Last year I got an Advent calendar as a white elephant gift! We put it up this year and added a Popsicle stick to each calendar pocket with a Christmas activity written on each one. We are so busy with life and everything that's going on in December that I wanted to keep it pretty simple, including some christmasy activities that we'd be doing anyway*, while doing some service activities because those are the ones that are the most meaningful, that they'll remember and it is the season for remembering Christ and so it seems fitting. Here are some of the activities in our Advent Calendar:
-write a christmas card to grandparents
-carol at nursing home
-drive around looking at christmas lights
-watch a christmas movie (3x)
-make a christmas craft (2x)
-make a christmas treat
-decorate gingerbread house
-read christmas stories
-act out the nativity
-watch 'joy to the world'
-call Grandpa and play christmas songs for him on the piano
-go christmas shopping for your 'secret sibling'
*we had several things on there that we had to do anyway like "go to annabelles christmas piano recital" and 'attend elisabeth's christmas choir concert" and 'christmas work party' and 'christmas neighbor party' and 'church christmas party' etc.
In addition to our advent calendar, we are also continuing our tradition of many years now, of doing a little christmas devotional each night where we sing a christmas song, read a christmas scripture and story; we do this each december in place of our normal family scripture study time; I have a '24 days til christmas' binder with everything that I need for these Christmas devotionals so it's not complicated.
Some of the pictures below were taken of our advent calendar activities, and others are just random pictures; like this one that Charles took of his linkin logs :).