Thursday, December 3, 2015

Wall Advent Calendar: A special Christmas activity each day in December

Summer ends, the leaves change, and there is a nip in the air. These are the first sings that the much anticipated holiday season is quickly approaching. Stores decorate their seasonal section with Christmas trees and wreaths while you're still shopping for Halloween costumes! Black Friday commercials and ads fill your home and litter your counter tops. Before you know it, you are gathering with family around the Thanksgiving table.

December flies by even quicker than the pre-holiday season, leaving many people feeling let down and cheated on December 26th, wishing they had slowed down and savored the holidays. Spending time with loved ones, driving around to see the Christmas lights, walking around your local Christmas tree farm with a cup of hot cocoa, picking an Angel off the gift tree and taking your child to buy a present for someone less fortunate, donating food to your local food bank: these are
"little" moments that make the holiday season meaningful and memorable.

To slow things down for my son and me, I created an activity-based advent calendar:

Instead of my son counting down the days with a daily piece of chocolate, every morning he turns around a card with a different holiday activity:

I created our wall advent calendar with materials I already had at home! I started with burlap ribbon, making a tree shape on a blank wall in our bedroom:

I used thumb tacks, but you could create a similar ribbon tree on a large piece of paper if you don't want a bunch of tiny holes in your wall:

I then used clothes pins to attach each activity card, turned backwards, along the "limbs" of the tree:

Of course, since the purpose of our advent calendar is to encourage more quality time with each other, I had my son help with the hanging of the activity cards. He then decorated each card with a Christmas sticker:

I topped off our tree with a ribbon-clad sea star...

...and added a cloth tree base:

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