Advent calendars are fun. Growing up, we always got those cardboard ones with a piece of chocolate behind the window for each day in December. As a kid, I looked forward to my piece of candy every day. But that was it; it was just a piece of candy. You ate it and it was gone without another thought.
Now that I’m grown and thinking about my own family, I came up with another option;
An Advent calendar filled with activities! It turns out to be a fun and much healthier way to count down the days until Christmas.
This candy-alternative is also a great way to guarantee some daily quality time with your loved ones during the busy holiday season. Here are some more Tips to Reduce Sugar in Your Diet Without Missing a Thing
Here is a sample activities list you could use:
1. Make homemade ornaments, and/or do a handmade ornament exchange with family and friends
2. Get a Christmas tree
3. Decorate the tree (popcorn garlands are a fun add on) POPCORN - Trick or healthy treat?
4. Bake Christmas cookies for friends and family (the important part is to distribute them to outside family, neighbors, etc.- see #6)
5. Cut out paper snowflakes to decorate around the house
6. Deliver the cookies you baked earlier to friends and family
7. Go see a holiday play (there are usually at least a few options in each community)
8. Have a volunteer or charity day
9. Read a holiday book together
10. Get pictures taken with Santa
11. Go play outside as a family (hopefully in the snow!)
12. Drive or walk around and look at Christmas lights
13. Make homemade holiday cards
14. Build a gingerbread house (bonus activity if you enter a local contest!)
15. Have a game night with family and friends
16. Watch a holiday movie
17. Make homemade wrapping paper
18. Wrap gifts
19. Personalize a favorite holiday song for the family and record it
20. Have a holiday themed dance party in PJ’s
21. Bundle up and go sing Christmas carols at friends’ houses
22. Make homemade snow globes (Baby food jars work well for this. Just super glue a small figurine to the inside of the lid. Add water, glitter and a few drops of glycerine. Super glue or hot glue around the lid and the lid becomes the bottom. Shake and enjoy!)
23. Make popcorn and hot cocoa and watch another holiday movie
24. Decorate cookies to leave out for Santa and hang up stockings
Making an Advent calendar of activities is a great way to start some new healthy family traditions.
It’s also an easy way to make sure and carve out time for each other during the busy holiday season. You could also make a family fitness advent calendar and make each day a new exercise and do them all as a family together (for example, 50 crunches, 20 pull-ups, as many squats in a row as you can, etc.), or incorporate a new healthy recipe for your family to try each night and list each one on your calendar.
Any alternatives that bring your loved ones in for a group activity with a focus on healthy living is a great new tradition to introduce!
GUEST BLOGGER: Nicole Perry