Hola gorgeous ones!
Only about… OH! a week late with this one.
But that’s okay. Coz maybe you might be in the same place as me. And maybe you haven’t fully jumped into the Christmas adventing yet.
And this might be a good reminder that it’s okay to start now (even if we are a lil late).
Here’s a list of creative family advent ideas!
I personally don’t pop food or gifts in our advent calendar (because the excitement might only last for five minutes or so each day), I like tasks that we can do together.
Here’s 20 ideas to get your mojo flowing ~~~
1. Make printable Christmas village
Me and Starry made these last year. You can buy them as a printable download from the lovely Claudine Hellmuth’s Etsy store.
We ended up using them as decorations around the house.
Be warned: if you’ve got kidliwinks, they won’t look as perfectly put together if they help.
And that’s okay.
Also: they probably won’t last a hugely long time.
Ours ended up with roofs torn off to accommodate baby toys inside.
Again: that’s okay.
It’s totally Christmas spirity that way 😉
2. Make advent calendar
There’s buttloads of cute ideas out there of how to make advent calendars in all shapes and sizes.
Last year, I attempted to construct an advent tree like this. It ended up being a DIY disaster for this lil kitten.
Instead, we ended up using a tiny purple tree and made advent activity cards. I let Starry loose with some paint on watercolour paper, and after it was dry, cut them up and wrote the advent tasks on them.
I think we’ll end up continuing the tradition!
3. Have a tree + decorating partay
We make this into a family fiesta… put on Christmas music + have a little decorating party.
This year, we listened to Wiggles Christmas album (HO HO HO!). My parents-in-law joined in with us (it’s so great having them live just down the hallway!) and we ate chocolate and tried to teach Starry how long she needs to wait before opening presents.
We’re not going The Full Tinsel this year – I’m still too ill to tinsel every surface or handmake more decorations or all the other crafty Christmas plans I had.
But this is enough. Simple is good too.
4. Read Santa books
We’ve got some kooky Aussie Santa children’s books that we read together with Starry. I can’t even find them on Amazon they are that kooksville.
Might end up getting some more… this one looks adorable + kind of Eric Carle-ish!
5. Make Christmas cookies
My philosophy is this:
If you have the time + want to go full Pinterest homemade, go for it.
Otherwise, don’t. Go with what is doable and FUN for you (not stress-inducing!)
We grabbed a cookie decorating kit from the supermarket.
A tops time was had by all. Muchos icing and sprinkling fun!
6. Make wreath
Continuing the tradition of handmade and sorta lopsy, here’s our wreath.
I live in the tropics. It’s blazingly summer hot. We have a couple of pine trees on our property, but I wanted something that actually felt like a summer Christmas.
So enter: the wonky palm frond wreath! Hurrah!
May you always know your crafting doesn’t have to be perfect. It can just be fun and easy-going!
(Especially when you have tiny hands that love to help!)
7. Watch a Christmas movie
Honestly? My all time favourite movie is the Santa Clause movie with Dudley Moore in it. Dudley was just so perfectly elfish in it!
In less ancient times, Elf is my go-to.
I can’t do “How The Grinch Stole Christmas” though. It’s just a bit too scary. I know. I KNOW. I’m a delicate petal.
8. Go to Christmas carols
Last year we went to a lovely afternoon session of carols at a friend’s store. We sang songs with ukeleles and drank champagne while the kidliwinks clambered about on blankets.
There’s just something about Christmas songs that gives me a funny gooey feeling in my heart. I get all teary. I don’t know why. It started happening after a baby fell out my vagina. I cry at Christmas carols. #confessionbear
9. Have candlelit dinner
Last year we even decorated special Christmas candles like this just for our dinners.
Kidliwinks adore having a special glow to dinner – it’s like an event!
10. Wrap presents
We defo treat this like a family event… squirelling away presents from each other and hiding out from the giftee to do it.
We’re still teaching Starry how to keep gifts a secret instead of blurting out what the present is to the recipient.
(“Mama! You’ve got a butterfly statue! Me and Daddy wrapped it for you!”)
11. Listen to Christmas music
We do this most days.
“It’s Always Christmas With You” – The Wiggles
For obvious reasons. Aka: I have a three year old.
Joy: A Holiday Celebration – Jewel
Because it’s JEWEL, man.
