My Advent Calendar

 

Ready or not, Christmas really is coming!  And as my children beg each day to open their presents that we brought back from their grandparents in Utah, I am reminded of why someone came up with the idea of an advent calendar in the first place.  If you are thinking about putting one together, it is time.  I am consolidating and reposting two of my previous posts about this advent calendar I made a few years back and still love.  If you already have a calendar, you might still be interested in the inserts I came up with to put inside each day.  They are designed to help focus on the spiritual aspect of the season.  According to Dictionary.com one of the definitions of the word “Advent” is “the coming of Christ into the world.”  Ideally, I’d like my children to be counting down the days until we celebrate His birth, not just the days until they can open their presents.
The first section below is the directions for the calendar.  The second section is my list of advent inserts.
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Counting Down Christmas

(taken from post originally blogged on 11-14-08)
I had been wanting to make an advent calendar of some kind, for a long time. I was hoping to do something in the shape of a Christmas tree because that is what we had growing up, but I was hoping for a version that called for less (or no) sewing. So here is what I came up with last year, after borrowing ideas from Becky P.’s blog, who borrowed ideas from Ali Edward’s blog, who borrowed ideas from Martha Stewart’s kids magazine. 😉 Aren’t blogs great!

Like Becky, I wanted my calendar to be portable. So I put it on canvas. I had my husband help me with the engineering part, which means it’s probably overkill, but those boxes aren’t falling off! We bought a piece of MDF--the thin, dense, wooden board–and cut it to fit inside the frame of the back side of the canvas. Then we screwed the boxes through the board to hold it all in place, with short screws. When you open the boxes, you can see the screws, so I plan to cut circles from scrapbook paper to line the back of each box. If I were doing this this year, given my current obsession with mod podge, I would probably cover the front of at least some of the boxes with festive scrapbook paper, as well, before adding the number stickers.  I used 3 different shades of green paint, and 2 of red, and tried to make sure there was more green so that it looked like a tree with red ornaments. I used brown on the boxes to make a trunk and yellow on the star-shaped box.

I got my canvas and boxes all at Michaels. If you wanted to make these as a group, there are places on-line where you can order the little paper mache boxes in bulk, for less. I made my calendar go to 25, but if you chose to do 24 days, just remove one of the square boxes at the bottom, and adjust the numbering.

The random sized numbers are kind of fun, and cost effective, because I was able to use what ever I had left over in my scrapbooking stickers.

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Inside the Advent Calendar
(from a post dated 12-10-08)

My calendar is spiritually based and is meant to provide a short teaching opportunity each night. I like the activity based advents, but know that I can’t put many more “to do’s” on our family list–they just won’t happen. There are just a few “to do’s” here, like singing songs, or a simple craft. I am only including treats on some of the nights. Your kids will probably love you more, if you fill in the rest of the dates with candy, but I wanted most of the gifts to have some sort of symbolism or meaning. The gifts I am giving (mostly Dollar Store finds) are listed in parentheses after each scripture.  You might want to add in other gifts at appropriate points or substitute my finds for what you can find.   A lot of the inspiration for this advent can be found at sites listed Sugardoodle.

Without further ado…

Day 1- Read John 3:16—Why did Jesus come to Earth? (Miniature globe or world shaped chocolates could be included).

Day 2- Read Luke 1:26-33—Who told Mary that she would have a baby? (angel craft or trinket)


Day 3- Read Isaiah 7:14 & Matt. 1:23—How did Isaiah know what would happen? Why is it important that he did?


Day 4- Read Matthew 1:18-21—Why did Mary & Joseph name the baby “Jesus”?


Day 5- Read Luke 1:36—How were Mary & Elizabeth related? Who is older, John the Baptist, or Jesus?


Day 6- Read Luke 2:1, 3-6—Why did Mary and Joseph go to Bethlehem? (Include coins in the advent box)


Day 7- Read Micah 5:2—What does this scripture foretell about Bethlehem? Sing “O Little Town of Bethlehem”


Day 8- Read Luke 2:7—Why did Mary lay baby Jesus in a manger? (Include manger ornament craft kit)


Day 9- Read Luke 2:8-11—Candy canes, remind us of the shepherds’ crook and The Savior, who is “The Good Shepherd” (include mini candy canes)


Day 10- Read Luke 2:13–14–Who joined the angel in praising God? Join with the angels and sing “Joy to the World”


Day 11- Read Luke 2:15–17–Where did the shepherds go after the angels left?


Day 12- Read Matt. 2:1–2 How did the Wise Men know that Jesus had been born? (include star stickers)


Day 13- Read Matt. 2:7–10–Where did Herod send the Wise Men?


Day 14- Read Matt. 2:11–How did the Wise Men show that they knew the young child was the Savior?(Include present shaped chocolates or other tiny gift)


Day 15- Why do we give each other gifts at Christmas? Read Matt. 2:11 and Matt 25:40. Here is a small present for you! (Include small gift or candy wrapped like a present.)


Day 16- Read Matt. 2:13–15–Why did Joseph take Mary and Jesus to Egypt?

Day 17- Read John 1:1-5—Why do you think we decorate with Christmas lights at Christmas? (Christmas light bulb)


Day 18- Read John 8:12—Christ is the light of the world. Christmas Candles and lights remind us of his light. (include small candles)


Day 19- Read Isaiah 9:6—What are some of the names of Christ?


Day 20- Read Psalms 66:1-2—Christmas bells are rung to make a “joyful noise.”  Sing “I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day” (include bell shaped candy or small bells).


Day 21- Read Isaiah 61:1-3—Bows “bind up the broken hearted” and remind us that we are all connected, through Jesus Christ. How can we serve someone this Christmas? (include little bows)


Day 22- Read Isaiah 1:18 & Revelations 3:5. What does snow have to do with the real meaning of Christmas? Make a snowflake.


Day 23- Read Psalms 95:6-7—How do we worship Christ? Sing “O Come All Ye Faithful!”


Day 24- Read (and act out) Luke 2—Christmas is almost here. Here is a small gift. (Include Nativity trinket)


Day 25- Read Job 19:25—Enjoy this special day!

 

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Comments

  1. Molly Smith says:

    Oh this calendar is awesome! I love how you did it with the verses. Good luck in the CSI challenge!

  2. Kendra, I LOVE THIS!! I have so many advents, but I wasn't sure what to do with one of them. I think we'll do this for scripture study this month. Thanks so much!

  3. Renee @ where the grass is greener says:

    very nice. Next year (because i don't have time this year) I'm going to do this for my Sunday school class!!

  4. Bluefield says:

    I posted pictures of my recycled/recyclable Advent tree, inspired by yours, here: http://bluefield5.blogspot.com/2010/12/little-green-monsters.html Thanks so much for posting your fillers, too. Like you, I don't feel like my kids need candy or small gifts every day, and don't have a whole lot of time or energy for a new activity every day. I've been searching a long time for a meaningful way to celebrate this time of waiting.

  5. C.R.A.F.T. says:

    what a neat idea 🙂 come on over and link up to MMM!

  6. THANK YOU!! I was getting ready to write out some “inspired” verses for Advent calendar this year, but thought I’d check to see if anyone else had done the hard parts (too busy this year~! I think I should heed my own advent advice…). I was super surprised and pleased to find your blog. THANK YOU for taking the time to share! I love your advent calendar also, I will be attempting to re-create one of these!

  7. This is a great advent calendar. Love the way you incorporated the scriptures

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