As a kid, December not only marked the beginning of the Christmas count down, it also meant starting the advent calendar my parents bought. Ours never included candy (a good choice for my parents considering they had three kids) – each night you opened a door or popped up a new part of the scene. It was a nice treat to end the day with as opening a new door meant getting closer to the Christmas day.
We have been rather inconsistent with advent calendars with our own kids. The calendars today are mostly candy which doesn’t work when you have more than one child. We had a homemade one that my parents had where each day gave you a new ornament to decorate this cloth Christmas tree, but it’s age keeps us from using it.
This year, I found what has turned out to be a great Advent calendar for the kids – the Lego City Advent Calendar.
I also found a Playmobile version, but settled on the Lego one given the kids are totally into Legos these day. Each night, we open a new door. So far, we have gotten a man complete with turkey leg and a grill. The daily addition to the holiday scene needs to be assembled which is fun for the kids.
I read a blog called EnviroMom, and she had a great idea for a homemade Advent calendar that gets kids a bit closer to the meaning of Christmas. She calls it the Good Deeds Advent Calendar. Each morning, the kids get to do a good deed for that day. It includes things like “draw a picture for your teacher” to “give old clothes to kids who need them”. It also has tasks that would help get ready for the holidays like “sweep the leaves off of the porch”.
While I enjoy the Lego calendar, I think next year we may try out her idea. I think it gets the kids into a giving mood and makes a point that giving doesn’t always mean buying something for someone. It can mean doing something nice for someone. What a novel concept!