Wednesday, 27 November 2013

DIY 'Family Friendly' Advent Calendar and a New Family Christmas Tradition


This will be our third Christmas in Australia and it's definitely the first time I am really starting to feel properly Christmasy again.  It's been a real adjustment going from a traditional Northern Hemisphere Christmas to a hot and sunny Aussie Christmas.  Although there are quite a few similarities, like the colour red, great food and Santa, but they also couldn't be more different. You definitely wouldn't be having warm red wine, roasted chestnuts and roaring fires in Sydney - nor would you expect to see blooming jacaranda's, days on the beach and a symphony of cicadas in England!!

My parents (and grandparents) have always made a big deal of Christmas and now that I have found my feet again I really want to do the same for my kids.  I have so many amazing memories of the pure excitement and joy that Christmas brings.

Last week my great friend Amanda and I spent almost the whole day making a DIY advent calendar.  Thank goodness for Amanda as I would never have been able to come up with something quite so fabulous on my own.  Crafting is not something I usually choose to do - I'm just not a fan a mess and usually run a mile in the opposite direction when someone mentions glitter!!  However it was strangely therapeutic (partly because the only kid with us was Miss L and she was happy to just potter around us and leave us to it).


We only meant to spend a couple of hours making our advent calendars but once Miss L very obligingly fell asleep on the arm chair we just carried on all the way until school pick up.  It was such a lovely, relaxing day and we chatted about everything from kids to christmas to you name - we covered it!

Fast asleep in Amanda's studio. Such an accommodating little munchkin!
I was chuffed to bits with my calendar and can't wait until December 1st for the kids to start it. I've hung it up in their toy room and it's all ready to go.

Each day on the calendar there a christmas 'activity' and the idea behind it is to really get the kids excited about the run up to Christmas and to create our own family traditions. (I suggest you get your diary out before you add your activities if you want to do this as will need to make sure you can fit them into routine).



These are the activities we'll be doing this year

1st Dec:    Put up the Christmas decorations and decorate the Christmas tree together.
2nd Dec:   Get some new Christmas PJ's (for the kids - but you could too??).
3rd Dec:    Read the story of Christmas together.
4th Dec:    Get a special treat today (I have bought some little chocolate santa's).
5th Dec:    A special family dinner out.
6th Dec:    Watch a Christmas movie with ice-cream and popcorn.
7th Dec:    Play Christmas music all day.
8th Dec:    Visit Santa and get your Santa photos done :)
9th Dec:    Donate a gift to the Wishing Tree Foundation.
10th Dec:  Write you letters to Santa and take them to the post box.
11th Dec:  A special Christmas treat just from Mum.
12th Dec:  Do some Christmas baking.
13th Dec:  Have an indoor picnic by the Christmas tree for dinner.
14th Dec:  Put your Christmas stocking out.
15th Dec:  Go on a Christmas outing to see the city lights.
16th Dec:  Make/write your christmas cards for your friends and family.
17th Dec:  A special Christmas treat just from Dad.
18th Dec:  Make your teacher a Christmas gift.
19th Dec:  Go on an evening drive/walk to look at all the Christmas lights in the neighbouthood.
20th Dec:  Make some Christmas hand prints or craft
21st Dec:  Choose another Christmas movie to watch with popcorn and ice-cream.
22nd Dec:  Go Christmas shopping to buy each other a gift.
23rd Dec:  Do a fun Christmas holiday activity like ice-skating
24th Dec:  Leave out some snacks and a note for Santa and his reindeer
25th Dec:  MERRY CHRISTMAS EVERYONE :)

If you would like the full instructions on how to make this beautiful advent calendar yourself, you can get it from Amanda's blog at My Little Table Designs HERE.

Do you have any favourite Christmas traditions that your family does every year??













You can also follow Mrs D plus 3 on facebook - twitter - instagram - Pinterest or sign up to my newsletter

14 comments:

  1. Love your advent calendar...it looks amazing! I plan to throw together an advent calendar this year....we are always so busy at this time of year that the build up to Christmas can be less than pleasant...hoping that the advent calendar gives us a bit more of a Christmassy focus! We will go out on Sunday and cut down a tree from the Christmas tree farm, lug it home, decorate it and then decorate the house and the girls rooms...can't wait !! Hope you enjoy your third Aussie Christmas...must say I'd prefer a European once myself...log fire and sipping hot chocolate !!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I've never done it like before so this is a first for us too. I can't wait to start it and really hope we can turn it into a family tradition that the kids will remember xx

      Delete
  2. Love love love your photos and loved creating this with you. I think we have to do it every year now!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. hehehe, I was hoping you'd say that!! It's a date (for next year) xx

      Delete
  3. It's fabulous Robs, love it! ;-) xxx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Al, I hope the kids enjoy it xx

      Delete
  4. It looks gorgeous and I love your fillers.
    Carolyn

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Carolyn, I had to really look at my diary when doing them to make sure I could actually deliver, lol!! xx

      Delete
  5. You are a genius. I absolutely love it! Looks amazing.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you!! It had a bit of a slow start as the kids werent used it and just wanted chocolate but now they are loving it and its the first thing they do in the morning!! x

      Delete
  6. Love your activities leading up to Christmas! We're just finding our feet this year and finally got a tree up! Miracles will never cease! I'm going to try and do the Advent Calendar thing next year.
    I bet a Southern Hemisphere Christmas takes some getting used to but hope this year's is a super one for you and your family! x

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Grace. You guys must be all over the place after coming back from such a lovely hols and seeing family. I think I like the southern hemisphere Christmas - I was all set to do my usual Nigella Christmas but then I watched Donna Hay on TV the night and now I'm torn...... Hope you and your lovelies have a great one too xx

      Delete
  7. That is beautiful. And I love the use of activities instead of chocolate and toys every single day!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Emily. It did have a bit of a slow start but the kids are just loving it now xx

      Delete

Thanks so much for your comment. I LOVE hearing from you all and will do my best to reply xxx