fiddle leaf photography
Nov 23, 2020
It was December 1st, 2019. I had cooked up the brilliant idea (truth: I totally stole the idea from my friend, Jenny Rusby) to do an activity advent calendar for my kids.
The very first activity?
A sing along bus.
I was JACKED.
I knew they’d love it.
That afternoon, the very first day of the advent, we were going to climb aboard a double decker bus and drive around Sherwood Park singing carols at Senior Citizen lodges.
So. It was about 6:42 am and my kids were wide awake ready to start their advent and find out the first activity.
I was pretty sure I’d win mom of the year as this activity was SO up their alley.
They opened the little sheet of paper and big sister read the activity to little sister.
GO CAROLLING ON A DOUBLE DECKER BUS.
They started crying.
Not tears of joy.
“We have to sing in front of people? NO WAY. Never. Not going.”
It was like Kanye West ripping away my Mom of The Year award. Gone. Given to Beyonce.
What happened? I thought I was winning. I misjudged.
Thankfully my very calm husband eventually got everyone on board. He promised the kids we could just ride the bus and if they didn’t want to ever get out and sing that was fine.
You can probably guess how it goes from here. Just like most things, the kids eventually came around. In the end, they ended up having the BEST time and are so, so bummed they can’t bus-sing again this year.
But! After the VERY rocky start, the activity advent was one of the highlights of our year. The kids looked forward to discovering the activity each morning and it gave us something to do each afternoon after school – to gather as a family (even if it was for 5 minutes) and do something together. It also allowed me to relax because the planning was done. I wasn’t feeling guilty and like my kids deserved more Christmas spirit – I knew we had plans and could relax a bit.
Why am I telling you all this?
Because I’m just about done planning the COVID edition of the Marleau Family Christmas Activity Advent and wanted to share ideas with you in case you’d like to embark on an activity advent for your family too.
My biggest recommendation is to KEEP IT SIMPLE! The set up doesn’t need to be complicated or extravagant. And, truly, kids don’t care if you spend 5 hours or 5 minutes planning an activity.
For the actual calendar, I use clothes pins with numbers written on them and then hung them on ribbon. Then I wrote the activity on a little sheet of paper and put it in the numbered clothes pin. Doing it this way allowed me to switch things around really easy if needed. For example, if sledding is an activity on a -40C day, I’d just switch the papers in the clothes pins.
Whatever you decide to do this holiday season, I hope you have the best holiday at home that you can!
If you do decide to do an activity advent I’d love to hear about it! Hit reply and show me a few photos or send me ideas that I haven’t included in the list above.
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Lifestyle family & newborn photographer based in Edmonton, Alberta
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