This is a fun way to incorporate your
family traditions (new and old) into an Advent calendar. I made this
for my little ones last year and they loved the anticipation each day
as they waited to open an envelope. Each envelope holds a story about
the greatest gift—the birth and coming of Christ, and a
gift—of an activity or tradition to do together.
We had such a great time with this last
year and I love that it caused our Christmas celebration to be spread
out over most of the month of December. (Doesn’t that seem like
a proper celebration for the birth of our Savior?!
helped me to slow down and stay engaged and purposeful with my kids
instead of getting distracted, rushing them about, or even neglecting
them amid the holiday busyness. And since we home-school, it was a
great way to incorporate different methods and subjects of learning
(reading, Bible study, history, baking, serving, giving, art, music)
into one bundle of fun.
I have seen some similar versions of
this floating around Pinterest, but here is my version.
Materials: I made ours using small
brown envelopes (2 ½ x 4 in), mini clothespins, bakers twine, two
circle paper punches (1 inch and 1 ½ inch), double sided tape, and
some colorful and Christmas themed paper (I got everything except the
twine at our local Michaels craft store. I’ve purchased bakers
twine on Amazon and Etsy).
If you do not have access to these
materials, you could print the files onto white paper, and attach to
any string or twine—using clothespins or tape. You could even write
the numbers by hand if you do not want to bother with cutting out
How it works: Hang your Advent calendar
wherever you choose. Have your kids open an envelope each day,
staring December 1st and ending on the 25th—Christmas
day. Each envelope contains a scripture reading that tells the
ongoing story of the birth of Christ and an activity to do as a
family. (For us, many of these activities are traditions or things we
do each year anyway—such as driving around to look at Christmas
lights or opening a special new ornament to put on the tree.) Some
activities depend on weather or location (like building a snowman
together) so those can be added, subtracted, or switched around as
I came up with more than 25 activities
so we (and you) can choose which ones to use. You may find some fun
new ideas as you look through our list or you can write in your own.
This year I am also adding discussion questions for each of the
scripture readings, which I will do with my kindergartner. (The
questions are suitable for kids K-12 though preschoolers can listen
along and participate as they are able.)
If you feel like your holiday is
already too full or that these activities aren’t your thing, you
could simply print out the scripture portion to read to your kids
As we enter into Advent, what are some
of your traditions and what fun things do you do as a family during
this season? How do you celebrate Christ’s birth? Let us know in
the comment section below!
Merry Christmas and may your gaze be on
Immanuel… for God is with us.