Christmas Activity Advent Calendar

Christmas Activity Advent Calendar

If you’re looking for some inspiration on how to get into the holiday spirit, look no further than this list! Here are activities for each of the 25 days leading up to Christmas. 

December 1: Make A Paper Snowflake

We’ll start the countdown off easy with something you probably haven't done in a little while. To make your snowflake, take a square piece of paper and fold it in half diagonally to make a triangle. Then fold the paper again to make a smaller triangle. Fold your paper in thirds, bringing the edges in towards the center, right over left. Snip off the two pointed ends so you have a triangle with three straight sides. Cut your desired shapes into the paper. Unfold and reveal your snowflake!

December 2: Watch an Animated Christmas Movie

Nothing puts me into the Christmas spirit like an old-school animated film. Personal favorites include The Year Without A Santa Claus and Mickey’s A Christmas Carol. Whatever you pick, make sure it's something that gives you that sparkly Christmas-magic feeling. 

December 3: Make a Christmas Playlist

Having a good holiday playlist is super underrated. There are so many Christmas songs in the world, and compiling your favorite versions into a concise list results in something that you will return to year after year. Ask friends and family for recommendations and have a dance party to the best Christmas playlist ever. 

December 4: Color a Page in a Christmas Coloring Book

Now that you have your Christmas playlist together, you can listen to it during today’s activity. Find a Christmas coloring book (they make them for adults too!), break out some crayons or colored pencils, and go to town.  

December 5: Make Hot Chocolate 

Nothing says winter like a warm mug of hot chocolate. Mix up the standard variation with peppermint, nutella, white chocolate, or nutmeg. Top with whipped cream and marshmallows as desired. Then cozy up on the couch and enjoy your wintry treat!

December 6: Make a Christmas Card

Get a sturdy piece of scrapbook paper and break out the supplies. Stamps, tissue paper, ribbon, glitter, markers, and gemstones are all invited to the party. Make whatever you feel like, and write a nice message for a friend. Drop it in the mailbox and wait for their surprise to arrive. 

December 7: Swap Cookie Recipes with a Friend

Christmas cookies are the best kind of cookie, no argument. My mom and I have a standard assortment of cookies that we bake every year, but we also like to pick something new to try. Ask a friend to send you their family’s favorite cookie recipe. Don’t forget to share photos of the final result and to thank your friend for the recipe! 

December 8: Watch a “Bad” Christmas Movie

You know those cheesy romantic christmas movies that the Hallmark channel makes? Well sometimes they can be really good. Pick something a bit out of your comfort zone and make a night of watching it. You’ll either end up enjoying it or have fun cracking jokes with your friends. If you need some suggestions, try The Knight Before Christmas or Santa Girl on Netflix (trust me, they’re actually really good).

December 9: Make Something Sweet for Your Pet

There’s no reason that your pets shouldn't join in on the holiday fun! Here are some ways you can give them that Christmas cheer. 1. Look up a recipe for homemade dog biscuits and use Christmas cookie cutters to give them some holiday flair. 2. Buy a green, red, or holiday patterned bandana and embroider your pet’s name onto it. 3. If you’re looking for a more difficult task, you can make a felt poinsettia for your pet’s collar. Cut six teardrop shapes out of red felt. Pinch the wide ends of the felt together, folding the petal in half, and hot glue or sew along the fold. Attach all six felt petals together, and place three yellow pom-poms in the center. Finally, attach a felt cuff to the back of the flower and slide onto your pet’s collar. 

December 10: Watch a Live Action Christmas Movie 

From Elf to The Santa Clause, you really can't go wrong here. If you’re looking for something more classic, try White Christmas or Miracle on 34th Street. Or go for something modern like Happiest Season. 

December 11: Paint a Wintry Scene 

Watercolors are so fun to play with. Plus if you mess up, you can just add water and erase any mistakes. Take inspiration from vintage holiday cards or, if you're in a snowy area, your own backyard. Throw some cute woodland creatures into the scene and you’re set. (Bonus: dust some glitter onto the piece before it dries so your snow really sparkes!) 

December 12: Donate to a Charity 

Christmas really is all about giving. Do your research and donate to a cause (or two!) that you really care about. If you’re looking for a gift for a friend who has it all, a donation in their name to a favorite charity is always a great idea. If you don’t have the extra coin to spend, local soup kitchens are always looking for volunteers during the holiday season or donate some old toys to a children’s charity. 

December 13: Build a Gingerbread House

Buy a kit from the store, or make one from scratch (try these recipes from Food Network or this one from the  New York Times!). Make sure to have plenty of candies and icing on hand to decorate with. Once you finish, post a picture on your story or send it to some friends. 

