The past couple years, with young children, a husband in school, and a busy work schedule, I felt the holiday season slip through my fingers. I was disappointed that I wasn’t making the most of Christmastime with my children–we weren’t starting traditions or making memories other than on Christmas morning. This year, I was determined to make the most of Advent, so I made a homemade Advent calendar.
Homemade Advent Calendar
Each day from December 1st to 25h, there is one envelope to open. I used this set of Advent/Christmas Countdown Tags from Simple as That blog. Sure, I could have made them myself, but Rebecca over at Simple as That had already created a lovely free set that I printed out at work.
I decorated each envelope individually using wrapping paper, washi tape, pom poms, ribbons, and other trimmings (the One Spot at Target was a great place to find some of these decorative pieces.)
The envelopes each contain:
- One Advent Table Card from Kids Read Truth
- One piece of the Nativity from a Petit Collage pop-out Nativity set (see this winter wonderland option, Target sold out of the Nativity)
- One Jesse Tree ornament (I have paper ornaments, but there are lots of great options on Etsy. Check out this Jesse Tree coloring book, this mid-priced wooden set with stickers, or this deluxe felt set.)
- One activity card
- You could also add a piece of candy, stickers, or other holiday treats.
As you can see, the gifts and envelopes have taken up our vintage bar cart in the living room. I love the building anticipation that Advent brings, and the way it teaches my kids the value of delayed gratification.
North Texas Holiday Activity List
The activity cards are age appropriate for my kids and designed to be fun and low cost. There are lots of “Christmas bucket lists” on Pinterest, adapt them to make sense for your family and budget! Some days, the activity card includes an additional gift to open and it often corresponds with the activity card, like classic Christmas books that could be re-wrapped year after year (I bought all of mine from second-and sellers on Amazon), Christmas PJs, or holiday decor for my home.
So what’s on your holiday bucket list? How do you celebrate and anticipate Christmas coming through Advent? What traditions are long-standing (or new!) in your family?