Countdown to Christmas ~ The Advent Calendar

by Kimba on December 2, 2009

in Faith and Family,Seasonal Projects

Every year, we start building anticipation for Christmas by pulling out our advent calendar at the beginning of December. I wish I could say that we always start on December 1st, but that would be a fib. I feel pretty good if we start by around the 7th. It’s definitely not too late to start this tradition.

This advent cabin was my birthday gift from The Hubster a few years ago (I think it came from L.L. Bean) and it is hands-down my favorite birthday gift ever. If you want to see me talking about this tradition, click here to see last year’s video. There’s no denying that I’m a total dork.

We do the traditional piece-of-candy behind each door or window. But I LOVE the idea of putting little notes behind each door with a fun Christmas activity to do each night.

mini muffin tin advent calendar That’s what Steph from Somewhat Simple did with her Magnetic Mini Muffin Tin Advent Calendar. She even shows you exactly what they put on each note to get you started!

Want some more advent calendar ideas?

burlap stocking garland advent calendarHow cute is this burlap stocking advent calendar from Making the World Cuter? She shows you step-by-step how she made it.

christmas tree doily advent calendarAre the kids squabbling over who gets to open the door or hang up the advent ornament each day? How about this Quick and Easy Advent Calendar from Makes and Takes. All the supplies come from the Dollar Store so each kiddo can have their own calendar.

lattice advent calendarAnd Breann from Me & My Three had a great idea for using Dollar Store mini gift bags and a piece of lattice. Totally doable!

sticky note advent calendar free printable
Still not easy enough for you? Then how about this Sticky Note Advent Calendar from Giver’s Log. She even provides a free printable download so you can make your own.

jesse tree and advent calendar 005And last, but definitely not least, leave it to Sarah Mae from Like a Warm Cup of Coffee to have an advent calendar that puts the focus squarely where it belongs…on the birth of Christ.

In her recent post at (in)courage, Sarah Mae shares her simple advent calendar and shows you exactly what her family will do each day in anticipation of Christmas. I particularly like Day 9 -Dance to a praise song! and Day 21: List three ways you and your family can be the hands and feet of Jesus this coming year – make a plan!

How do you build anticipation for Christmas? If you have a post about it, add it to my comments.

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1 living with lindsay December 2, 2009 at 8:56 am

So pretty!

I bought a Playmobil one this year that has a new piece each day to build a Christmas scene. I’ll keep the pieces for next year and put them into something like these cute handmade ones you featured.

2 Amy December 2, 2009 at 8:59 am

How fun! We just posted a muffin tin one today too. I love all of this inspiration for next year! You always have the best round-ups, Kimba!!

3 Emily@remodelingthislife December 2, 2009 at 9:02 am

Love all of these! I made one yesterday from stuff I had around the house.

4 pk @ Room Remix December 2, 2009 at 9:30 am

I’ve seen so many of these all over blogland, and the creative way that different people interpret one idea is amazing! Love all of the creativity!

5 Emily@remodelingthislife December 2, 2009 at 9:40 am

I tried to go to the burlap stocking one but the link is wrong – it’s the same as the one above it. just FYI 🙂 i’ll go google it and find it myself though.

6 Audra Lynn December 2, 2009 at 10:05 am

alright, now i’m starting to feel bad about the little cardboard one that i bought at the grocery store. there’s always next year.

7 Kimba December 2, 2009 at 10:12 am

Audry Lynn,

Noooo! Grocery store advents are great! My older son has been begging for one for 2 years!

8 Heather - Dollar Store Crafts December 2, 2009 at 11:49 am

I agree! My husband wanted me to be sure I picked up a couple of the grocery store chocolate advent calendars for our kids this year, too!

9 Teena December 2, 2009 at 10:10 am

Thanks! Found you from Ann’s blog.

We too are embracing Advent! I love it!

10 Lisa@Pickles and Cheese December 2, 2009 at 10:21 am

These are all so cute, creative and so nicely done. I especially like the Advent Calendar with the burlap stockings. Too cute! And that muffin tin calendar is also cute… Actually each of them is so great. Thanks for listing them all together!

11 Stacey December 2, 2009 at 10:32 am

We have celebrated ABC Advent for 7 years. Check it out! Today we are posting for week 2, letter ‘B is for Baby Born in Bethlehem’.

12 Nicol December 2, 2009 at 10:44 am

I made an advent calendar and each day we are doing simple activities together. I posted our first day yesterday on my blog with a tutorial for the advent.

13 Ashleigh December 2, 2009 at 10:56 am

I love these ideas!!

14 Ashleigh December 2, 2009 at 10:57 am

I love this! I post about Christmas like this one post… What do you put in stockings? I would love to know your thoughts!

15 Sunghee December 2, 2009 at 11:03 am

Thanks for showing all the great projects! I also made one last month for the first time in my life! I plan on making the countdown calendar every year from now on.

Thank you!

