Christmas is my favourite time of year. I love to get involved in all things festive in the lead up to Christmas Day to make sure that I am in the Christmas spirit. It helps now that I have children, because it is truly the most amazing thing watching their faces light up when Santa’s been on Christmas morning. But if I’m honest, Christmas has always been that joyous time of year for me. So what are my top 10 advent activities to help get me in the mood?
1. Watching As Many Christmas Films As I Can.
I love to cram in as many Christmas films as I can into December. Although I love Christmas, I have a firm rule that I can not do anything Christmassy until December 1st. Otherwise, the novelty can wear off. So in December, I crack out the DVDs that I have collected over the years and take a look on Netflix then each evening I try and watch a film. Obviously it won’t be done every evening, but I watch as many as I can.
My favourite films are; The Grinch (Jim Carrey version), Home Alone, Home Alone 2, Elf (Will Ferrel version), The Santa Clause, Love Actually, The Holiday, A Christmas Carol, The Nightmare Before Christmas, The Snowman and Jingle All The Way. This year I am going to try and watch some of the ones I haven’t seen yet over advent. What are you favourite Christmas films?
2. Head To A Christmas Lights Turn On.
Most towns have an event each year where they switch on the Christmas lights. Some places, if you live in a well known city, will even have a celebrity to switch them on. Usually Christmas songs are sung and the whole atmosphere is merry and joyful.
Watching the lights turn on can really do the trick of getting you into the festive spirit and mood. Have a look on Facebook at your local events. You can also find other advent activities to do locally on Facebook events.
3. Visit A Christmas Market.
A Christmas Market is full of stalls selling festive items. From warming tipples, to sweet treats and handmade gifts. A market has it all. You can treat yourself to a mince pie and a warming hot chocolate whilst you walk around and look at what the stalls have to offer.
Carols or Christmas music are usually playing in the market place. You can be sure to come away with thoughtful one of a kind gift to give to your loved ones. It’s a lovely festive place to visit to help kick start, or finish your Christmas shopping. It really is a great advent activity to do as part of your countdown to Christmas.
4. Go Ice Skating.
Some towns and cities will erect an ice skating rink for a limited time. Our local town has an ice skating rink, with an Alpine bar attached to it. This is open for 6 weeks only. It is hugely popular, especially as the back drop to it has a wonderland Christmas tree trial. The atmosphere is always so lovely.
Ice skating is one of those things everyone should do at least once. It is the perfect advent activity to do with friends. Find out where your nearest ice skating rink will be this Christmas and get out on that ice. Then you can warm yourself after with a festive hot chocolate.
5. Go On A Christmas Lights Walk.
Usually by the week before Christmas, most homes have their Christmas lights up. Some really go to town and feature incredibly impressive displays for your eyes to feast on.
This is one of the last advent activities we do. We have made a tradition of going on a Christmas Lights walk a few days before Christmas Eve. We usually leave after dinner when it is dark and all of the lights are on. My children love it, but I do as well. There is something really magical about seeing everything twinkling in the dark. It really gets us in the mood.
6. Build A Gingerbread House.
Now, don’t expect great things from this festive advent activity, but that is part of the fun. Every year I buy a ginger bread house, you can get them from most supermarkets or places like B&M or Home Bargains. We start to build it with great expectations but every year we fail.
However, what we do end up with is laughter and fun. It is a festive activity that may not leave us with the best looking gingerbread house, but we end up with delicious gingerbread biscuits smothered in icing and sweets. You never know, you may end up a pro at it! Have you built one before? Another great advent activity is to make gingerbread men and decorate them.
7. Make Christmas Eve Plans.
Whether you are snuggled up with family under cosy blankets and drinking a Baileys Hot Chocolate, or out at the local pub, Christmas Eve is always a festive night to be involved in. It is the final night of advent.
Have a look online to see if anywhere near you is putting on any Christmas Eve events. But Christmas Eve is one of those nights, that if you haven’t yet felt Christmassy, you will do by the end.
8. Listen To Christmas Music Whilst Decorating The Tree.
Put on some Christmas music and decorate! If you are in student accommodation, think about getting a small tree for the communal area and chipping in to get some decorations. We did that in my first year and it all helped us to get into the Christmas spirit.
Once you have a few decorations around the place, you will begin to feel much more festive and ready for Christmas. It doesn’t have to cost the Earth, just get a few bits and also you can try the charity shops to see if they have some bargains. Decorating and listening to Christmas music is one of my favourite advent activities.
9. Do Some Late Night Christmas Shopping.
It’s the time of the year when shops tend to open late for one day of the week. These are always such lovely evenings to head out shopping. You can grab dinner and drinks once you are done too. Late night Christmas shopping is a brilliant way to spend an evening during advent.
Write a list and figure out what you have to buy. Have you considered Secret Santa for your university friends? This helps to keep the costs low and is a fun idea to do. Then head out with friends one evening. The atmosphere is always very merry when you do late night Christmas shopping.
10. Do A Random Act Of Kindness.
One of the most important advent activities we do as a family is to do a random act of kindness. Christmas time should be about giving, kindness and being selfless. I always try my best to drive home to my children how lucky we are, and how we should give to others without expecting anything back.
A few things we have done in the past is, buying a homeless man lunch, giving to the local food bank, giving items to charity and helping an old person with something they struggle with. This year we will be making up a shoe box and sending off to someone that may not get anything else for Christmas. Perhaps you could volunteer at your local food bank? Make one of your advent activities an important one, and take part in an act of kindness.
I hope that these Christmas advent activities have given you some ideas on how you can get into the Christmas spirit. Advent and Christmas is my favourite time of year and I am always looking at new ways to get festive and make memories!