Happy Friday everyone! Since tomorrow is December 1st, I thought the perfect idea for this week would be setting up an advent calendar or some way for your family to count down to Christmas. I guess I'm not the only one who thought that, because I've seen a lot of posts this week and this morning on the same subject :)
I'm going to take an organizing approach to this though. So hopefully this post will be different enough from all the others you've probably read :)
If you're like my family, you probably have a lot of things you like to do in December. Special activities that you only do once a year. Traditions that have been passed down or new memories you've made together.
Sometimes fitting all these activities into a few weeks can get overwhelming. So why not organize them into an advent calendar and have fun doing one each day? You can tailor them to whatever your family enjoys doing.
If you think making your own calendar is time consuming or expensive, think again! I've found lots of amazing ones that are pretty simple and cheap to make.
Here are a few of my favourites:
This one from Motherhood On A Dime is really simple and it includes free printables with the circle numbers and activities that go on the back of each circle.
Here's one from Simple Organized Living that you can put a treat in as well as writing an activity on the back of each day's number. The only catch is you have to sacrifice a mini muffin pan for the month :)
If you'd prefer to have your countdown calendar on your fridge, here's a magnetic one you can make from Thrifty and Thriving. There's a list of possible activities in this post too.
This is a cute banner from Pink Pistachio that would be simple to make. Each shape has an activity written on the back. This post also includes a list of activities.
Or, instead of a calendar with activities, you could also wrap 24 Christmas books and read one each day. There are tons of people who have shared this idea (it's all over Pinterest!) but somehow I hadn't heard about it until this year. Here's a post from Clean and Scentsible that includes a list of books in case you're looking for ideas.
There are lots of other Christmas calendars out there that count down the days in really cute ways. Or ones where you can add a little treat or gift for each day. Pinterest is full of fun ideas! Check out my Christmas Organizing Pinterest board if you're looking for even more inspiration.
In our family, we sometimes have the chocolate advent calendars. We also have several advent books where we read a Bible verse or talk about various aspects of Christmas. And we use a wooden advent calendar that has little doors for each day with a small ornament in them that is hung on the Christmas scene in the middle of the calendar. It was originally a gift we gave to my in-laws but it turns out they can't really have it out because their dog will eat the pieces. So they loan it to us each year. It wasn't intentional. Really. But we're happy to use it! I can't show you a picture because it's still at their house but we're getting it this weekend and my daughter especially can't wait :)
[Update Dec 3: Here are a couple of pictures!
My daughter loves seeing which ornament is hiding behind the door each day and then hanging them up.
We're keeping it in front of our fireplace in the living room this year so we remember to open a door each day.]
Next year I think I'll make one of those activity-based advent calendars. I really think it will help make the days leading up to Christmas even more fun, as we anticipate each activity that we get to do together (rather than feeling overwhelmed at times by all the hustle and bustle, or letting other expectations crowd out the things we want to do as a family).
But this year I'm excited about the book-a-day Christmas countdown idea. I'll wrap up 24 of our Christmas books today so we can start tomorrow. We love books in this family so I'm not surprised that we have that many! This is a great way to make sure each one is read, rather than only reading our favourites.
So, this weekend, spend a bit of time getting your family's countdown to Christmas organized! Have fun anticipating all the enjoyment you'll have in these next 25 days :)
What are you going to do to count down to Christmas? I'd love for you to share your ideas in the comments. If you have links to your advent posts then share them and I'll pin them for others to see!
Happy organizing and have a great weekend!
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