Advent Calendar Fun - Part 1

Growing up, every year we did the paper advent calendars with a chocolate to open for each day.  I remember being little and thinking that eating chocolate first thing in the morning was the best thing ever (and who am I kidding, I still think it is). I'm pretty sure my mom also sent these calendars to me after I had left for college and even when I was bachelorette-ing it living alone in my California Bay Area cottage. While there will always be a special place in my heart for those calendars, I'm also totally in love with the new trend of keepsake calendars that can be filled instead with activities. 

Our exact Pottery Barn calendar is on major sale here!

We were mid cross-country-move last year, so the advent calendar never made it out, making this our very first year doing it (which is actually perfect since Parker's age of 2.5 seems about the right timing to really understand what it's about). And ohmyword, I am loving it just as much as Parker. Perhaps it's the planner in me who's doubly pleased since I get to map out our month in advance? It makes me happy that we won't forget about any of the fun holiday activities or events because they'll be written down. At the same time, I can easily switch cards if need be - this is especially helpful for the outdoor activities that depend on weather. Here's what our month has looked like so far...

1.   Write a letter to Santa (Parker is requesting a tennis racquet. He's a hoot. On an unrelated note, on Thanksgiving, Little Man told us that he was thankful for Vivaldi. As in, the composer. He's been fascinated with classical music lately, specifically Vivaldi's Four Seasons. Can't make this stuff up, y'all. When prompted to add more to his thankful list - you know, like "Mama" who carried him for nine months and prepares all his meals, he just replied "More Vivaldi"... I think we have an old soul on our hands, and I love it.)

2.   Bake Christmas Tree brownies

3.   Hand out candy canes to the library employees

4.   Paint a paper plate wreath

5.   Ride the train and see Santa!

6.   Cut down our Christmas tree!

And here's what's coming up...

7.   Hang stockings and decorate tree
8.   Create handprint reindeer ornaments
9.   Make hot chocolate with marshmallows and sprinkles
10. Read The Gingerbread Man and bake gingerbread cookies
11. Shop for a toy to donate to an Angel Tree
12. Decorate gingerbread houses
13. Attend a performance of The Nutcracker
14. Rudolph Day – Eat reindeer pancakes, read Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer, sing the song, and wear antlers and reindeer shirt
15. Bake Christmas cookies and deliver to neighbors
16. Play with the felt Christmas Tree
17. Watch the Christmas Parade downtown
18. Deliver canned goods to a food bank
19. Pop popcorn and watch a Christmas movie
20. Drive the Galaxy of Lights at the Botanic Gardens
21. Read about the nativity
22. Walk the Tinsel Trail downtown
23. Dance to festive tunes
24. Open one gift under the tree and read The Night Before Christmas

While our tree calendar works perfectly in our kitchen, I also think this stocking one is adorable if you want a garland-type calendar instead. 

Are you advent calendar-ing this year? I'd love to hear more ideas to add to this year or next! 

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