I love Advent – the preparing, waiting and celebrating for 4 weeks; not just on December 25th. For Christians it is the beginning of the church year, leading up to the advent of Jesus. There is the feast of St Nicolas of Myra, the Jewish community celebrate Hannukah and for pagans the winter solstice is significant.
Whatever your age or creed, there is a way to enjoy December, with its own magic.
If you are tired of the commercial, expensive, nasty or branded advent calendars in the shops, try giving the kids a new activity each day – something with purpose to foster joy and kindness. We put one slip of paper in each day of the advent calendar pockets (or you could put it on the fridge, on the tree, in lunchboxes or under table mats etc.) for the kids to find and do – you can include chocolate treats too, and a reading from your favourite poem, book or the Bible. Keep it simple:
- Put up Christmas decorations while thinking how fortunate we are and can share our blessings.
- Fill a bag with toys or clothes to donate to charity
- Give everyone in your home a true compliment not involving appearance
- Paint kindness rocks and hide them
- Draw pictures for a retirement or care home
- Learn about St Nicolas
- Write an encouraging note to someone
- Drive around and see the Christmas lights
- List 3 kind things that others have done for you. Then list 3 kind things you will do for others in the coming week.
- Do a chore at home you wouldn’t normally do
- Draw a picture showing all the ways we can be kind to people
- Make Christmas biscuits and cards
- Attend a carol service
- Make Christmas ornaments that you will remember with love in years to come.
- Learn how other countries celebrate Christmas
- Pack the bag for Dad to deliver neighbours’ Christmas messages
- Help someone without being asked
- Make up a Christmas song
- Watch a Christmas movie and talk about what we learnt
- Read a book to someone or tell them a story
- Play and sing carols together
- Help at church / a local care home or animal shelter
- Call someone far away and tell them you are thinking of them
- Read the story of Christmas / Hannukah / st Nicolas together – talk about why this time of year is significant to you.
- Celebrate Christmas Day
For print-and-go templates, visit my Teachers Pay Teachers store: