Advent Calendar: 25 Ways to Celebrate the Season

Every December, I dust off our much loved Advent calendar. Although many of doors are falling off the hinges, this very timeless Taylor Christmas tradition brings such joy to our family every year.

 Our Christmas Countdown

To my children’s delight, the poorly hinged doors hide more than tiny morsels of chocolate. Each day, they carefully open one door to reveal three candy cane flavored Hershey’s kisses (one for each child) and a fun Christmas activity to celebrate the season. Some of the activities are simple and others require a road trip, but all of the activities make the season even more merry and bright.

For me, an Advent calendar is also a great way to plan and manage all the Christmas giving. Whether it’s baking goodies, making crafty gifts or shopping for loved ones, planning our Advent calendar helps me strategically plan my Christmas To-Do list around after-school extracurricular activities and holiday parties.

This year, before filling our Advent calendar with Hershey’s Kisses and good cheer, I asked my children to list some of their favorite activities. Listening to my kids list their favorite Christmas Advent calendar activities really warmed my heart. After celebrating the Christmas with Advent calendar rich with activities year after year, it was such a joy to hear which ones my kids treasured the most.

A few of their favorites revolved around food like our indoor Christmas picnic while a few of their new ideas also involved food such as creating a peppermint milkshake recipe. They also came up with a couple of new creative ideas such as building rockmen since Florida lacks snow to build snowmen.

When I plan our Advent calendar, I use a Blank December Calendar and I always add a few extra to the list to allow for last-minute changes. There have been times when I’ve need to swap days due to an unexpected after-school holiday event. Therefore, it’s best to have a few extra simple activities in the works for unforeseen events like inclement weather or sickness can really damper the holiday mood.  A few of the Advent calendar activities are specific to events happening in and around our community. For that reason, I’ve added a few extra which are easy to implement no matter where you live.

Below, I list our Advent calendar activities for this season but as an added twist to this year’s Advent calendar, I’ve also decided to take a page from the Princess & Her Cowboys. She shares a tradition of reading a Christmas story to her children each night. That’s 25 different stories leading up to Christmas and a wonderful way to celebrate the season while promoting a love for literacy!

To create a more DIY frugal Advent calendar minus the chocolate, pin red and green envelopes with clothespins to red yarn or ribbon. Then, write or type activities on slips of paper and slide them into the envelopes.

advent calendar

 Advent Calendar: 25 Ways to Celebrate the Season

1) Make a paper chain and painted candy cane garland to hang on the homemade craft tree.

2) Find time today to fold up some paper to Christmas fortune tellers for some silly seasonal fun.

3) Put a cork in it! Let’s make Christmas tree ornaments for the tree with recycled wine corks.

4) “Onto you a child is born!” Let’s watch The Best Christmas Pageant live in stage.

5) Let’s catch a wave of the holiday spirit at SeaWorld’s Christmas Celebration!

6) We’ll sip on hot cocoa while we watch the Symphony of Lights at The Shops of Wiregrass.

7) Bake cookies with Mommy and Daddy.  It’s sure to be a sweet time!

8) Take a moment to Experience Bethlehem. We’ll walk through the city of Bethlehem to find the manger where Jesus was born

9) How cool would an indoor snowball (rolled socks) fight be?! Sounds like a smashing good time!

10) Channel your inner Picasso. Let’s paint pottery gifts at Pretty in Paint.

11) Pizza and a movie night!  Snack on Christmas pizza while watching a Christmas movie.

12) Make snowflakes and milkshakes.

13) All aboard!  Next stop Crews Lake Park for a Christmas train ride to the North Pole.

14) Smile and say, “CHEESE!”  Let’s snap some silly Christmas photos in the photo booth.

15) Roll out the blanket.  Let’s have an indoor picnic by the Christmas tree.

16) Celebrate the first night of Hanukkah.  Read stories about the Festival of Lights and sing songs.  Then, light the menorah, play dreidel and dance the horah.

17) Go for a Christmas light stroll and count the Santa and snowmen displays.  Graph the results.

18) Santa stop here! Let’s make reindeer dust so the reindeer know where to land and have some extra energy to make the long flight back home.

19) Take a drive through a Wilderness Wonderland at Starkey Park to gaze at Christmas lights while sipping hot cocoa.

20) Let’s have a Holiday Pampering Party complete with mud masks, peppermint pedicures, make-up and glittery hairdos.

21) The season is slipping away! Let’s (ice) skate our way through the holidays.

22) Only three days until Christmas and feel like a zoo around here.  Let’s go to Lowry Park Zoo for Wild Wonderland.

23) Dress up in your fanciest Christmas attire.  It’s time for a Christmas Tea Party!

24) Enjoy Christmas Eve with the Mestanza Family.  Remember to set out cookies and milk for Santa and carrots for the reindeer.  Then, sprinkle the reindeer dust in the yard.

25) Santa arrives!  Merry Christmas! xox

 Other fun Advent calendar ideas

  • Two merry friends return and they’re perched on the Christmas tree. Keep them smiling by stocking the four Elf food groups in the pantry (candy, candy canes, candy corns and syrup).
  • Adopt an Angel Tree child and shop for items on his/her wish list.
  • Write a letter to Santa through Macy’s Believe program to benefit the Make-A-Wish Foundation.
  • No hard hats necessary just plenty of creative juices for today’s fun! Let’s build a gingerbread house and make sugar cone Christmas trees!
  • Shop ‘til you drop! Time to shop for Christmas presents for family members.
  • All hands on deck! Let’s make paper hand wreaths and other handy dandy crafts!
  • Make wrapping paper and create Christmas cards for our family members.
  • Let’s rock around the Christmas time with a Christmas music dance party!
  • Grow snow and Borax crystals
  • You’d better watch out! Santa has a personal message just for you.
  • Make peppermint scented playdough.
  • Do you want to build a snowman? Build a snowman on your bedroom door.
  • Visit the beach and build a sandman.

For even more Advent calendar ideas, follow my Christmas Fun Pinterest board.

Florida Snowman (sandman)

Denise

From start to finish, Denise is Run DMT, a Tampa Bay marathon mom on the run trying to maintain an easy pace through it all between races and raising three beautiful, brilliant children (ages 13, 9, 4). In 2007, I discovered a passion for running and in February 2015, I completed my tenth marathon, however, I continue to train for a variety of races and triathlons. In my spare time, I founded Tampa Bay Bloggers, a hyperlocal blogging network.

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