Kat Eggleston | 98five blogger
I just love this time of year — December! It’s summery and Christmas is around the corner.
I’ve started a tradition where we have a customised the 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 one year:
Find envelopes around the house and number them 1-24. You can still jump on board mid-Advent.
I used paper CD covers, a piece of string and some craft pegs.
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.
Draw a table counting down to Christmas with dates. Here’s mine.
Write in the dates you won’t be at home at night, if any. Allocate those particular days with the library books, eg. if you’re working or will be out on December 14, 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 (for sleeps to go). While you’re out, your child can open the envelope, unwrap the library book and Dad or the babysitter can read the book to them. I know it’s just a borrowed library book, but my kids still get so excited.
Write in the Christmas events that you’re already going to as a family — 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, eg. ‘Put your bathers on because we are going to join Nanna for a Christmas party at Adventure World!
Fill in the rest of the envelopes with free Christmas activities that won’t cost you a cent such as the carols and other local Christmas events and lights, Bunnings activities, library events, activities at shopping centres, The Road to Bethlehem, and other interesting activities — fizzing candy canes science experiment, homemade Christmas coloured playdough, candy cane goo.
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 what can you do with all of the money you save? Give it to someone who needs it? We think about the kids whose parents are in jail this Christmas and other disadvantaged kids who won’t have any presents because of homelessness or are less fortunate.
You could use the money you save to help a number of people.
One of my favourite Advent days was performing with my family at a carols event.
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.
Kat Eggleston is a stay-at-home mum of four and is passionate about making a difference. As a singer-songwriter (Ezereve), $35K has been raised through her music for charities that rescue children from trafficking. While auditioning live for the X Factor judges in 2016, Kat had a revelation that the best way to make a difference, was by being the best mum she could be. Kat is a parenting blogger, regular parenting columnist for the Northern Valleys News, and facilitates the ‘Setting up Generations’ Facebook group to support mums on their journey through motherhood. ezereve.com/blog | Follow Kat on Facebook | Instagram |Twitter
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