Ideas for Your Christmas Advent

One of my favorite traditions I do with my children is a Christmas advent. My very generous mother-in-law bought us this beautiful Santa advent a few years ago, and my children and I have so much fun incorporating him into our December festivities! The kids look forward to finding the correct number and pulling out the paper that will tell them what that day’s activity will be! This is such a fun way to celebrate the Christmas season. It stretches the magic into all month, instead of just one day!

I’m sharing a few ideas with you here today so that you can create your own advent calendar! Some are easy, some are more complex and need some preparation; some are more spiritual, and some are just plain fun!

Red and green day- everyone wears red and green, and you serve red and green food all day! (green eggs with red pepper, spaghetti and pesto sauce with noodles, nachos with salsa and guac, etc).

Christmas tree sleepover- lay out some blankets and have a sleepover by the tree

Read Christmas books- I like to pull out all of our Christmas books early in the month and read them while snacking on some festive treats. We make a special day out of it and then my kids can enjoy the books all month long

Drive around and look at Christmas lights- you can just look at neighboring houses, but I like to go to neighborhoods where I know they put up particularly spectacular displays! You can also visit light shows at Thanksgiving Point or other local light shows.

Read the Polar Express- and drink hot cocoa in pajamas!

Volunteer at a local toy drive or homeless shelter

Watch The Nativity Story

New Christmas coloring books- growing up, we always got new Christmas coloring books for the holiday, and I like to continue the tradition! It usually involves a new box of crayons as well, since we’ve usually broken/lost all the crayons from the year before! (A lot of things happen to crayons in a year’s time when you have 5 little ones!)

Listen to A Christmas Carol- or read it together as a family! I personally love the reading by Patrick Stewart- and you can listen to the whole book in one evening! We like to get a popcorn tin and color in our new Christmas coloring books while listening.

Wrap presents- don’t save it for last minute; involve all the kids and make it an event!

Visit Temple Square and enjoy all the lights!

Deliver Christmas goodies- it’s fun to pick a couple tasty recipes, make them, and take them to people who you think could use a little extra love this holiday season!

Make gingerbread houses- We use graham crackers and frosting, and deck them out with all kinds of fun candies. My kids LOVE this tradition!

Puzzle and games day- Why wait until Christmas to have a chill day? I like to take a day earlier in the month where we put everything on hold and just play games, do puzzles, and slow down!


First Presidency Devotional- The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints puts on a special Christmas Devotional every year (this year it will be December 8th), and it’s just a great way to welcome in the Christmas season. It puts things in perspective, and the music is always fabulous!

Christmas tree picnic- For dinner one night, we lay out a blanket, turn off all the lights, and eat dinner by the light of the tree. I make sure to serve grilled cheese sandwiches or something that won’t make a huge mess;). My kids love this as well!

Put up decorations- My decorations have been up since November 1, but this is a great advent activity if you haven’t put your tree up yet!

Make paper snowflakes

Candlelight dinner- this is just a fun way to eat! I know some families even call it a “Jerusalem” dinner, and eat foods that Mary and Joseph might have eaten, but I’m not quite that organized ;)

Christmas movie night- you could really hold multiple of these, because there’s so many good ones! You can also do themed food for particular movies (i.e. watch the Grinch while eating green foods, or “grinchy” looking treats).

Candy Cane Poem- I like to share a little poem with my kids that shares why candy canes help us remember the true reason for the season- and then of course, we eat the candy canes ;).

Write letters to Santa

Go caroling- to a senior center, to the elderly in your neighborhood, or even just the people on your street!

Read Luke 2- because this really is the reason we celebrate this special season!

Say a special prayer in gratitude for our Savior

Whatever advent activities your family chooses, I hope it brings you lots of memories and peace!


    Camille Hoffmann
    Weekly Newsletter Contributor since 2014
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