December starts next week, and that means the start of our annual Daily Family Activity advent calendar. Once again I was really conflicted – should I bother? would the kids enjoy it? would the extra work be fun and festive, or make me feel like ramming an icicle through my head?
(Jury still out on that last one.)
I saw the Lego and Playmobil advent calendars in the stores this fall and the kids were interested in them, and so I did consider buying my way out of the activities calendar. But to my surprise, when I made the offer of daily toys versus daily activities, the kids, for the most part, chose the traditional activity calendar. Know who was most in favour of the old way of doing things? Captain Jelly Belly, who a) wants to own ALL THE LEGO, and b) just two short years ago was declaring that the activity calendar was LAME and he was going to boycott it, and c) is now, at age almost-13, aged out of most of the stuff on it anyway. AND YET. There is a huge, terrible power when it comes to Sacred Christmas Traditions. If only we could harness it.
So! The calendar is up on the wall and the little slips of paper are inside and it’s ready to go. I pulled out my list of advent activity ideas, and I’ve kept everything on there over the years, and I got a little sentimental about it. It used to involve things like singing a Christmas song for a treat, or going to visit Santa (SNIFF) or everyone taking a big bubble bath in the tub together (SNIFF SNIFF).
Now that they’re older I’m both looking for shorter events, as we often have sports and clubs and stuff on in the evenings, and more grown-up stuff, although some perennial favourites persist. Here’s this year’s list:
1 – Decorate a gingerbread house (still might flake on this one, as it involves me actually BAKING the house, then comically trying to get it to stick together with egg-free icing, WHEE)
2 – Play Singalong Live to win a prize (game stolen from the TV show Best Time Ever, where I play a song and they have to complete the lyric; prizes are funny picture books, which were a big hit as prizes last year)
3 – Read all the Christmas books in the house with Mom (tradition!)
4 – Get out the Thomas trains and build a track (still popular with the Captain)
5 – Games night: Roll For It!
6 – Go see The Good Dinosaur
7 – Make chocolate dipped marshmallows
8 – Jammies dance party
9 – Paper ornament craft (this one here)
10 – Hide and seek with Santa and Rudolph (in which we take turns hiding two stuffies around the house, and the others have to find them – all the fun of hiding AND seeking, at once!)
11 – Games night: Telestrations!
12 – The Nutcracker at Centrepointe
13 – Skiing, if there’s snow, or Museum of Nature if not
14 – Ice cream sundae night
15 – Make peppermint bark
16 – Teddy Bear picnic (in which we eat dinner on the floor on a blanket with stuffies invited)
17 – Games night: Forbidden Island!
18 – Games night: Parade!
19 – Go see Star Wars (I. AM. PUMPED.)
20 – Alight at Night at Upper Canada Village
21 – xTreme trampoline park
22 – Drive out to Taffy Lane to see the lights (may flake on this and just watch White Christmas at home, we’ll see)
23 – Games night: Rummoli!
24 – Fancy candlelight dinner
25 – Tell us one thing you like about the holidays over brunch
I am tired just typing that stuff out. What was I thinking, again? SHEESH.