  Go see Santa – many locations also collect food for the food bank so you can bring some along.
  9.  Choose an item in the Compassion Gift Guide to donate to someone in need.

{Last year our son raised about $45 going door-to-door selling Chocolate Bark to raise money to provide a bike to someone in India! You can check out the online guide here.}

  1. Play hide-and-go-seek in the dark. This is our kids absolute favourite activity every year; I usually just hide in the closet and enjoy some alone time.
  2.  Go out to look at Christmas lights. Our neighbourhood is fantastic for decorations so our kids love running around and choosing their favourites. There is usually hot chocolate afterwards, too.
  3.  Walk to Tim Hortons and get a donut. Christmas donuts are out! Who doesn’t love sprinkles?
  4.  Go bowling with the whole extended family. We go bowling once a year and it’s a wildly chaotic and fun event with 20+ of us! This tradition has been going for 8 years now and it’s one we all look forward to.
  5.  Build a gingerbread house. Well, let’s be honest; buy a pre-built house and decorate it.
  6. Go snowshoeing!

While doing these activities, we often have Christmas music playing (oh, how I love it!) and we talk about the true meaning of Christmas: celebrating Jesus’ birth.

Written by Louise Chapman

Louise Chapman

Louise Chapman is a wife, mom of three and foster mama to one. She loves her husband’s cooking and outdoor family adventures. She works as a science teacher and photographer and can be found blogging over at Talk Nerdy To Me. There she talks about parenting, marriage, and the exhausting yet heart-melting moments that come with those roles. Please join the conversations over on her Facebook page or Instagram feed.