A Denver Home Companion | advent calendar

i don’t start decorating the house for christmas (except for hanging my mistletoe when it first arrives to me by post mail) until december 1. but i know there are many of you out there (including my hubby’s dear family) that kicks off christmas festivities the weekend after thanksgiving. 12/1 and the weekend after thanksgiving coincide this year so i had to get a jump on planning for our family advent activities. last year i posted the tutorial for our DIY advent calendar. using that same calendar, i’ve come up with some different activities, tweaked now that ramona is older and more enthusiastic about celebrating. here’s what we have planned for each night of advent. 

  1. decorate the house for christmas. not too hard since our home is teeny.
  2. make paper snowflakes while watching it’s a wonderful life (don’t forget the popcorn!)
  3. make a list of christmas wishes, including non-tangible things.
  4. read about the birth of Christ.
  5. call pops (ramona’s grandpa) to wish him a happy birthday!
  6. find the treats that old st. nick left in our shoes.
  7. declutter for christmas — what can we donate, regift, toss, upcycle?
  8. pick out the perfect christmas candle. watch a christmas story.
  9. let’s do some sledding (after praying for snow first!)
  10. make a christmas wreath for the front door
  11. make gingerbread homes with her buddy max.
  12. make saffron buns
  13. have a candlelit dinner in honor of sta. lucia day
  14. make christmas cards for ramona to send out to friends and family.
  15. take a morning winter hike. watch the remake of miracle on 34th street (jp’s in it!)
  16. head out to see zoo lights or go on a family drive to see neighborhood lights.
  17. dance party to christmas albums.
  18. definitely splurge on a sweet treat for breakfast
  19. spend the evening drinking hot cocoa and reading our christmas and winter books.
  20. make pepperkakor cookies and enjoy them with eggnog.
  21. let’s walk downtown and put money in strangers’ meters!
  22. hot cocoa, popcorn, and another christmas movie. let’s do elf this time!
  23. establish thoughtful new years resolutions. follow up with home alone.
  24. swedish dinner w friends, grasshopper pie, leave cookies & milk out for santa, and open one small gift.
  25. merry christmas! stockings, story of christ, strata, and presents.

what do you and your family do to make the lead up to christmas morning special and significant?


  1. Alli says:

    Your advent post last year inspired me to do an activity advent this year. I made it today and I’ll post about it soon. I used to be a decorating late November person but this year we decided to wait until December (though now that it is almost here we have two daytime parties to go to tomorrow so we’ll be decorating today) & we’re not putting up the tree until after Lulu has gone to bed Christmas Eve. That way she gets an extra special surprise christmas day & we don’t spend all of December telling her not to touch the tree. Thanks for posting your advent activities, I think it is a great way to spend a little extra time with each other before Christmas.

    • i love what you did, alli! it will be so special for lulu (i hope she’s feeling better!). though i don’t know how you can wait until christmas eve to put the tree up. we just put ours up today… so we’ll see how ramona does in the pulling-ornaments-off-the-tree department. xoxo

  2. endelaney says:

    I love your calender. Super inspiring. Hubs and babe are off to the park and I am starting to make our very own. Thanks for the great idea!

  3. Sarah C. says:

    thanks for the inspiration! I stole some of your advent activity ideas for our own calendar 🙂 this season is even more magical with a toddler in the house

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