Even though I’m 4 days late, I was determined to make an Advent calendar this year for Eleanor. It was a tradition we sadly didn’t do consistently growing up but when we did I loved it. I showed Eleanor the calendar this morning. I took down bag #4 and gave it to her, her whole face lit up as she reached her hand in the bag, before she even discovered the chocolate kiss and little candy cane waiting for her. She gets it, and is already anxious to open another bag :) It was the sweetest thing to watch and made me so glad I made it happen this year.
I ended up making one because I couldn’t find any that I especially liked. I saw this bag idea floating around Pinterest and knew it would be so simple to make anyway. I decided to get cloth muslin bags instead of paper bags in case I’m not up for making a new one next year and just want to reuse this one. Each bag is filled with either a few Christmas treats, a small toy (little bracelets, wooden tops, etc.), or a Christmas related activity that we can do together as a family (get hot chocolate and take a trip to Peacock Lane to look at the Christmas lights, have a big Christmas Eve feast and then read the Christmas story together, etc. A few more of the activities are pictured below). I also got a few wooden nativity Christmas ornaments that are in a few of the bags for Eleanor to put on the tree. Fun for her to do and an opportunity for us talk about the story of Christ that my family celebrates this time of year.
My advent calendar isn’t anything incredibly fancy or elaborate but I love how it turned out. The simplicity of it reflects what I’d like our advent to be. I especially love the bags filled with notes of meaningful, fun activities we can do together as a family to make this Christmas season extra special, create warm, fond memories for Eleanor, and slow us down to think about how blessed we are and the hope that surrounds this time of year.
Continue reading for the details of the materials and how I made it, if you’re interested…
DIY Advent Calendar
Obviously, you can tweak this calendar however you like—I wanted a simpler, classic look but there are lots of options and styles out there!
I collected all the treats and gifts for the bags and wrote down all the activities for our family to do on the card stock (as pictured below). I set the gifts aside and started stamping a number (1-24) on each bag. Make sure to put a piece of thicker paper in the bag before stamping, so the ink doesn’t bleed through to the other side of the bag. After stamping all the bags and letting them dry (they dry really quickly) I filled them with all the goodies and activities. Then I took the bakers twine and hung two strings of it on the wall. Last, I tied each bag, in order, to the twine. That’s it! Super easy and so darling!
Do any of you do an Advent calendar with your family? What sorts of things do you put in yours’? What other Christmas traditions do you look forward to every year? I always love hearing how other families celebrate this time of year.