Over the last couple of years we have made a huge deal out of advent calendars. I have made my own (thank you Pinterest) and they would consist of chocolates and an activity and the occasional extra small treat (e.g pot of play-dough or small car), not only has this been time-consuming for me but it has also been very costly. To add to all of this we wouldn’t do half the week day activities. So this year we are back to your shop brought chocolate calendar (saving me A LOT of time and money) but we will continue with a few of our most loved activities that are possibly becoming family traditions and I thought I would share them with you.
This has to be my children’s favourite. I do like to visit a grotto that also have activities as queues can be long and even if they are excited to see Santa, no one wants to stand still for that long. The cost to visit Santa can vary hugely, we have a playgroup where you visit Santa during their Christmas Party and that only costs the normal weekly entrance of £1.50 (includes a present) for the whole family but I have also seen Santa and tea at a local garden centre for £10 per child. Find one to suit your budget, as it is the memory of visiting Santa that they keep not the present that they get given or even the location.
Drive around to see the Christmas lights
One Friday or Saturday night just as the children are usually going to bed we take them out to visit the lights around the village and other local villages. Not only is it a lot of fun but the children have the extra excitement of staying up a little later.We wrap them up in blankets and take travel cups of hot chocolate. This is a lovely yet simple activity that really makes it feel like Christmas.
We rarely get snow here so we are making snowmen out of newspaper and large bin bags. This is also great for crafts through the week to make a hat, carrot nose etc. I can’t find a post that anyone else has done on this to refer you to so I will photo ours keep an out on my Instagram account.
Visit a Christmas Market
Christmas markets are magical, they have all the Christmas atmosphere you need for the crisp cold day ahead and they are an opportunity to look for the last few small presents.
Decorate the tree as a whole family
We decorate our tree the first Saturday of December, I put up the tree the night before as two toddlers and a box full of artificial tree is a handful. But we decorate while watching Christmas movies and I try not to think about whether the baubles are all over the place as the children have done a great job and are usually very proud.
December is the month of giving and what better way to help the less fortunate. We have already given in our Christmas shoeboxes to our local playgroup, we do these each year. They are filled with presents for children in Eastern Europe, we try to fill one for each of our children (3) and they fill it for a child of their age. My son puts a bit of his money aside each week to donate to charity in someway, he doesn’t have a huge amount (he is only 7) so this doesn’t have to cost you much either. This year he has chosen to buy some lunches for the homeless. During December if we see a homeless man he is going to buy them a sandwich and a warm drink, its only a small token but he will feel huge. Can you give this December?
What is better than a Christmas movie, blankets and pop corn other than all this means we are all together spending some quality family time. We will probably do this activity a few times through December.
Each year the children pick a new bauble, they are never expensive usually a couple of pounds each but I think it captures their personality at that time and it allows the tree to slowly grow. I love that our tree has hardly any matching baubles and my eldest now points out baubles he has picked previous years while decorating the tree.
What activities do you do during December I would love to know?