Saturday, November 18, 2017

a meaningful advent

if you are looking for advent calendar ideas that are more than just chocolate or trinkets, it's possible i may have compiled a near perfect list of ideas.

each year, we do some variation of a christmas advent for finn. they have varied in degree of elaborateness, but the common theme is always spending quality time together as a family, making happy memories, and giving back as much as we can to the people in our community that we love or to those that could use a little bit extra this time of year.

this years advent is made up of bits and pieces sifted and pulled from a bazillion lists and blog posts floating around the internet, my favourites compiled into a slightly ambitious, but beautifully meaningful list of projects and activities for our family to work on this season.

feel free to use this list in whatever way works for you - copy and paste it in its entirety (i currently have it lined up so that some of the bigger/ more time consuming projects are on the weekend) or pick a project or two that resonates and enjoy~


1- Gather all our Christmas books and pick up a few new-to-us ones from the library- Snuggle up and read together as a family. Make a list of our favourites.

2 - Pick a gift request off the Kingsgate mall tree and then go shop for that special gift.
(This is specific to Vancouver but chances are, wherever you live, there are absolutely local charities in need of toys or gifts for children in your community. Just do a quick google search if you aren't sure...)

3 - Cut down our Christmas tree and go out for hot chocolate. Afterward, come home to decorate.

4 - Pick our holiday charity to donate to. See if there is any money in your piggy bank that you can contribute.

5 - Write a few special notes of gratitude to sneak to friends and teachers to brighten their day.

6 - Hand-make an ornament for the tree.

7 - Take a trip to the grocery store to purchase a few items for the food bank. Look online beforehand to see what they are most in need of.

8 - Bake bread to have as a special treat. Make an extra loaf to give to neighbours.

9 - Find out what the SPCA needs for their animals and collect/ donate a few items.

10 - Make mini rosemary wreaths for our bedroom doors. Make an extra one to give to your teacher.

11 - Have a Christmas music dance party. Share our favourite Christmas songs.

12 - Think of someone special that you can perform a random act of kindness for.

13 - Discover a new family tradition.
(I have this AWESOME book that has a ton of incredible ideas for new family traditions any time of year.)

14 - Go for a walk to collect pinecones and greenery to bring a little bit of nature indoors.

15 - Shop for a special family Christmas ornament.

16 - Pajama, movie and popcorn day - pick our favourite Christmas movies and get cozy.

17 -  Take a walk around the neighbourhood and look at Christmas lights - leave a thank you note in the mailbox of some of our favourites.

18 - Have a picnic dinner under the Christmas tree- talk about our favourite and most sentimental ornaments.

19 - Bake cookies (and share some with friends).

20 - Make a thank you card and a few treats for our mail carrier.

21 - Make and deliver something special to Michelle at the skateboard shop and the librarians at our local library.
(These are people that are special to us, but you can pick someone that you interact with regularly and do something to make their day brighter)

22 - Make a tasty treat for the birds.
(so many ideas - from super easy to more complex - found here)

23 - Call far-away relatives and sing Christmas carols over the phone.

24 - Make cookies for Santa and beeswax candles for Christmas morning. + New Christmas PJ's
(I got a kit similar to this one to make some simple beeswax candles that we can use throughout the holidays) 

You can download a printable PDF copy of the above list HERE

Sunday, November 12, 2017

Christmas in Vancouver 2017

below is an updated list of events and activities happening around vancouver for the holidays.
(you can see the original 2016 version of this list here.) there are of course a million other things going on- these are just the ones that piqued my interest or have been enjoyed in previous years. 

here's hoping you can find something new to enjoy this holiday season!

Vancouver Christmas Tree Lighting | Friday, December 1, 5pm-7pm
Vancouver Art Gallery - 750 Hornby Street | Free (Buy a bulb donation in support of the Vancouver International Children’s Festival)

Toque Craft Fair | December 1 – 3 | Friday 6-10pm, Saturday + Sunday 11am-5pm
Western Front, 303 E 8th Ave | Admission: By donation to Western Front

Aberthau Winter Pottery Sale | Saturday, December 2 from 10am – 4pm 
West Point Grey Community Centre, 4397 W 2nd Ave | Admission: Free  

Santa Claus Parade | Sunday, December 3 - 12pm  - 5pm
Georgia at Broughton, E on Georgia, S on Howe. Ending Howe + Smithe
FREE – Donation (monetary or non-perishable) for the food bank.

CP Rail Holiday Train | Sunday, December 17 - 4:20pm Port Moody | 6:00pm Port Coquitlam
PM - 300 Ioco Road | PC 2125 Kingsway Ave | FREE – Donation (monetary or non-perishable) for the food bank

Vancouver Christmas Market | Nov 22 – Dec 24- 11am - 9pm daily
Jack Poole Plaza (New Location) | Adults $10 | Seniors $9 | Youth (Kids 7-12) $5 | Kids 6 and under Free

Bright Nights Stanley Park Christmas Train | Nov 30- Jan 6 - 3pm - 10pm daily
Stanley Park | Adults $12 | Seniors $9 | Youth $9 | Child $8

Christmas Fly over Canada | Nov 23- Jan 7 from 10am – 9pm daily
Adults $20.75 | Seniors $17.91 | Child $14.13 (buy tickets online -10% off)

Grouse Mountains Peak of Christmas | Nov 24 – Jan7
Lights, Snow, Santa’s Workshop, Crafts, Tobogganing, Slay rides and Ice Skating
Family rate $89.95 (2 adults, 2 kids) | Adults $43.95 | Seniors $39.95 | Kids $15.95

Festival of Lights at VanDusen Gardens | Dec 1 – Jan 7 from 4:30pm – 9pm
VanDusen Botanical Garden | Adults $18 | Seniors $14 | Youth $14 | Child $11

Canyon Lights at Capilano Suspension Bridge |  Nov 23 - Jan 28 (4pm onward)
Adults $42.95 | Seniors $38.95 | Youth $26.95 | Children $14.95 (Kids under 6 are free) - If you are a BC resident, admission provides you with a free annual pass so you can go back endlessly for the next 12 months.

Collage Collage Family Craft Night | Family Craft Night - Tuesdays and Thursdays - Nov 28 - December 21 | Family Print Making - Mondays - December 4th- 18th

|| FREE ||
(Make a day of it, walk around downtown and do the whole list…)
Robson Square Ice Skating | Dec 1 – Feb 28, 9am-9pm | Free (Skate Rentals $4 Cash only)
Festival of Trees at Four Seasons | Nov 30 – Jan 3 | Free (Donations for BCCHF)
Gingerbread Lane at Hyatt Regency | Dec 1 - 27 | Free (Donations to Make a Wish)
Woodwards Window Display | 999 Canada Place (Nov 23 - Dec 31, 8am - 11pm daily) | Free
St Paul’s Hospital Lights of Hope | 1081 Burrard Street (Nov 19 onward) | Free (Donations to St. Paul's)