I loooooooove advent calendars. The chocolate ones are always fun (even when the chocolate’s bad) (and it’s always bad, isn’t it?), but they’re barely in the same category as a good old-fashioned DIY advent calendar stocked with hand-picked treats and activities to get everyone hyped up to eleven with crazy-eyed, jazz-handy holiday spirit. When I was little we had a felt advent calendar in the shape of an angel, and I was constantly trying to peek in those twenty-four teeny pockets. I’ve been waiting decades to have a kid old enough to try to peek into his own advent calendar too.
The first two years I made an embarrassing janky one out of papers clipped to a string with clothespins, and last year I broke down and bought a pre-fab one because I knew I’d never get around to making my own with an infant on my hip and a preschooler chewing on my ankles. I just finished compiling a round-up of homemade advent calendars for Work It, Mom (shameless plug!), and I found so many good ideas–and pretty ideas–I’m genuinely annoyed the post wasn’t around last year. Where was I when I needed me?
You can see them all here, and seriously, they’re worth looking at even if you don’t like advent calendars or Christmas or happiness and joy.
I haven’t yet finalized my Master List of Advent Awesomeness, but here are a few things on tap for this year:
–hot chocolate date
–jammie drive to see the lights on Candy Cane Lane
–ice skating (it was a BIG hit last year, much to my shock and amazement)
–Christmas window clings I got at Target for $1
–some other crafty thing I got at Target for $1 but I can’t remember what it is and it’s in a bag in the other room and this chair is so comfy
–tea party in front of the fire
–write a letter to Santa
–take toys to the fire department for charity
–color some random holiday picture I print off the Internet at the last minute
–watch a Christmas movie (is five old enough for Elf?)
–watch another Christmas movie
–build a snowman (we’re going to Salt Lake this year, and so help me god we will find some snow for the boys to play in)
–visit Santa’s reindeer (there’s a reindeer farm not far from my parents’ house; how cool is that?)
–sing Christmas carols around the piano
–see Christmas lights at the Oakland zoo
–see Christmas lights at the Salt Lake temple
–read new Christmas books
–make graham cracker kids and try not to eat them all in one day
What am I forgetting? Other people always have the best ideas.