Happy December 1st. It's officially the most magical month of the year. And the first day of December brings with it all the fun of advent.
In our house, the christmas fairies come to our house after we have gone to bed on November 30th, and we wake up to find our tree up and our house decorated ready for Christmas. I know lots of people feel that half the fun for children is letting them enjoy seeing the tree go up, but if you had seen the looks on my children's faces as they found the tree, if you had heard the exclamations again and again of "wow" and "pretty" and "its magical", then you'd see why it's a tradition we will stick with for a while.
Advent is obviously an exciting time in itself, as we count down the days to Christmas, and we like to kick start it by having our house magically made over. And while I love a chocolate advent calendar (what's not to love) I also like to plan little extra things to make the Christmas build up even more magical.
Last year we did a book advent, and this tradition is back this year. It was a massive hit with the children, and I felt like it educated them a bit more about the traditions and story of Christmas. Being an early years teacher in a past life, I fortunately have a good collection of festive books and I can't wait to delve into them all again this year.
This year we've also added a special advent calendar to the mix. Each drawer contains a teeny chocolate, because... well, that's half the fun of advent. But they also each contain an activity for us to do together. I remember seeing Morgana's advent calendar full of activities a few years back, and promising myself we'd do something similar when the children were big enough to appreciate it.
Well this year is that year! All the activities are simple, and I sat and worked them out with my diary so that I could allocate more time intensive activities to quieter days, and also incorporate any special festive activities we have planned. (I have added our list of activities at the bottom if anyone wants some ideas.) I love the idea that it will prompt us to appreciate the lovely things we are doing, and really step back to enjoy those things together.
If this morning's response is anything to go by, then it's going to be as popular with the children as the book advent was last year. And it will hopefully give my children a December full of magical memories before Christmas Day has even arrived.