Gifts of Togetherness - Advent Calendar

Gifts of Togetherness - Advent Calendar Christmas Tradition ideas.  Lovely Matters by Heather Walker
 

I've been so excited to talk about this!  Because THIS is my favorite Christmas tradition!

Every December we fill our advent calendar with what we call “Gifts of Togetherness”.  These are simple, nonmaterial moments we share together.  Many of them only take a few minutes, and some we can spend an entire afternoon with.  

I was inspired 9 years ago when I was a hungry nursing mama and I saw this tiny stocking and mitten advent calendar at World Market (I see similar ones every year like this).  I purchased it thinking I’d put chocolate in each date and it would be mine all mine.  Then I came to my senses and thought it should carry more meaning and help us slow down the hustle and bustle of the season.  December can be a stressful month for many.  This is a great way to slow things down and put the focus on family.

"dancing around the Christmas tree"

"dancing around the Christmas tree"

Here’s my simple way how…  We are all already doing many of these things, but sometimes just being intentional in setting aside time feels different and special.  Every year we print our list and cut each “gift” into a strip.  The children decide which ones they want to include.  I casually put them into the numbered dates and as the days pass I adjust as needed.  Meaning, the day we visit a live manger can be adjusted, vs. printing this on a calendar.  Simple and flexible planning.

viewing our city's lights from the moonroof.

viewing our city's lights from the moonroof.

Feel free to copy and paste our ideas below and get your kids involved in some additional ones.  I’d love to hear what you come up with!  

 

GIFTS OF TOGETHERNESS

Drink hot cocoa under the tree

Make paper snowflakes

Take a drive to look at Christmas lights

Walk the neighborhood to look at lights

Bake for neighbors

Go Ice skating 

Wrap gifts together

Go Caroling with friends

Make a paper garland

Write letters to Santa

Build gingerbread houses

Have a fireside circle chat

Fill a box with items to donate 

Hang candy canes on neighbors’ doors

Make salt dough ornaments

Make a card for a soldier 

Bake with friends

Fill a stocking for someone less fortunate

Take a walk in nature

Leave a $5 bill with a Merry Christmas note on a strangers car

Have a dance party around the Christmas tree

Hot tub party (this will be our first year for this one!!)

Sing Christmas songs

Face Time Family 

Family band night (everyone chooses an instrument and gets silly)

Dance lesson night (choreography done by my daughter)

Visit Santa

See a Christmas play

Visit a live manger

Snowball fight (yes you can do this if you live in TX with these! Serious fun!  We were gifted these years ago after leaving the Chicago snow.)

Choose a friend to join us in our Gifts of Togetherness

Facetime cousins

Game night 

Look through family albums (Thank you Chatbooks for keeping me up to date!)

Watch family videos 

Read Christmas stories in Mom and Dad’s bed

Watch a classic Christmas movie

Sleep under the Christmas tree (this is our Adam’s Eve tradition)

And I’ll also share a “gift of togetherness” favorite my husband and I do together.  We always set aside a date night to do some shop together and follow it with dinner out.  His company also hosts an amazing Christmas party that we always can count on as a fun night out to celebrate Christmas together.  

Gifts of Togetherness - Advent Calendar Christmas Tradition ideas.  Lovely Matters by Heather Walker

Happy Advent Season!