Christmas Activities Advent Calendar

It’s the most wonderful time of the year. The kids are jingle belling {or, to be more precise, jingle yelling}, and I’m busy telling them be of good cheer…or to quiet down. One or the other. 

But it is though. The most wonderful time. My favorite time of the year when everything looks festive and we try just a little bit harder to be kind to one another. 

It’s also the time of year when we try to cram in 720,841 Christmas activities into a short season, all the while stuffing ourselves {and our kids, let’s be honest} full of Yuletide cookies and treats, racing the clock to get all the presents ordered and wrapped before C-Day, and generally trying to make as many magical memories together as we can. 

Last year I got so frenzied in the last days before Christmas I was forced to double book our days with Santa visits in the morning, making teacher gifts in the afternoon, and occasionally even attempting a family holiday photoshoot in the matching jammies I ordered and promptly forgot about between dinner and bath time. 

Christmas activities Advent calendarSo this year I thought I’d try something a little bit different. 

I started by asking my kids what their favorite Christmas activities were. We looked through our old photos, joyfully reminiscing on gingerbread house decorating parties, car rides through the neighborhood to look at lights, and our annual Grinchmas movie day. We also talked about ways we could bring Christmas cheer to others, like donating toys to a women’s shelter and food to the Houston Food Bank. And together we came up with twenty-four things we could do as a family — our very own Christmas activities advent calendar.  

To make things extra special, I found a set of small house-shaped boxes on Amazon and decorated them with a white paint pen to look like little gingerbread houses. I filled each box with one of the ideas we came up with, strung them up with pretty Christmas ribbon, and hung them like a tiny Advent village.

Each day between now and Christmas my children can pick one of the houses to open and we’ll complete the activity inside. Not only does this make it a fun surprise each day, but by spreading everything out and focusing on just one event a day, it alleviates the stress of the holiday and allows us to really enjoy our time together.  

For anyone interested in doing their own Christmas Activities Advent Calendar, here’s a few of the ideas we came up with to get you started:

Make a paper chain garland

Elf the neighbors 

Visit Santa at the Mall

Bake and decorate Christmas cookies for our local firemen 

Put out snacks for the delivery drivers

Have a Christmas song dance-a-thon

Make gingerbread houses

Donate toys to the Women’s Shelter

Decorate the Christmas tree

Make a popcorn and cranberry garland for the tree

Donate food to the Houston Food Bank

Wear Christmas jammies and watch a holiday movie

Have a Grinchmas feast

Make Christmas cards for a loved one

Make up our own silly Christmas song 

What other Christmas activities would you add to this list? 


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Lauren M
Lauren M. is a native Houstonian who now lives one street over from the house where she grew up in Sugar Land. After a brief fling with Austin where she received her Bachelors Degree in English Lit from Southwestern University, she returned home to attempt to write the great American novel {or, you know, the next Harry Potter series}. A short while later a friend recruited her for a kickball league where she met a tall, handsome engineer who quite literally swept her off her feet. After tying the knot in 2014, they soon welcomed their first son Raleigh {October 2015}, and little brothers Renner {January 2018} and Rafe {September 2021}. When not chasing around her three crazy Texas tornados and reveling in the boy mom life, Lauren has discovered a newfound passion for photography and Photoshop, creating whimsical family portraits at @andwhetherpigshavewings on Instagram. You can also find her at @polyjuiceandpixiedust .


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