This year, I wanted our countdown to Christmas to feel a little more special.
I have always bought the $2 chocolate box advent calendars with the character faces on them. When my girls were little and obsessed with princesses, they thought those boxes were so cool, and that a piece of terrible chocolate every morning was the greatest thing in the world, so it was a win for everyone.
Last week I was at the grocery store and as soon as I walked in, I noticed they had the chocolate advent calendars out, so I threw 3 in my cart. But as I continued to do my Thanksgiving shopping, I kept thinking I could make my own and put good candy in it or add cute little notes. By the time I was done shopping, I had convinced myself to actually do it because why not? There was only a week and a half until Dec 1st. So being the overachiever I am, I put the boxes back.
When I got home, I started working on my idea for a family advent calendar. I knew I wanted to do a gingerbread house theme and I knew I wanted to include a little note each day. Since I have 3 kids, 6 and under, I wanted the notes to be simple things we could do as a family. We also have so much going on in December, so I did not want to add anything I wasn’t sure was going to be doable, and I wanted to throw in a little bit of random acts of kindness.
Almost all of the notes are things we do every year, but I’m hoping this will just make it feel a little more special.
Free Printable Family Advent Calendar
I created this printable with the activities in no particular order, and plan to cut mine out and place each note in an advent calendar with a piece of chocolate to be opened each day, based on the day of the week and what we have going on. It can definitely be printed out and used as is, too.
Click the button below to download your free printable family advent calendar.
Family Advent Calendar Ideas & Activities
If you are looking for ideas to create your own version, here is a list of the activities and ideas I chose to use for our calendar.
- Write letters to Santa.
- Deliver cookies to your neighbors.
- Read a Christmas book together.
- Send a handwritten letter to a loved one.
- Leave a thank you note and/or a treat for your mailperson.
- Decorate Christmas cookies.
- Make a fun garland.
- Donate to those in need.
- Watch a Christmas movie in pajamas.
- Tell each person something you love about them.
- Go for a drive to see Christmas lights.
- Host family game night.
- Call a friend or family member.
- Give a friend a compliment.
- Set up a hot chocolate bar.
- Have a snowball fight. No snow? Use marshmallows!
- Do something kind for someone.
- Sing Christmas carols.
- Go on a family walk outside.
- Reflect on the past year and write a gratitude list.
- Take a family photo.
- Throw a Christmas music dance party.
- Try a new recipe for dinner.
- Leave cookies for Santa.
- Have a merry Christmas!