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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