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The Organised Mummy - Renee Bennett


Resident Blogger The Organised Mummy

Creating a Christmas Count-Down Calendar

Make an Advent Calendar - with a Twist!

04 December 2013 | The Organised Mummy

Make an Advent calendar the kids will remember!

Christmas would not be Christmas...

...without a countdown calendar!

Christmas would not be Christmas without a countdown calendar!

It adds to the anticipation of Christmas!!

It would be super easy to just grab a licensed calendar from the supermarket, but why not add a twist to it this year! I use my countdown calendar to have fun, create excitement about Christmas, but also it's a great opportunity to reinforce your family values!

I'm one of those mummas who like reading parenting books in my spare time. From everything I've read, the experts agree that one thing that helps kids stay strong through their teenage years is a strong sense of belonging. If they don't find this at home, they'll go elsewhere, often to places and people we won't approve of. One great way to create a sense of belonging in your family is to have traditions.

Traditions create a strong sense of 'who we are together'

What better time to introduce some family traditions then at Christmas?

So back to the countdown calendar. It's a definite tradition in the Bennett household!

You just need to make one initial investment - some sort of countdown calendar you can use every year, with pockets or boxes. I got mine for under $10 at IKEA

Now, just so I'm not labelled that 'freak mother' who's always doing weird hippie things -

here are some stock standard idea for the treats they have come to expect...

  • fill a few boxes with Lollies, candy canes etc
  • have a mini treasure hunt by leaving a note in the box that says 'go look under your pillow'. Then leave a Santa chocolate under there
  • put a gold coin in a box or two
  • leave a note saying 'this is a voucher for one drive through Maccas Icecream

Hide a chocolate or two!

Make your own mini treasure-hunt - with a hidden choccie!

However, the rest I'm very purposeful about using to reinforce values and character that are really important in my family.

Here are a few examples, but you can create your own...

  • do something kind for someone else today and be ready to share what you did around the dinner table tonight
  • do the dishes for mum today
  • write a nice letter to someone who is alone this Christmas and we'll post it
  • take on an extra household job today to help lighten mum/dad's load
  • you write out a pass that let's them off all their jobs for the day
  • write them a little letter yourself telling them why you love them and what you admire about them

Reinforce values and character

Use your Advent calendar to help your kids do good in their home and community!

I want my children to grow up thinking about others and totally convinced that Christmas is more about what they can give then what they can get. I want them to feel loved by my actions and words more than by the presents I give them.

So Merry Christmas and happy count-downing to you and your family.

X x Renee

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The Organised Mummy - Renee Bennett

About The Organised Mummy - Renee Bennett

Renee is an experienced educator who specialises in literacy for young children. She grew up in a single parent home and is a regular speaker to community groups around Australia on this subject. She now has three children of her own.

Renee is author to the newly released picture book Imagine We Were. It's available at good bookstores and from the publisher Wombat Books.

You can read The Organised Mummy's full profile here

Disclaimer: The views of authors on our website are not necessarily representative of those views of our website. Articles contain only general information, correct at the date of publication. For advice regarding your own personal circumstances, always seek individual advice from a qualified professional. This article may not be reprinted, reproduced, or retransmitted in whole or in part without the express written consent of Please read the complete Disclaimer here

What does it mean to be a single mum?Of course, the


are the most important thing in a single mum's life. Kids are the focus and always have been. But along with the children, there are other matters that can confuse a single mum's life.


plays a big part of a single mother's life, mainly because this is where a large percentage of single mums get their finances from. Centrelink are the source from where the

single mother pension

, or as it is otherwise known, the single parent payment comes from. The single mother pension is a subsistence amount, but just the same, it is money to live on, and so it is important, no matter if it is called single parent payment, single mother pension or whatever Centrelink welfare classes it at the time

Often, single mums come out of a


or defacto relationship only to find that their troubles have just begun, and find that their first step leads them towards Family Law - it's time to engage a lawyer.
There are more than just Centrelink finance problems to worry about, as mentioned before, but also

child custody

issues. Child custody is something that hits right at the heart of

single mums

. If a single mother's ex husband or ex partner has been a domestic violence perpetrator, the mum may be greatly worried about child custody. They worry that their kids won't be safe with their spouse, who has already proven to be abusive because they caused

domestic violence

, which resulted in a divorce or separation.

Even so,

Family Court

will often still order a form of child custody named

Shared Parenting

. Shared Parenting is a form of child custody division of time or parental responsibility between the parents. Mother's often look for a good divorce lawyer to try to avoid share parenting with an abusive ex-spouse after divorce, however in many cases Shared Parenting is still the outcome after the divorce, no matter how good the divorce lawyers have been. They will often settle for visitation at a contact centre or access centre where fathers or mothers are supervised during child custody access.

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