16 Heather - Dollar Store Crafts December 2, 2009 at 11:49 am

Thanks for linking to my calendar at Make & Takes and for finding all these other fabulous ideas! I have just admitted to myself that I’m totally addicted to advent calendars! We have three or four around our house (not counting the Playmobil one, which I am afraid to get out because my kids are 3 and under, and I know those little pieces will get all over the house). Do you think it will take some of the specialness away for my kids if they have twenty advent calendars to do every day in December? 🙂

17 Sarah Mae December 2, 2009 at 11:51 am

Thanks for the shout out!

Lovin’ the muffin tin and the dollar store gift bag ideas!


18 Shannon December 2, 2009 at 12:14 pm

I just posted my advent calendar on my blog… check it out

19 ellen December 2, 2009 at 12:36 pm

We have one of the cubby kind of advent calendars. When I got it (about five years ago), I typed up the Christmas story from Luke and Matthew and divided it into 24 sections (amounts to about a verse each day). I printed it, cut it and stuck the little sections in the cubbies for the first 24 days. I also have this tiny little nativity set that fits in there well, so the figures are scattered throughout. On Day 25, we open the door to find baby Jesus. My kids love it and fight over who gets to open each day.

20 Spencer December 2, 2009 at 1:02 pm

Hi Kimba….

How adorable….Love all of it.

Warm blessings,

21 Andrea December 2, 2009 at 1:07 pm

This year we’re doing a Jesse Tree to celebrate Advent. Each night of Advent there is a Bible story for the family to read and a special ornament to hang on the tree. Our kids are taking turns and they love it! Here is where I found the devotions and ornament ideas (I found everything I needed to make my own at Michaels):

22 Amanda @ Serenity Now December 2, 2009 at 2:42 pm

Love your little cabin, Kimba. 🙂 Have you seen the advent tree that Kate did over at Centsational Girl? It’s to die for gorgeous. 🙂 We have a little cheapy advent calendar that I got on sale last year, but I am hoping to guilt my MIL into giving me the directions to make the one she has. 🙂

23 Natural Mama December 2, 2009 at 3:10 pm

I love your Advent Cabin!! Here’s one we did last year and plan to use it this year. Of course you have to scroll through a bunch of gabbing that I did to get to the actual craft! 🙂

24 Stephanie December 2, 2009 at 4:00 pm

Thanks for the feature Kimba!!! I love this site!

25 Abbie December 2, 2009 at 4:06 pm

We have a foam tree that hangs on the fridge that we add a foam ornament to each day of December – it has velcro spots for each one.

I’d like to try the ones people have suggested with the special activity for each day and the Jesse tree someday. But for now, we’re keeping it simple!

26 Kelleigh December 2, 2009 at 4:16 pm

I made an advent calendar at the last minute last night that turned out pretty cute! Hybrid, too!

27 Cherry Blossom December 2, 2009 at 4:54 pm

I made an advent calendar today and was inspired by your post. I also bought almost all the items at the dollar store. You can see it here:

28 melissa * 320 sycamore December 2, 2009 at 6:49 pm
29 Randi December 2, 2009 at 8:24 pm

A couple of years ago we changed the way we do our advent calendar. It’s now called 24 Days of Service. The kids open a box each day, get a candy, and read what their task will be that day – it could be greeting incoming soldiers at the airport, helping one of the pastors at church for an hour, working at a book drive, picking up trash at the neighborhood park, or reading a story to a younger sibling. It’s changed the way the kids view the month … it’s not all about them.

30 Kimba December 2, 2009 at 8:55 pm

What a fantastic idea, Randi! I love it! Such a great way to get the kids (and ourselves) thinking about someone else.

31 New Every Morning December 2, 2009 at 11:00 pm

You must have been reading my mind. 🙂 Check out my post for today:

32 Cherry Blossom December 2, 2009 at 11:50 pm

I was inspired by your post and made my calender today. You can see it here:

33 Astrid December 3, 2009 at 7:00 am

Fun! I just hosted an Advent Calendar making party at my house! I bought tiny paper sacks at Michael’s and I also pre-made many envelopes. My friends got to number them and embellish them however they wished. My idea was to fill them with family activities- one activity per day.

34 Richella December 3, 2009 at 9:27 am

Your Advent calendar is beautiful. What a wonderful birthday gift! Your husband knows you, doesn’t he?

If your guys like Legos like mine do, you can check out the Lego Advent calendar. There’s a tiny Lego set to build for each day of December. It would be a wonderful treat to put inside your calendar if you need something other than candy.

35 Natural Mama December 3, 2009 at 12:01 pm

I already posted a comment above, but here is a better site on my blog of this craft…

36 Sondra December 3, 2009 at 1:55 pm

My family does a Gratitude Advent Calendar. We have 25 “gratitidue jars” (jelly jars decorated with red ribbon). Each night, we put a note in the jar telling of something we were grateful for that day. We read them all on Christmas Morning, put them in one big mason jar, and keep them on the shelf for a little reminder of our blessings.

37 Jessica December 10, 2009 at 4:01 am

I have made a ginger bread man countdown for my boys for this year –

Love all the ideas you featured here!!

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