Well I am most certainly not the only one who is in denial that it's DECEMBER! My goodness - where DID the year go?!
So your kids are probably nagging you for those chocolate advent calendars all the shops love to display right now - right at kid height - right where they know they'll chuck a wobbly because they WAAAAANNNNT ONE, and right where they know mum's reached her limits and will cave, throwing them on the grocery pile. Buy them - or don't - whatevs - I won't judge!
There are so many different types of advent calendars to choose from - to buy or DIY. Pinterest will send your head straight to EXPLODE if you search ADVENT. We've had quite a few different ones over the years; I like to try something new each year. I have a sweet tooth, there's no denying it! So I don't mind the kids indulging in a little something sweet from the advent calendar too, but last year I remember being so over all the 'treats' of Christmas - before Christmas even REALLY began - before the first of December! So I decided, the only practical thing to do, was to make an advent calendar WITHOUT treats. And we would do it backwards..
My kids love to draw and colour, so do I. So I thought - let's do that! Instead of subtracting things/treats/goodies from the advent calendar, we would ADD. Each day of December, in the lead up to Christmas Day, we would draw a picture to add to our advent collage. Whatever they wanted, whatever Christmassy thing took their fancy, even if they decided to draw the same thing (note the amount of Santas, reindeer, elves and Christmas trees). We missed the odd day here and there, and when Nanna and Pa arrived, Nanna was only too happy to get colouring too!
And not ONCE, during the course of our little advent project, did the kids ask where the chocolates were. (Mostly because they were high on farking candy canes they were bringing home every day from school and kindy. Arrrgggghhhhh!)
Sugar highs aside, it really was a lovely, fun idea to do. We were too busy enjoying the drawing to actually finish it all properly by Christmas Eve; many made it past the glue and onto the collage, but the rest, finished in a bunch of cut out pictures clipped to the SIDE of the collage.. so when we brought out the 3/4 finished project to make our little film for you here, the kids were genuinely excited to pick up where we left off. So much so, that they decided some of their drawings from last year were way too 'babyish'.. and how could we POSSIBLE use those?! So they drew new ones! It was quite amazing to see the difference in ability just twelve months on (especially in my eldest boy).
Even if you do a traditional chocolate treat advent calendar, this might inspire you to get colouring with your little ones as a little extra, side project. Of course your children may prefer more petite artistry over such grand and oversized creations like mine.. so it doesn't need to be quite so enormous.
This stuff is priceless!