The Best Christmas Gift for Kids

I just love this time of year! It’s December, it’s summery and Christmas is around the corner!! I’ve started a tradition where we have a customised advent calendar. It’s basically numbered envelopes pegged on a piece of string, each with a Christmas activity inside. The kids take it in turns to open an envelope and they get SO EXCITED!!! The best part is, I make it full of FREE activities!! My kids absolutely love this and it doesn’t cost me a cent! I just use whatever envelopes and string I have around the house. Ashleya loves reading, Kale loves science and Jewel loves craft so I have chosen activities which they will all enjoy. This is how I did it:

Step 1. Find old envelopes around the house and number 1-24.

Step 2. Go to the library and borrow whatever Christmas books and DVDs you can find. Wrap them  up with whatever paper you have, and add a bit of ribbon.

Step 3. Draw a table counting down to Christmas with dates- see mine below.

Step 4. Write in the dates that you won’t be at home at night, if any. Allocate those particular days with the library books, e.g. If you’re working or will be out on 14th December (11 sleeps to go on the countdown), write on a piece of paper ‘It’s time to read a special surprise Christmas story! Unwrap the book to reveal what the story will be!’ Put this piece of paper in envelope number 11. While you’re out the child can open the envelope, unwrap the library book and dad or the babysitter can read the book to the child. I know it's just a borrowed library book, but my kids just get SO EXCITED!

Step 5. Write in the Christmas events that you’re already going to as a family, e.g. family Christmas parties, end of year parties, etc. Write these on a piece of paper and put in as the advent calendar activity on those particular dates, e.g. “Put your bathers on because we are going to join Nanna for a Christmas party at Adventure World!”

Step 6. Fill in the rest of the envelopes with free Christmas activities that won’t cost you a cent! Some examples are: Christmas pageant, Bunnings activities, library events, carols, Christmas lights, activities at shopping centres, The Road to Bethlehem, and other interesting activities, e.g. fizzing candy canes science experiment, homemade Christmas coloured playdough, candy cane goo, etc. My favourite one this year is envelope #5: “We are going to Carols by Candlelight! We are performing as a family and opening the show in front of hundreds of people! Let's get ready!!”

This is a great way to bond and spend quality time together! It doesn’t have to be about buying all this stuff you don’t need and wasting heaps of money! So what should you do with all the money you save? Give it to someone who needs it! Think about all the kids whose parents are in jail this Christmas. Think about disadvantaged kids who won’t have any presents because they are homeless and sleep in a car. Think about those that are less fortunate. And use the money you save to help them.

Christmas Carol Performance with Ash

Christmas is about grace and giving. Kids don’t need stuff. They need time. One day this time will be gone and you’ll never be able to get it back. This festive season, give your kids a gift they will never forget- give them your TIME! And teach them how to help others!