AND: it’s one album I can play that my mother-in-law enjoys so she doesn’t put on her Josh Groban Christmas CD. #nooffensejoshgroban #youareaveryfunnymanandilikeyoubutnotsomuchthesinging
12. Christmas kids crafts
Here’s some ideas for you here!
If you’re wanting more inspiration, check and see if there are any local Christmas craft workshops for kids nearby.
Starry and I go to a nearby craft store to play at their workshops usually. Muchos fun!
13. Make tree ornaments
Last year I went to town on making handmade tree ornaments. I sewed some on my own, and Starry made plenty too. It was really lovely opening up the Christmas boxes this year and seeing all those creations again. It felt just a little bit more personal and memory-laden.
Mr D bought me this book for my birthday this year. It’s got some adorable Christmas craft projects to make out of felt!
14. Buy next year’s calendar
Dude, I definitely get my jollies on getting calendars for the next year. Everything feels so much more in control when you’ve got stationery for the task. Ha!
My favourites: Lori Portka’s calendars which you can find here (ummm… also… funny but true: one of the months has a painting of me that Lori did! I ordered it because I try and get it every year, and gasped when I saw that I was in there!). Also: Kikki K’s Inspire calendar. And you get free matching Life and Biz calendars with my 2014 Amazing Year workbooks too!
15. Go through your 2013 workbook + see where your dreams come true
That’s me. HELLOOO!
Honestly, I flipping ADORE reviewing my last year’s workbook and seeing what came true. Here’s my blog post last year in December how my goals went for the year. And looking forward to sharing with you my 2013 goals.
I’m also kinda stunned at how things end up working out… I know SO many more goals come true when I use the workbooks!
Once my 2013 workbook gets reviewed, then I’ll start moving into my 2014 workbooks. I do my life one solo, but each year we incorporate family goals. I ask my love what his goals are and include them in there, and we talk about what goals we have as a family too.
And then I will do the biz edition with my team. Once I’ve filled out my biz edition, I get copies made out of it and give them to my team so we’re all on the same page on exactly where we are going and what we need to do to get there.
16. Get Santa photo
So: my kid really doesn’t like Santa.
Scratch that: she’s not a fan of strangers either.
Especially not ones with a crazy beard and a funny costume.
So we get family Santa photos instead.
And it’s a kinda fun way of documenting our lil family each year.
It can be hard coralling everyone together for a photo… so this is a groovy excuse for it.
(Starry will still sit as far away from Santa as possible though. We’re cool with that. She thinks he’s a lark from about 50 metres away.)
17. Make gingerbread house
One day I’ll be brave enough to attempt one from scratch. In the meantime: I LOVE KITS FOREVER.
My ma-in-law started planning which kit she wanted to get in November and has asked if she could get one to do with Ostara.
To which I said OMFG I LOVE YOU SO MUCH YES PLEASE.
Gawd it’s great having grandparents just down the hall.
I’m still pretty ill so I’ll leave it up to the day to see if I can help decorate it too.
No matter what though, I will make an EXTREME EFFORT to partake in the licking of the bowl.
Because a girl’s gotta have priorities. Icing is one of mine.
18. Handmake gift tags
Another one of those: don’t do it perfectly, just do it the way that’s right for you.
We’ve done fully handmade decorations from scratch, and we’ve also bought kits like the ones above where you go to town gluing and glittering and pom-poming the shit out of shapes.
Do whatever’s doable for you!
19. Make a wax angel painting!
Here’s an oldie but a goodie from Le Leonie archives:
Glorious Art Workshop: Create a Wax Angel painting! from Leonie Dawson on Vimeo.
And if you want to do the activity with kids, there are kid-friendly options here.
20. Make Instagram book
This is one of my December traditions. Every year I order an Instagram photo book from Blurb. (You can also make one from your Facebook photos!)
It’s ding dang easy to set up – it’ll pull all your photos from your account, and you can choose which ones you want in the book.
It’s a really beautiful way of capturing the important moments from the year in book form.
I thought I’d be the only one who really dug this, but Ostara thinks they are awesome… and my husband is the biggest fan of all.
We like going through it together and getting all mooney and reflective over the year that’s been.
We’ve got a stash now of yearly photo books since Ostara’s birth. Can I just tell you it’s radface? Do it. The End.
Lots to get you dreaming and creating, possum!
Pick and choose what resonates with you…
and let’s make creative magic happen!
HIGH FIVES! BUCKETS OF LOVE!