Thursday, December 3, 2009


The Advent season is a little different for us this year.  The kids both know the true meaning of Christmas and are happy to celebrate that, but struggle with knowing there is a day coming soon where we get presents.  I figured this year was finally time to do an advent calendar.  It helps the kids easily know when Christmas is coming without having to ask mommy!  I also wanted it to be a reminder of what the season was about - Jesus' birth and a season of giving.  I went cruising craft blogs to find an idea that would be easy to do but didn't involve candy.  My favorite idea was the simple paper chain.  Easy to do, and the kids could help make it.  I also took another idea I'd seen a lot - including a simple activity or game that is winter/Christmas related.  We ended up with this:

25 paper chains made from Christmas wrapping paper, each with a game or activity glued inside that the kids get to "discover" when they tear the chain off.  Unfortunately I didn't think about the fact that Eli can read, so he's done a little looking ahead :)  I think next year we'll have to fold the papers over or glue them backwards so there's a little more suspense!

So far we've done these:
Make gingerbread houses
Make a gift for your teacher
Play "guess what's inside" (trying to guess what's inside a wrapped box)
Make paper snowflakes

giftcard holder for Eli's teacher

giftcard holder for Anna's teacher



We've got these left:
Read a Christmas story
Write a letter to someone and mail it
Make an ornament
Watch a Christmas movie
Read the story of Jesus’ birth
Make cookies
Make snowman pancakes
Drink hot chocolate
Take a walk outside
Write down things we’re thankful for and thank Jesus for them
Help someone else
Draw a nativity scene
Make snowmen (craft)
Sing Christmas songs
Light a fire
Bring a treat to a neighbor
Call a relative to tell them we love them
Draw and decorate a Christmas tree
Act out the 3 wise men following the star
Play “guess the song” (hum a song and have people guess)
Make Christmas wrapping paper

As you can see, its a lot of crafts, but Eli and Anna just love that type of thing.  I threw in some snacks and games to mix it up, but we're a crafty household for sure!  Not all of it is related to giving and Jesus, but the Christmas season is also about celebrating with family.  This is helping connect with my children in a real, meaningful way, and hopefully building in them the anticipation of the Christmas celebration that will carry on into their own families some day!


  1. andrea!!! i loooove this! i was JUST talking about advent calendars last night, and this is just what i was looking for w/o knowing it! i wanted to avoid candy and little presents. this is just perfect perfect! seriously--i'm whipping one of these up during naptime today!!!

  2. I LOVE this idea!!! I want to do it with my kiddos some day.... thanks for sharing! :)

  3. I'm totally doing this! What a great idea!

  4. What a great idea! I've struggled with what to do now that my kids are older but I'm sure I can adapt this to something they would find interesting.


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