Thursday, December 11, 2014

Advent Calendar of Activities 2014

'Tis the time of the year when shopping malls compete for the coveted title of the most beautifully decorated, when streets glimmer with Christmas lights at night, when you can see some homes liven up with the Christmas spirit. It's the season when we put up  and decorate our Christmas tree with a different theme every year and hang our parol (Christmas lantern) and set up a timer so that everyday at around 7 at night our home is filled with colorful lights coming from our tree and our parol. Then we play Christmas carols, old and new, and sing along to the lively tunes as we count the days to Christmas.

This was taken when the boys and I went for a trip to the city and start our Christmas shopping for family and friends. Free cotton candy and popcorn at Orchard Gateway.

At the start of the month of December, I bring out this wooden advent calendar with a simple nativity scene and drawers filled with hand-written quotations about Jesus or words of wisdom. Sometimes I write bible verses for them to read from the bible. It's a daily activity - all 25 days. Each time after reading the verses or quotations they go and check their Christmas stockings to see what surprise presents they get. It can be a small bar of chocolate, a pen, a pencil, an eraser or a special treat voucher. No matter what it is that I put in their socks (as they call it), they always look forward to these small gifts.

In addition to the daily verses and sock presents, we also try to do some activities every week. Below are some suggestions I used for this year's Advent Celebration:
advent countdown activities from church booklet
activities from Smaland newsletter
Some of the activities may not be possible to do on a specific day so we change it a bit and do something else for the day. I've browsed other blogs and magazines for suggestions on activities to do with the family during advent. I found the ones from Adriel Booker's blog useful. Here are some of the activities I found our family can try to do this year:
  1. Take a few small gifts to a shelter for women and children
  2. Write a letter to a family friend
  3. Melt chocolate into Christmas molds
  4. Visit a "live" nativity scene
  5. Read the Christmas story in the bible
  6. Play family nativity scene and act out the story
  7. Write a letter to Jesus, thanking Him for the gifts you received throughout the year (a letter of thanksgiving)
  8. Attend Christmas eve mass
  9. Decorate a wreath together (done!)
  10. Attend a Christmas concert
  11. Write Christmas cards (we do this every year)
  12. Family slumber party under the tree
  13. Unwrap and read a new Christmas book
  14. The Night Before Christmas bedtime story
  15. Make family New Year goals
  16. Watch classic Christmas movies
  17. Family bike ride with Santa hats on 
  18. Go Christmas caroling
  19. Visit malls to see beautiful Christmas decorations at night
You can add to the list based on what your family members are interested in doing or want to try to do. It's always a fun adventure trying out something new. Hope you can share your Advent Activity list, too.

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