Advent calendar
The advent calendar I made eight years ago.

For my daughter’s first Christmas, I made an advent calendar. On a poster-sized piece of red felt, I sewed white pockets numbered one to 25 in red. On 25 pieces of paper, I wrote Christmas activities that we could do together as a family and inserted them into the pockets of the calendar.

Some of the Christmas activities are simple like “read a Christmas story” and some are more involved like “make Christmas presents” or “make a gingerbread house.” I tried not to set the bar too high most days. Each year, I go through them and move the more complicated activities to the weekends and the quick ones to weeknights. I shifted all the snow-related activities to late December since there’s no sign of snow here.

The kids love going through the pockets and reading the activities so the pockets are showing some wear and tear. This year, I told them there’d be no snooping! We’ll see if they can manage to keep from exploring the pockets.

Each year, I consider making a nicer one because I took a lot of shortcuts when I originally made this and I could make something nicer but I don’t think the kids would let me change it.

Gingerelf cookies

Today’s Christmas activity was to bake gingerbread cookies. The recipe I use is from Vegan Cookies Invade Your Cookie Jar: 100 Dairy-Free Recipes for Everyone’s Favorite Treats.

I used three sizes of cookie cutters and put each size on its own sheet since they all require different baking times. The kids helped me with the cutting and placing on the cookie sheets.

vegan gingerbread
Little gingerbread people straight out of the oven.

We may decorate a few with icing but they’re tasty on their own – a little army of goodness. If we can find time, we’ll make sugar cookies too and decorate those ones with colourful icing.

gingerbread cookies
Big gingerbread cookies cooling.

What’s your favourite Christmas cookie?

7 thoughts on “Gingerbread people and elves

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