Writer / Claire-Anne Aikman
Normally winter charges me up – I love the holiday season, the cold crisp air and yes, even the snow. This year is looking a little different for me and, like many of you, I am trying to find creative ways to make Christmas, and winter overall, special, meaningful and calm.
After chatting with friends about what we could do to make this season joyful and do so simply, we had an idea that I think is worth spreading around. We are expanding on the Advent calendar concept, but instead of the traditional treat each day until Christmas, we are going to write down a simple activity, idea or thought for each day in December that incorporates the whole family. It might be a conversation starter or a simple activity. Each morning one piece of paper will be pulled out and read. If it is a conversation starter, it will give everyone the day to think about it, and share later in the evening over hot chocolate with extra marshmallows. If it is an activity, it will give everyone something fun to look forward to. Some ideas include:
Think of your favorite holiday memory. What made it special? Think of your favorite holiday treat and make it.
Make a Christmas music playlist and research top holiday songs for the year each family member was born.
What is your favorite holiday movie? Watch each show over the course of the month with the family.
Stay up late to stargaze.
Have a silly craft competition. Take all the oddball craft supplies you have laying around, and create ornaments or decorations with them.
Have a nature craft competition. Go on a hike and gather leaves, pine cones, twigs or rocks, and create something critters would enjoy – like a coffee bar made out of twigs for squirrels.
Think of someone you know that could use a little cheer, make them a card, and mail it to them.
Share your memory of the best Christmas gift you ever received. Why was it special? Do you still have it?
Have a Christmas music dance-a-thon.
Drive through neighborhoods to see the holiday lights.
Bake cookies – you can spread this out by baking a few different kinds on a few different days.
You get the idea – make it simple and fun. Here’s to a happy, healthy, prosperous 2021.