What to put in a reusable Christmas advent calendar

Many moons ago, before I had children (and therefore no time to sew, boo hoo) I made The Man this beautiful patchwork advent calendar. It took me a long time and I honoured its promise by filling it with expensive sweets for him. Now we have children and I object to just stuffing them full of chocolate or toys so we needed to come up with something special to put in the pockets in the countdown to the 25th.IMG_7338 (2)

Had we been religious we would have put a little figurine of each of the characters in the nativity so The Boy could, over the days, construct the full scene – shepherds and donkey and all. In an effort to avoid too much hypocrisy we chose not to do that this year, so what to do instead? Something meaningful, something special, something relevant…

Well, we couldn’t quite get away from the chocolate element – we have a bag of coins and (having learnt from the great advent calendar raid of 2014) we will only be filling each pocket the night before, but we’re adding a little something extra: a Christmas thought.

These are little slips of paper I wrote something on. Some are instructions, some are thoughts, some are treats or challenges. If you care to see them I’ll do a transcript below. Remember these are aimed at a 3 (nearly 4) year old so you might need to adjust up or down if you want to borrow the idea. If you do then please let me know what you include. I’m going to need to do this again next year, after all.

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-Time for a Christmas disco – play Christmas music and dance with Mummy & Daddy
– Work extra hard on your listening today
– Sing a song to someone who needs cheering up
– Christmas treat! Cake & hot chocolate at a cafe with Mummy
– Christmas scavenger hunt: go for a walk and see how many Christmas things you can find
– Remember, when you feel angry, jump up and down and tell a grown up
– Look for something beautiful and tell Mummy & Daddy about it
– Tidy up without being asked
– This is a ticket for a Christmas story – give it to a grown up and they’ll read it to you
– Make something beautiful today for someone you love
– Learn a Christmas song to sing
– Find someone at preschool who you don’t know very well and ask them to sit with you at lunch or story time
– Find someone who’s sad and try to make them smile
– Voucher for a Christmas song – give this to a grown-up and they will sing to you
– Draw a lovely picture for someone you love
– Learn a joke to tell at dinner time
– Help Mummy with the housework today – ask her what you can do
– Say something nice to everyone you talk to today
– Ask Mummy to put the popcorn on – it’s Christmas movie afternoon today!
– Read or tell your little sister a story (ask for help if you need to)
– Daddy will take you shopping to buy Mummy’s gift
– Ask a child you don’t know very well to play with you
– Wrap it up – time to get your presents looking pretty
– Christmas tomorrow – make sure you go to bed early and get a good night’s sleep!

 

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