Advent calendar
I remember when the first chocolate advent calendars came out. One year you got a little picture of a holly bush the next you got actual real chocolate that you could eat at breakfast time. It was a revelation. Of course, before I had children I had a vague notion that as all chocolate = bad I would only buy a traditional advent calendar. Hmmm… guess how long that lasted? 
While I will still be buying a choccie calendar, or two (well I need my own one so I’m not tempted to eat the children’s) I thought it might be nice to do something a little different and I came up with the idea for this very simple craft. I know it is only October and so the idea of making Christmas decorations might seem a little – well – um – crazy, but as this needs to be ready for December and someone keeps eating all the edible parts of the decoration, I thought we had better get started. The idea is that inside each ball is a small card with a Christmas activity for the whole family to share. Christmas is all about family for me. I love all the preparations and there are so many lovely activities for the family to do together that I wanted the calendar to be about that and not just about chocolate.
You need:
  • different coloured ribbon
  • clear plastic baubles (available from craft shops)
  • fillings e.g. bells, stars, glitter, chocolate, ribbon, gold coins, pom poms
  • number stickers
All you need to do is fill the balls. Tie the ribbon onto the ends, this was a little fiddly so younger children may need some help. I stuck to a red and gold colour scheme. Put the numbers onto the baubles. Tie onto a longer ribbon.  You can put them into any patten by varying the length of the ribbon. I made a wave pattern although my daughter thought it was supposed to be a W. I mixed up the numbers to make it more like an advent calendar. You could also put them onto a wire coat hanger. 
It was my daughter’s idea to fill the bauble with a ribbon.
Number the baubles
Into the baubles we have put these activities, but you can vary them to suit your family and change them if events alter at the time. Older children can think of their own activities which they like to do at Christmas and write them. Hopefully this will make them think of the things they enjoy doing as a family. Our activities are:
Put up decorations
Sing carols
Buy the tree
Make Christmas cake
Ice the Christmas cake
Make Christmas cards
Deliver Christmas cards
Make Christmas biscuits
Plant Christmas flowers
Buy presents
Make decorations
Watch Polar express
Visit Santa’s grotto
Write Christmas list
Write letter to Santa
Carol concert
Nativity play
Deliver Christmas cards
Make mince meat
Make mince pies
Wrap Christmas presents
Deliver Christmas presents
Watch The Snowman
Put out milk and mince pie for Santa
Inspire Me Beautiful