Advent Calendar

Advent is the time leading up to Christmas, a time looking forward to a notable event. To build relationships, set the stage for the purpose and meaning of the Christmas season, and to continue to learn and grow we have celebrated an advent calendar for 2-3 years.

The AdventCalendar-What we doand other ideas.png

There are probably as many advent calendars as there are people in the world! If you want to do an advent calendar this year, think through how you plan to use it and what you will do every day. Consider making an advent calendar your first year until you figure out your rhythm, then consider buying. Advent calendars range in price about as much as they do in design!

I will first describe what we do for our advent Calendar and then give you some other ideas. I try to do something special every day that is related to the holiday season. Some days are more elaborate, some very simple. I just have as pocket advent calendar, it was the cheapest one I could find :). I pull out my calendar to see what Christmas events are going on in town that correlate with my activities (like a live nativity) and look at what days we are busy (i.e. have a work Christmas party). I then pull out my slips of paper that have the theme/activity for the day printed on it and put them in the assigned numbered day for the month. Here is what the paper for “Candy Cane Day” would look like:

Candy Cane Day.png

Themed Day Ideas

Here are some of the themes/activities we do on our advent calendar:

  • Angel day: Dress all in white (or like an angel), make angel food cake, read angel books, talk about what angels did in the nativity story, sing angel Christmas songs
  • Birthday Party for Jesus day: invite friends over to celebrate Jesus’ birthday, make something to give away to someone, bring canned food for birthday gifts for a food drive
  • Book Day: Go to the library and check out Christmas books, give a gift of a new Christmas book, Read as many Christmas books as you can
  • Candy Cane Day: Read The Legend of the candy Cane by Lori Walburg and the Candymaker’s Gift by Helen Haidle, give everyone a Giant candy cane to eat all day, hang candy canes on the Christmas tree, make Candy Cane Cookies

  • Celebrate Saint Nicholas Day: December 6th is Saint Nicholas day, talk about the real Saint Nicholas, Read Saint Nicholas: The Real Story of the Christmas Legend by Julie StiegemeyerVisit a local Santa, try to serve others in remembrance of Saint Nicholas, open stockings

  • Light Night: Put on PJs and pop popcorn for the car, drive around and eat popcorn while looking at Christmas lights!
  • Christmas Tree Day: Read The Legend of the Christmas Tree, sleep under the tree (or at least shut off all the lights and sit by the lit Christmas tree), get your Christmas tree this day or decorate it

  • Christmas Carol Day: Sing as many Christmas songs as you can, invite friends over to sing with you, go caroling around your neighborhood or in a retirement home
  • Snow Day: Make a snow man, cut out snow flakes, make snowball cookies
  • Red and Green Day: Wear red and green, make green scrambled eggs and red pancakes, eat red and green foods all day (green grapes, red apples, etc.)
  • Nativity Day: Read nativity books, play with the nativity set, act out the nativity, go to and visit a live nativity in your area

  • Christmas Cookie Day: Take neighbors Christmas cookies, bag some up for the postal and delivery people

If you are looking for more activities/advent themed days, consider looking into your family heritage and selecting a tradition from your country of origin. For example, if you have a Swedish background you could celebrate St. Lucia day. You could also align your activities/themes with what your local school and church have planned.

Other Advent Ideas

  • Box Advent Calendar
    • In each box put something representing the Christmas story (similar to resurrection eggs) ideas:
      • Star
      • Angel
      • Donkey
      • Straw (for the manger)
      • Cloth (swaddling clothes)
      • wool (sheep)
      • Sticks (stable)
    • Each day you open the box for the day talk about what the item represents
  • Candy Calendar
    • Either in a box or a disposable advent calendar put a piece of Candy for each day
    • If you can fit 2, put 2 pieces, one to eat and 1 to give away
  • Ornament Calendar
    • Place an ornament in each box for the day or hang them up representing each day leading up to Christmas
      • These could be new ornaments that are fun or symbolic
      • These could be old ornaments each representing a family memory, talk about the memory when you hang the ornament on the tree