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keeping an advent calendar :: easy suggestions to implement on your own

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I know that we are a week in to the Christmas season but it’s still not to late to begin an advent calendar with your family. In years past I would take the Christmas cards we had received and cut off the fronts to use to make a daily advent with different fun Christmas themed activities on each day. Our fun included everything from dropping off toys for local children’s charities to decorating cookies and taking a drive to look at light displays. We still do many of the activities but I found that that method for an advent calendar didn’t allow for any changes in our plans due to illness, cranky kids, or random opportunities that may pop up.

reusable Advent tree on The SIMPLE Moms

This year I decided buy this adorable and reusable magnetic Countdown to Christmas Wooden Seasonal Calendar from Melissa & Doug and it seems to be a big hit so far. My kids are taking turns picking out the daily ornament magnet to add to the tree and even better I get to pull this same cute tree out for years to come!

To supplement our advent calendar we are using a print out from our church that has a daily sentence to add to the Christmas story. It also had suggestions for advent activities such as making encouraging bookmarks and placing them in random books at your local library, telling each family member something you like about them, or pulling your neighbor’s trash can up for them on trash day.

the SIMPLE moms home made advent calendar activities

I loved these suggestions so much that I edited them to fit our family and my kids are really enjoying the different activities we have this year. Picking out toys for the local children’s charity was a definite must and we also created a box of snacks for our delivery people to enjoy while they work hard this month delivering all those extra gifts!

What does your family do to keep track of the advent season? Any special traditions or ways you count down to Christmas Day?

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