December 14: Read a Holiday Book or Short Story

This Christmas season, re-reading A Christmas Carol is at the top of my to-do list. Pick any holiday story (or passage) you deem fit. If Y/A literature is your thing I suggest Let it Snow, a collection of three intertwined short stories. If you're looking for something short but classic, try the Gift of the Maji or even The Night Before Christmas. You can even read parts of a novel with holiday scenes in it. My personal favorites are the scenes from Little Women, or the Christmas Cookie Bananza debacle in To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before

December 15: Write a Letter to Santa

This one might raise some eyebrows, but hear me out! Writing a letter to Santa is one of the best parts of Christmas for a kid. You get to think about all the magical things that may be waiting under the tree, and it's an excuse to use some pretty stationary. This year, instead of writing about the presents you want, create a pre-New Year’s resolution list. Think about all the things you want in the next year, career goals, personal ones, even romantic wishes count. Now all that’s left to do is to let the Christmas magic do its thing and watch all your dreams come true. 

December 16: Do a Craft 

Here’s some ideas if you need a place to get started:

1. Make a mason jar snow globe. Get some christmas figurines from the local craft store and glue to the bottom of a mason jar. Fill with water and some glitter. Screw on the top, shake, and watch the snow fall.

2. Make an ornament. Buy wooden ones at the craft store and paint them. Or buy clear, empty ornaments and fill with glitter, paint, or even a photograph.

3. Make a pinecone Christmas tree. Grab a pinecone from the backyard and cover it in a base coat of green paint. Add different shades of green for texture and dots of colored paint or gemstones as ornaments. Top with a construction paper or felt star. 

December 17: Bake Something With Peppermint

Peppermint is the unofficial flavor of the holiday season. Search cookbooks or the internet for a unique and exciting recipe. Anything from peppermint bark, peppermint thumbprints, or peppermint sugar cookies would be a good choice. If you feel like cheating on this one, Trader Joe’s makes great peppermint chocolate-covered Joe-Joe’s.  

December 18: Make Custom Wrapping Paper

A lot of Christmas wrapping paper - although very cute - is not always the most sustainable or ethical product. This year, buy some plain brown wrapping paper (bonus points if it's made of recycled materials!) and make it festive on your own. Use stamps to create a uniform pattern, or use markers and create some unique designs. You can even add glitter glue and gemstones if you like (just be sure to add them after wrapping so they don't pop off the paper!)  

December 19: Have a Photo Shoot

Let’s be honest, the best part of the holidays (besides the food!) are the clothes. Deck yourself out in red, green, silver, and gold and snap away! Get your family involved if you can, but if not, enjoy the solo shoot. You can always use this as an opportunity to show off the nice collar or bandana you made for your pet earlier in the month! 

December 20: Bake Sugar Cookies 

Sugar cookies are the Christmas staple. If you don’t have any cookie cutters on hand, now’s the perfect time to invest in some. Williams Sonoma has some great sets ranging from Mickey Mouse and Friends,\ to their Dolly Parton Christmas collab. If you don't feel like getting any cutters, you can also free-hand shapes with a knife (just remember - safety first!) Prepare your favorite sugar cookie recipe, cut out your desired shapes, and bake. Now the fun can start. Mix up a large amount of royal icing, separate into smaller bowls, and color each with food coloring. Then go to town with the candies and sprinkles. 

December 21: Make Holiday Gift Packages 

Gift Packages are a great way to spread a little holiday cheer to friends and family, and you can really make them unique for the people you’re giving them to. Here are some ideas to get you started:

1. Fill a jar with all the dry ingredients to make a delicious mug of hot cocoa (including mini marshmallows!). Tie a ribbon around the jar and add a gift tag with instructions.

2. Put together a tray of christmas cookies in a holiday tin or gift bag. Remember to include a list of the cookies you included in the batch, and if you’re feeling cute throw in a holiday-shaped cookie cutter.

3. A friend of mine likes to include a candy tree with her cookie trays. To make one of these trees, stick various pieces of candy (Hershey kisses with holiday foil work great) to a styrofoam cone. Add ribbons, beads, or gems as extra decor, and don’t forget to put a star on top! 

December 22: Go Caroling (Virtually!)

Given the global pandemic, now isn’t exactly the time to travel to stranger’s doors and sing to them. But you can still enjoy the fun of christmas caroling this year -- with a twist. Instead of doing it in person, film a clip of yourself singing along to a favorite Christmas song (or two!) and send the video to some friends. They’ll enjoy the extra holiday cheer, and you may even get a virtual carol in return! 

December 23: Watch Your Favorite Christmas Movie

I like to watch the 1951 A Christmas Carol on Christmas Eve. Whatever your favorite movie is, grab some hot chocolate, snuggle up on the couch, and enjoy the film!  

December 24: Partake in a Family Tradition

Some families prepare the feast of the seven fishes on Christmas Eve. Others open one present from the pile under the tree on the 24th. My mom and I like to celebrate by making Shrimp Scampi and letting our dog open her present. Whatever it is your family does, partake in it. And if your family doesn't have a tradition, start one! If you need some inspiration search up Christmas traditions relating to your personal heritage or ask friends how they celebrate the night before. 

December 25: Merry Christmas!

Eat, drink and be merry! Remember that this holiday is all about joy, love, and good-will towards men - so spread the cheer where you can today and into the new year.