For years we have made our own advent calendar and filled it with little activities to do each day. Some small, ordinary moments that take less than 10 minutes out of the day. 10 wonderful joy filled minutes. Along with the occasional BIG ones, like visiting Father Christmas in Lapland last year. I am not sure I can ever top that particular day!
I have written a whole list of our go to activities each year in this post aswell as how I made the first calendar we have reused year on year. Yet I don’t know if it’s the 2020 ‘been in the house seeing same old same old for what feels like forever’ curse but I felt like I needed to change it up. Both the necessary activity changes due to lockdown and tier 3 restrictions, and the less necessary, but more desired aesthetics.
Yes I did decide on the 30th November to overhaul the whole look. I will literally never learn.
I simply used the same bags, hung from a stick from Roma’s ever growing collection which lives in the porch (no matter how many times I try to clear it). And yes she knew the exact stick I had taken and had to be assured that come Boxing Day ownership would revert back to her once again and said stick would take pride of place on the aforementioned pile! Twine to hang, fairy lights from Eva’s sleepover party, some foraged greenery with home dried oranges and hey presto.
Before and After.
I love it.
Yes it’s a little rough around the edges but hey, it’s home made after all. Rustic as you might say.
Each morning the excitement builds as to whom will open the string bag. Who unfolds the crisp white piece of card placed in there only the night before because I will never not be last minute, before finally who reads out the first surprise of the day.
It is a moment of pure innocent joy that will always melt my heart.
Like so many families though around the UK, and the world, who knows what activities we will and will not safely be able to do this year; or indeed what we feel comfortable partaking in.
With that in mind and when planning activities to include I have somewhat adapted the 2020 version. Below is a list of the activities in our 2020 advent and some details on how we are diversifying the old favourites to make them safe at this time. The girls love advent so much and this exciting build up to Christmas time that I really wanted to keep as much of the same magic that we all feel from the tradition despite the no doubt difficult and different Christmas period.
Maybe in some way it can be even better and a time to look back on with fond memories, albeit most of them within these four walls.
- Write a letter to Father Christmas
- Read Christmas books by candlelight
- Christmas nails
- Picnic by the Christmas tree
Such a simple idea but one of the girls favourites every year.
- A Wintery Walk
- Christmas colouring
- Donate to a food bank
- Sing carols around the fire pit/in the garden
A new addition and it went down like a storm.
- Make reindeer food
- Learn some Christmas jokes
- Buy a gift for a childrens charity – online
We always buy a few gifts with a local children charity and this year they have taken the wishlist online meaning you can still donate and choose a gift from the safety of your house.
- Make fingerprint Christmas cards
- Doorstep Carol Concert
Ok so we don’t massively know our neighbours but we do go to a Carol Concert every year and it has to be MY favourite tradition of all. Love a good sing along me. Which obviously isn’t able to take place this year so we thought we would hold our own little festive sing along from our doorsteps with whomever chooses to join in from the safety of theirs. We live in a street with detached houses so feel we can do this safely and I know the girls will be excited to design the invitations and choose the songs. Hopefully it will bring some festive cheer to the air akin to the Thursday night clap for carers which used to bring a chorus of friendly ‘how are you’s?’
- Christmas dance party
- Go for a drive through hot chocolate
- Have a Christmas bath
Bath bombs and Christmas shaped foam shapes to make pictures, bliss.
- Watch a Christmas movie – or 10!
- Indoor ‘snowball’ fight
- A new tree decoration – ordered online
Usually the girls choose one each fro the shops but this year I ordered a special 2020, the year we all stayed home one for the main tree, a year of together.
- Build a snowman (real or marshmallow!)
- Christmas facepaints
Always goes down well.
- Drive to see the lights
We are going to add this is twice this year because if there is one good thing to come out of Christmas 202 it’s that more people than ever have the most amazing lights. Pjs, Christmas music and hot chocolate at the ready.
- Take a family photo
- Eat Christmas pizza
A local pub does Christmas dinner on a pizza which we can currently get take away.
- Make decorations
- Make a gingerbread house
- Christmas baking
Mince Pie toasties anyone?
Make More Of What We Have
As well as the very specific changes we can make to the already tried and tested lists, I also want to slow down and appreciate what we have. Whilst big days out and Christmas cheer surrounded by people and music is not on the cards I want to focus in seeing what we have and not merely what is missing. We will sing songs around our own Christmas tree, tell stories, watch movies and try to be thankful that above everything else we have each other.
A Very Merry Christmas
I hope that was helpful and obviously different areas have different rules aswell of course having different family circumstances. There are many planned events that are still going ahead like drive in cinemas, light shows, ice skating and ways to adapt to see Father Christmas. We have personally just chosen not to book any of those things this year which is merely a personal decision and what works for us. Whatever your festive season brings I hope it is a good one for you and your family.
Merry Christmas to you and yours from me and mine