In anticipation of Christmas, Kayo and I have decided to start a new family tradition and make our own Advent calendar this year. It’s a great way to make countdown to Christmas fun and meaningful. Countdown begins this Sunday, December first, and I thought it would be a good idea to share how I put together our calendar. Maybe you’ll get ideas on how to make yours!
There are many different ways to make an Advent calendar and there are also various activities you can do for each day leading to Christmas. I think it’s really just about being creative and thinking of ways to help your children learn what Christmas is all about in fun and simple ways. Our kids are still very small to grasp the meaning of the season, but I think it’s good to start early and establish traditions as a family. Kayo and his siblings did the same thing with their parents when they were very small and he still remembers!
Twenty-four days in the Advent calendar means twenty-four different activities. That’s quite a lot, so I thought of coming up with a theme for each day of the week. Here are the different themes:
Sundays: A family activity (Something we can all do together as a family)
Mondays: Say a prayer for a specific need or group of people (Example: Pray a special prayer for the sick)
Tuesdays: Art activity with the kids
Wednesdays: Something musical (Ex: Sing “O Come All Ye Faithful”)
Thursdays: Write lists (Ex: List three things you are thankful for today)
Fridays: Surprise treats!
Saturdays: Do something special for ________ !
I am the one who planned the different activities in our calendar so everyday will be a surprise to Kayo and the kids!
Our physical Advent calendar is super easy to make. I actually had so many ideas on how I wanted it to look but I settled for a very simple one that I really like. Here’s how:
1 Prepare materials. What you need are very easy to acquire. You may even already have them available in your home right now! These are: assorted paper (Preferably in Christmas colors), markers, washi tape, string or ribbon, scissors and glue
2 Cut 24 rectangular pieces of paper. Size depends on how big or small you want the entire calendar to be.
3 Cut 24 circles (or any shape you like). This is where we will write the numbers for each day of Advent.
4 Write down a number on each circle. Make sure it’s 1 to 24!
5 Using your washi tape, stick four pieces of string (each at least 18 inches in length) horizontally onto your bare wall. I discover that there are certain washi tapes that don’t hold very long. The brand MT, which is what I used for mine, is a good one. So make sure you’re using a good tape or you can also use stick-on hooks and just tie the strings on both ends.
6 Make little cards out of your paper and glue a number on each. (TIP: If you’re using plain white paper, you can make it look more fun by doodling on it.) Write down the assigned activity for the specified day inside the little cards and carefully hang them on the string in order. I made four rows for mine, so six cards hang on each string.
7 Cut a bigger piece of paper in the shape of your choice and write “Advent Calendar.” Place it on top!
And that’s it! You can make this within a few hours as long as you’ve already planned your daily advent activity beforehand.
I’m pretty excited for Advent and I’m hoping Kayo and the kids enjoy what’s in store for them! I also hope that this simple observance of the advent season helps us celebrate Christmas meaningfully and wholeheartedly. May yours do the same for your family. Once again, have a very merry, crafty Christmas!