Okay, friends, Halloween is over, and on we move to Thanksgiving and Christmas, right?!? Truth be told, it always drives me bananas to see stores set up Christmas displays before Halloween, and here I have been joining in the fun – but planning IS a helpful tool in parenting. My dear husband teases me for over-planning on a regular basis, but some of us just can’t help ourselves. If you fall in that category, then you will enjoy today’s exercise! If not, then you may enjoy using the sample calendars I will post next.
Pens and paper ready, people! Now that you have decided upon your Advent calendar of choice (and if you haven’t, see my previous post regarding Advent Calendar options 😉 ), it is time to sit down with your family’s daily and monthly schedules and make some plans. You may want to take some field trips, and planning them in advance tends to make things run more smoothly. Pick out some days that you could squeeze in a tad more adventure, and then either use some of the ideas listed here, or any of your own that fit your family’s needs and preferences.
If you had it, I would tell you to be sure to read the entire guide before planning your own calendar, to be sure to include any ideas that may require advanced planning or preparation. Since you are getting this day by day, I suggest simply pegging some days as landmarks on your Advent adventure, then you can fill in other activities and lessons as you feel appropriate for your children, your time, and financial restraints…and as you follow the blog! In the near future I will make the full guide available in e-book form, but for now, you will just have to meet me here. 😉
Many activities are provided for you in this guide, but you may want include some of your own family’s favorite holiday traditions. You may also want to include local community activities, such as the Christmas Parade, Caroling with a church group, visiting live nativity scenes, or attending a Christmas Pageant. Check your community listings for activities available in your area so you can be sure to include them in your calendar of events. I will post sample calendars with ideas for a few different communities in which I know I have “followers,” and if you would like to share your community’s ideas, we’d love to share them!
After reading through the guide, and researching your community’s calendar, spend a few minutes brainstorming and jot down some activities that you know (or at least hope) your family would enjoy. Be purposeful in choosing a variety of big and little traditions to make memories that your kids will cherish their entire life! Even little things, when done intentionally, can be significant. Think back through your own life, picking significant traditions to keep for your own family, like a particular treat that reminds you of Christmas, or an activity like making a family newsletter together.
You can make this Advent season as low key or as action packed as you want it to be, including as much or as little from this guide as needed. You will want to tailor this time of learning and celebration to your children and your family’s needs. The Guide has been designed to be completed in as little as 10 or 15 minutes a day for most activities, so that even very busy families can spend some time each day making memories together. Several activities have options for more involved adventures, allowing for in depth discussion and learning. Options for older and younger children are also provided, when appropriate, to allow for different audiences and growth from year to year.
Have fun reminiscing about your favorite holiday memories and planning your own family’s new traditions! Come back tomorrow for more fun ideas!!!