Only two weeks until Advent starts, can you believe it? I thought I’d share a few of our traditions for this time of year.
(I’d love to hear yours, if you have family or childhood traditions you’d like to share, please do leave a comment.)
Last year, we had three little elves visit us for the time leading up to Christmas.
The boys loved them, and months ago they started asking if they will come and visit us again.
Why yes, of course they will!
I got the idea at the time from the Kindness Elves, although ours are a little more general “advent elves”. Our little elf figures came from Tiger, and their little door on our skirting board is a wall sticker from Lola’s Etsy shop .
You can see pictures from last year’s elf antics on the Stitch and Purl Facebook page where I posted a picture every day last December.
Last December, I caved in and the boys got a bought advent calendar each. This year we will go back to the little bags I sewed so many years ago. I think the elves are probably going to help me fill them. A couple of years ago I wrote about what I put in the advent calendar, you can read that post here.
I am still planning on doing a separate post on Advent calendar and Stocking fillers, but for now I’ll leave you with a list of some of the things the advent elves are going to be up to.
Last year, I had a bunch of little notes from the elves written out and prepared, so I could whip an appropriate one out in the evening once the kids were in bed, and set the scene for the next day’s elf message.
This is what the elves did, and encouraged the boys to do, last year:
- Welcome, introduce themselves and present Advent Calendars
- write a wish list for Christmas, and a ‘give list’ – what do the children want to give others?
- wrapping paper and materials to wrap presents
- bake treats to share
- send christmas cards (writing them, sticking on stamps, posting them – all important steps!)
- send a reminder to be kind today
- donate food to the local food bank
- make a ‘jar of joy’ and write or draw on little pieces of paper what makes us happy today
- thank the children for helping/ doing x, y and z
- write cards to school friends and teachers
- cheer someone up by telling them a joke today, like: Why are Christmas trees so bad at knitting? (Because they always drop their needles)
- make bird feeders to hang outside for hungry birds
- sort toys and donate unwanted ones to charity
- make homemade biscuits for the teachers to say thank you
- help mum to take parcels to the post office
- brush teeth extra well and give out big smiles today
- praise children for doing something kind, have a little treat
- write secret notes to surprise someone
- leave a homemade treat for the postman and/or neighbours
- secretly post a card or a treat through a friend’s/neighbour’s door
- decorate a gingerbread house; maybe invite a friend to help?
- celebrate the beginning of the school holidays with a special outing
- make thank you cards ready for after Christmas
- give a book you’ve grown out of to a younger friend
You can find more inspiration at The Imagination Tree, including this great list of 25 acts of kindness for children.
On the last day, December 24th, our elves say goodbye and leave a Christmas bag to be opened that afternoon. I made a very simple bag out of a big piece of hessian cloth for this.
In the bag were new pyjamas for the kids, marshmallows for hot chocolate, our special Christmas mugs, a new story book, and a DVD – all great for a cosy evening.
In Germany, where I am from, the 24th is the main Christmas day where we open our presents, so I really liked having the Christmas bag to open on Christmas Eve.
I will have a few more posts to tell you about our Christmas traditions. Next is our Advent Calendar, once I’ve properly planned it though. Not much time left!