It is that time of year again and that means another Advent season. Today I wanted to share with you a “use what you have” Advent calendar that we created last year. It was such a hit that I plan to make another one for this year! This requires no pricey materials and is based around what the holiday season should be all about… being together!
In the years past, we have always had a Christmas Jar of activities. Each day we would randomly draw from a set number of activities and enjoy a holiday activity together as a family. This year, our life with our two children has become increasingly busy and scheduled. We have two school schedules, extracurricular activities, homework, holiday programs, holiday family events, and so much more going on. Our life of leisure seems to have taken a detour and I have had to be more thoughtful in our approach towards carving time out for what we would hope to accomplish this year.
I wanted to create our own countdown to Christmas in a creative way, but I didn’t want to spend any money on it. I decided to use what I had to create our homemade Advent filled with fun activities and wanted to share with you what we created!
Homemade Advent Calendar
A large circle punch (in scrapbook supplies at craft store) or a jar or glass for tracing
Scrapbook or festive holiday gift wrap
2 Muffin Tins
A picture frame stand or a place to prop your finished tins
I began this project by punching out 48 circles. On half of these write the numbers 1-24 and on the other half you can write fun activities to do with your children in anticipation of the big day.
Stick your holiday activity folded up inside of each muffin tin and then attach the numbered circles to each individual muffin tin. Secure with tape on both sides to hold your activities in securely.
Break out your trusty calendar and jot down the activities for each day to remind yourself what you need to plan for and what supplies will need to be purchased to accomplish the activities.
Add a little festive ribbon to the top of your muffin tin. Display the muffin tin by using a picture frame stand or finding a sturdy wall to prop it up with. Have your child draw an activity each morning to complete as a family.
Our Activity List
1. Decorate the Christmas tree.
2. Big bubble baths with holiday music playing.
3. Going to the library to pick out holiday books.
4. Special popcorn and hot cocoa snack (possible visit for the tree lighting ceremony in town).
5. Going to a Christmas Concert.
6. Decorating gingerbread houses.
7. Make Christmas cards for our special friends.
8. Watch a holiday movie.
9. Color a holiday coloring page.
10. Bake Christmas cookies.
11. Go see holiday lights.
12. Go see Santa and a trolley ride through downtown.
13. Write a letter to Santa.
14. Pop popcorn & play a board game together.
15. Host an ornament decorating party.
16. Color a holiday picture.
17. Holiday party to attend.
18. Go to the dollar theater and see a movie.
19. Go see the Christmas lights.
20. Deliver holiday treats to our friends & the firefighters in town.
21. Big bubble bath with holiday music.
22. Open one gift early.
23. Watch a holiday movie.
24. Celebrate our family Christmas.
Total cost for this project was zero and very little money will be spent to do these activities together. The memories I hope to create with my children though, I hope those will be priceless!
Do you do an Advent calendar or have a special way your family celebrates the countdown to Christmas? I would love to hear your ideas!