Frugal or Fancy Christmas Advent Calendars

I absolutely love the idea of small Christmas celebrations each day in December. I definitely need that daily reminder to focus on what this season is really about.  For a while, I avoided Advent Calendars. The thought of doing something each day in the busiest month of the year was overwhelming but I soon realized that I could make the calendar to fit our schedule. Some families only use candy, others mix it up and have activities and a treat, some are Christ focused others are not… There are so many options to consider when planning out your calendar. Every year that we have done our Advent calendar I find ways to tweak it to our families schedule and our boys attention span.  They get so excited for our family advent time!

  1. Red Felt pockets– Glue/sew red felt pockets and stringed them to ribbon.
  2. Shoe Organizer– So easy, just put numbers in front of each pocket. Tada!
  3. Book Advent– I love children books so this is one of my favorite countdowns. Wrap store-bought books or library books and start your countdown. Picture from Babyccino Kids, I love how they made the number tags look like candles.
  4. Christmas Tree Advent– Pottery barn knock off, tutorial here.
  5. Gift Box Advent from Toilet Paper Rolls– Simple and cute! Tutorial here
  6. Nativity Scene Advent– Such a great idea see tutorial here
  7. Snowflake Advent– This one also used Toilet Paper rolls but she sews the ends, fancy!
  8. Train Advent– Perfect for little boys.
  9. What God wants for Christmas– We have been using this since our boys were 3yrs old, they love it! You can also find this at any Christian bookstore.

Our family uses the Christmas Tree Advent calendar #4 in conjunction with #9 What God Wants for Christmas. What God Wants for Christmas has 7 boxes with activities so we just stick the boxes in the pockets of the tree advent calendar. Simultaneously, we also do a children’s book countdown #3 but we spend most of our focus on the Christmas Tree Advent activities.  When our days get overwhelming we shorten our advent activity but the boys still get to open a book from our book countdown.

An example of one of our Advent Pocket Activities:  Day 15 (If you would like the other 24 activity print outs emailed to you just comment below w/ your email or email me at

  • Figure/ornament: Moon
  • Scripture: Luke 2:19
  • Sing: Sing Silent Night as a family
  • Activity: Go outside and look at the night sky and observe the stars.  Have a family prayer time thanking God.

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11 Responses to “Frugal or Fancy Christmas Advent Calendars”

  1. Anonymous
    November 28, 2011 at 5:36 am #

    Aww Mari, I love these ideas. Your example is beautiful.

  2. November 28, 2011 at 3:13 pm #

    Thanks for stopping by and your sweet words!

  3. November 28, 2011 at 3:43 pm #

    Your ideas are awesome. I especially like the snowflake advent one . Great inspiration. Thanks so much for sharing at Sunday’s Best.

  4. November 29, 2011 at 12:39 pm #

    Thx Cathy!

  5. November 29, 2011 at 6:25 pm #

    great collection!!

    Would love it if you could share this on my link party at

    Natasha xxx

  6. I think it is great to set aside some time each day to think about Christmas. Thanks for sharing such a lovely collection of Advent ideas.

    I am actually hosting a 12 days of Christmas series and the first day was all about Advent. I would be so thrilled if you could stop by and link up this post!

    Best wishes and happy weekend,

    • December 3, 2011 at 7:27 pm #

      Natasha, Thanks for stopping by. I will try to remember to stop by your website when I am done catching up with my comments. Enjoy the holiday season!

  7. December 4, 2011 at 2:59 pm #

    Great ideas. I love advent. We do a countdown chain and we do an activity each day. So glad you shared at Shine On Fridays!

  8. Sher
    November 23, 2012 at 9:09 pm #

    Cool ideas! This is my first time making an advent calendar :-). Attempting to combine the looks of #4 with #5 and also trying to incorporate #9. Thanks.

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