The Giant List of Advent Activities

Every year, I do a Christmas themed activity every day in December leading up to Christmas. As I’ve blogged a lot of them for the past couple of years, I thought I would share them in advance this year in case you want to make up your own list.

Here are the Advent Activities we did last year:

  1. Open Advent Calendar
  2. Unwrap a Christmas book
  3. Happy birthday, Elizabeth!
  4. Make peppermint bark
  5. Visit the zoo
  6. Make paper snowflakes
  7. Make Christmas cards
  8. Make edible Christmas trees
  9. Candy cane hunt– highly recommended!
  10. Go Christmas shopping
  11. Open (another) Christmas book
  12. Make a Santa Belly Christmas ornament
  13. Make a Christmas shirt (Or this one)
  14. Make pretend Christmas lollipops
  15. Make I Spy Ornaments
  16. Make Christmas cookies
  17. Get Christmas pictures taken
  18. Decorate a gingerbread house
  19. Mail presents
  20. Make penguin Christmas ornaments
  21. Have a Christmas party
  22. Watch a Christmas movie
  23. Have a Christmas breakfast
  24. Take a walk to look at Christmas lights

And these are the ones we are planning to do this year, in no particular order:

  1. Open Advent Calendar (My dad sends one every year)
  2. Paint chip Christmas trees  (I cut out the Christmas trees in advance and will have Elizabeth decorate them)
  3. Chocolate melty pretzels  (Possibly a few different kinds)  We are going to (friends and neighbors, don’t read this part) give these away as presents.
  4. Peppermint bark (We did this last year and it was easy and a hit)
  5. Gingerbread house (This will be an every year activity)
  6. Look at lights (Again, every year)
  7. Make hot chocolate (Shh! Don’t tell the children, but this is a throw away one for a day that we are really busy)
  8. Candy cane hunt/snowball fight (This is probably my most popular activity. We did the candy cane hunt last year and we will be adding a sock snowball fight this year.  Hey, we live in Georgia. We invite all our friends to the park one day.  Cost of admission is a box of candy canes (or similar) and a pack of new socks.  We ball up the socks and the kids throw them at each other. While this is going on, a mom or two hides candy canes on another section of the playground. Then the kids have an Easter egg hunt, only a Christmas themed one. And all the socks are donated to our local foster care agency.)
  9. Shop for daddy and baby brother Ryan (I must remember to schedule this early in the month so not to end up at a really crowded mall)
  10. Get Christmas pictures taken (Again, early in the month! I’ve got the outfits planned out already.)
  11. Visit Santa (I intend to make all children do this until they are bigger than Santa. And with our family height, probably longer than that.)
  12. Shop for Toys for Tots (We give at least one good toy to Toys for Tots every year.)
  13. Button Christmas tree craft (Honestly, I am undecided about this one.  I think it may end up with me doing all the work and Elizabeth not having any fun.  But we are going to try it. And I am going to use floral wire for stringing, not string.)
  14. Paint swirl ornaments (Now these I am positive are not going to look anywhere near as good as the ones pictured. But swirling paint around is totally within Elizabeth’s skill level and I think she will like this. Also, I suspect all hers will be pink and purple.)
  15. Dried glue snowman ornaments (Now, this is another one that is totally within her level. Dripping out hot glue and sticking beads in it- she can DO IT.)
  16. Snow play dough (This is just white play dough with glitter.  I bought our play dough instead of making it. We are going for simple this Christmas!)
  17. Decorate Christmas cookies (I’m totally planning to buy undecorated Christmas cookies from a friend who sells cut out sugar cookies.  SIMPLE!)
  18. Open a Christmas book (I bought some on sale after Christmas last year and wrapped them last year. I am a genius.)
  19. Make candy cane reindeer (Another simple craft that Elizabeth can handle without me doing the whole thing for her. Also, I remember making these as a child.)
  20. Make snowman pizza for dinner (And it has the added benefit of being dinner!)
  21. Watch a Christmas movie (Again, don’t tell the children, but this is a total gimme.)
  22. Make snowman ornaments (I plan to do fake snow inside a clear glass ornament and then I found some snowman face buttons at Joann’s which we will glue on for features.)
  23. Make a Christmas shirt (I am thinking a snowman shirt because that will be an easy applique, something like this with black buttons and a carrot nose on a white shirt)
  24. Open a present on Christmas Eve

I’ve created a set of downloadable tags for printing that have these activities on it, plus some blank ones so that you can customize them for your family.  They are formatted to print on business card paper (because I made them for myself and I had leftover blank business card paper) but you could easily print them on card stock or regular paper and just cut them out. Here is the link to the tags.

For more Advent ideas, I highly recommend checking out Emily (her posts for 2010 start here) and A’Dell (her posts from 2011 start here).


  1. says

    This is spectacular. You’re totally making me want to do this. I will have to purchase the stuffable Advent calendar because Life has conspired against me recently – so there would only be time to MAKE the calendar or PLAN the activities. Maybe making it is something I can do another year.

  2. leanne says

    Fabulous ideas — I’m going to have to borrow a few myself! Thanks for sharing!! Like Meredith, I’m super excited about Christmas now!

  3. says

    You are awesome! You did all the work for me. I was planning to make 24 folded paper envelopes and string them on some baker’s twine. And then I was going to type up a list of activities to tuck inside and now I don’t have to! Thanks so much for sharing.


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