While the religious origins of Advent observe fasts, and special lighting of candles that our family doesn't practice, I still believe we can approach it as a time of expectancy and preparation for Christmas celebrations.
For us, it's the anticipation of Christmas, and the Christ in Christmas.
Revelling in the spirit of the season, and keeping our faith and our eyes fixed on the Eternal (while still enjoying the excitement of decorating, and treats, and family time!)
Do you celebrate the countdown to Christmas?
I made this quilted advent calendar a couple of years ago, and intended on filling it with treats the smalls could be excited to open each morning.
The idea evolved, and two years ago I created these cute tags, with rhyming activities for us to do together throughout Advent.
This year, to be a little more outward focused, and I'll be adding a few more Christmas kindness activities too.
You don't have to make a quilt to celebrate Advent either. I've come across some really easy ideas to make a quick calendar!
You could even write them all on a piece of paper, put them in a jar, and choose randomly each day.
A quick list of our Advent activities were last year:
* Making a gingerbread house (last year we made two, and gave one to a teacher) In this pouch I added a packet of m&m's that we would use to decorate the house with.
* Adding candy canes to the tree
* Carols by Candlelight
* Letter writing to Santa
* Helping Nannie and Papa with their tree decorating
* Buying tinned food and donating it
* Baking shortbread for neighbours
* Watch a Christmas movie together
* Writing Christmas cards for friends and family
* Going to the Piazza to watch a Christmas movie
* Christmas crafts as gifts for family
* Call Granny for her birthday
* Going out for ice-cream
* Inviting friends over for a picnic
* Visiting Santaland and having a picture with Santa
Activities are as simple as going out together to the beach or for an ice-cream, or writing in Christmas cards, or dancing together to some Christmas songs, or reading the Nativity story.
The possibilities are endless.
I need to get creative with some Christmas kindness activities too, to add in there.