Our Advent Activities and Books for 2013

Apparently December arrives tomorrow. Let me say that again: December arrives tomorrow.

As I attempted to relax a little bit this morning, I realized that I still hadn’t found the Advent envelopes that I made a few years ago. We’re a little behind on some of our decorating, so I hadn’t come upon the right box yet. I eventually found our handmade Advent calendar and hung it up in our dining room. Since we moved to the new house last year, our Jingle Tree sits in front of our calendar, and everything is uber-festive.

Advent Calendar with Homemade Envelopes

I made one new envelope this year, having misplaced the one for Christmas Day yet again. It seems that since I take the envelope for Christmas Day to our bedroom on Christmas Eve, it somehow gets misplaced every year. The boys know to come straight to our room on Christmas morning so we can open the envelope together and do what it says — which is read the story of Jesus’ birth together. I am assuming that I will someday find a stack of handmade envelopes with the number 25 on them — far, far in the future. This year our 25th envelope features a card from last Christmas from my husband’s grandmother. (Yes, I keep cards from the previous year just in case I have to make one more envelope.)



I’ve written a “rough draft” of our activities for the year. Some are date specific, some can be moved around as need be. As I learned the hard way the first year, I haven’t included any snow specific activities, but reserve the right to substitute one in if we happen to have a good snowfall sometime between now and Christmas Eve. I upped donations to a few local places this year for obvious reasons. We’re also doing more baking/cooking and less crafting. We’ll also be doing other things that aren’t on the list, because the holidays remain busy, busy, busy.

  • Go get a real Christmas tree!
  • Make Chex mix
  • Write letters to Santa
  • Watch the court house light show
  • Visit Santa
  • Mail Christmas cards
  • Watch a Christmas movie in jammies
  • Bake Christmas cookies
  • Christmas music dance party
  • Secret Santa donation
  • Clean out toys to donate
  • Deliver Christmas treats & cards to neighbors
  • Bake cupcakes for Munchkin’s birthday
  • Take photos in front of the tree with the dog
  • Christmas craft!
  • Donate canned goods to a food pantry
  • Make more Christmas cookies.
  • Have a hot chocolate bar!
  • Donate to Haven of Hope
  • Make a snowman pizza
  • First day of winter! Make snowflakes!
  • Game night in front of the tree!
  • Christmas light scavenger hunt
  • Unwrap one present (of mom and dad’s choosing)
  • Read the birth of Christ in the Bible together

We will continue to unwrap one Christmas story before bed each night. It took until mid-month last year for LittleBrother to realize that the books were all books that we owned, just wrapped up for extra fun. I’ve added some new ones from sales after Christmas last year. The Christmas coloring books and Christmas books that didn’t make the cut will also be in the box by the tree so they can read holiday themed books as they so desire throughout the month.

Our Advent Book List

I’m excited for the month of December. I adore the holiday season. I love watching the wonder and joy on my sons’ faces. I struggle on some personal levels with various aspects of life, but I push through because I know how much they love this time.

Here’s hoping that this year’s holiday brings good things for us all.



The Land of Nod, design for kids and people that used to be kids

4 Replies to “Our Advent Activities and Books for 2013”

  1. Oh, such wonderful traditions, Jenna! Am thinking I will direct more than a few young families I know to this beautiful post of yours. I’m especially loving the concept of a “jingle tree” :-)

  2. Cute ideas and lovely photos! I especially love that you unwrap a book each night. May God bless your family with memories to cherish this season :)

  3. One of these days I will try an Advent calendar of activities I swear!

    I think I will skip the Christmas book advent this year. Instead we will read one chapter each night from a Christmas chapter book. I just need to decide on one.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *