Keeping the advent calendar manageable

December 8, 2013
advent calendar for a toddler

I’m impulsive when it comes to the little things in my life. I feel that it enables me to better adapt to the situation. This is why I will decide around 5 o’clock what I will cook for dinner. The same goes with the activities for my son’s advent calendar.

This is our first year we made one. The chocolate or similar treats were out of the question. I lean more towards activities that we can do together. When I read some of the activity list of dedicated parents, I felt overwhelmed. Take this list from Chris Loves Julia. It is filled with awesome ideas; some are activities that parents already do in preparation for Christmas anyway. But I can’t commit in advance to do all of them. What if we run out of time that day or if there is no wet snow to build a snowman outside.

Instead, I bought a few sheets of Christmas stickers, a few small cars (he is crazy about cars), a snow day puzzle, a decorative pail to store his crayons, and more. The first night, I had to improvise a sticker notebook. I reached my desk and gave him a small notebook that I bought on our trip to Japan three years ago. He was thrilled and drew on the first page. A few days later, he assembled a robot. Last night, we had more time to play. I gave him the puzzle. We had fun!

My approach is to get with the flow. I consider his mood, what he did that day and how much time we have to do something. For sure, I will use some of Julia’s suggestions. Writing a letter to Santa and having a picture taken with Santa are two activities that are on my agenda this week. If it doesn’t go according to plan, I still have more than week after that to make it happen.

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