Simple and Fun Advent Calendar

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I will admit that every year I have high hopes for a great Advent calendar. Last year I never got around to making one and the year before that I was hugely pregnant and motivation was loooow. My sweet, sweet friend sent one in the mail to Rowan that she made (there were lots of tears when I opened that package- she is the best!) The year before that I made one but honestly didn’t finish sewing all 25 houses. I had them all cut out but not all made it on the branch. This year I was determined to make something…Anything! I decided against gifts, wanting to be focused more on family activities and service projects. I came up with a list of 24 things and also added a Bible reading for each day as well. I wanted to make sure we focused on why we personally celebrate Christmas and not just focused on gifts and being “good” for presents.

I printed out each day’s Bible reading and activity and cut them down to size. I also ran some kraft paper through the printer to print out the daily numbers. I made all the squares 4.25″ x 4.25″ and then sewed the edges together with that day’s activities inside. I strung all the numbers on some branches I had found on a walk in the woods last week and hung them up on the wall. Rowan couldn’t wait to open the first one today. Our first activity is making Christmas cards for our friends near and far. She loves sending mail!!

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Here is the list of our Advent activities…
Dec. 1st: Make Christmas cards for friends. Read 1 John 1:1-5
Dec. 2nd: Pancakes for dinner with whipped cream and berries. Read Isaiah 9:2-7
Dec. 3rd: Make salt dough ornaments. Read Isaiah 11:1-10
Dec. 4th: Call local food pantry and see what in particular they are in need of. Go shopping and donate. Read Jeremiah 33:14-16
Dec. 5th: Paint with special shaving cream sparkle paint. Create painted snowmen. Read Luke 1:5-10
Dec. 6th Make Gingerbread houses. Read Luke 1:11-17
Dec. 7th: Mommy and Rowan date to go Christmas shopping for Daddy and Finley. Read Luke 1:18-25
Dec. 8th: Work on doing special chores from now till Christmas to earn money to donate on Christmas Eve at church for local charity. Read Luke 1:26-38
Dec. 9th: After dinner let’s get our jammies on and head to Albany to drive through the lights at the park. Hot Chocolate is a must! Read Matthew 1:18-21
Dec. 10th: Make a special holiday card for the mailmen and leave it in the mailbox for him. Read Matthew 1:22-26
Dec. 11th: Make Borax snowflakes. Read Luke 1: 39-45
Dec. 12th: Christmas crafts with popsicle sticks! Read Luke 1:46-56
Dec. 13th: Make desserts for Ronald McDonald house. Bring over some new markers and coloring books as well. Read Luke 2:1-5
Dec. 14th Sleepover at Grandma and Grandpa’s house. Read Luke 2: 6-7
Dec. 15th Stay up late watching Christmas movies. Read Luke 2:8-12
Dec. 16th Go through our closets and find clothes we can donate to local shelter. Read Luke 2:13-14
Dec. 17th: Bake and decorate gingerbread men. Read Luke 2:15-18
Dec. 18th: Make stitched ornaments for the tree. Read Luke 2:19-20
Dec. 19th: Sleepover in the living room by the Christmas tree. Read Micah 5:2-5
Dec. 20th: Ice Skating in Empire Plaza. Read Matthew 2:1-2
Dec. 21st: DISNEY PRINCESSES ON ICE!!! (shhhhh its a secret!- good thing Rowan can’t read) Read Matthew 2:3-6
Dec. 22nd: Picnic dinner on blankets by Christmas tree. Read Matthew 2:7-8
Dec. 23rd: Paint pinecones. Read Matthew 2:9-12
Dec. 24th: Make homemade marshmallows. Hot cocoa party at Meme’s house. Read John 1:14

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p.s. just because I think this is hilarious… Finley is totally buck naked from the waist down in these pictures. Oh the joys of potty training!!

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  1. We’re also opting out of Xmas presents this year as well. We’ve decided to spend more time helping in our community both with our time and financially. I feel so blessed through out the year… so this seems like the perfect time to give back. LOVE, what what you have planned for your family, the advent is beautiful and I can’t wait to check out the bible reading as well!! xo

  2. I work at the Toronto RMH, nice job including your local families in your advent calendar! Canada misses good people like you.

  3. This is darling – I love your mix of treats and activities too, your kids are very lucky!

  4. Love your crafts, it’s always fun to see what new advent calendars are out there! My company did a breakfast at RMH Orlando the past two years and it always feel so good helping out. Wish we could have made food to take, our house only allows food prepackaged or made on the premises. Have fun!

  5. That’s such a cute idea. I want to make something similar for next year when my toddler will be ready to appreciate those kinds of activities. Looking forward to the pantsless phase, too. Thanks for sharing.

  6. This is really lovely. Thanks for sharing.

  7. Brittany •

    What a wonderful idea! This is going to be a goal for NEXT year. My 3 yo and twin 15 month olds will be just the right age for this then!
    And naked from the waist down is the ONLY way to potty train! đŸ™‚ Good luck!

  8. So inspiring Jen! thanks for making me think into the season better friend;)

  9. love all your Advent ideas. This year we are doing a book Advent calendar. http://booksthathealkids.blogspot.com/2014/12/a-new-family-tradition.html?m=1

  10. Wow, I’m so impressed! It’s beautiful! I love the daily activities and the corresponding bible verses. Speaking of the “why” we celebrate Christmas, have you ever looked at She Reads Truth? (http://www.shereadstruth.com/) They’re doing a daily Advent series right now, short devotions every day that are quick and easy but SO full of truth and grace and encouragement. Unlike any other devotions I’ve followed before. I love that I can always find five minutes for it and read it all over my iphone. Anyway, great calender!

  11. I loved the idea of leaving a card for the mailman! So sweet! This year I only did this super fast advent calendar – but next year I am definitely spending more time on it!

  12. Love this Jen!! So many sweet memories in the making!;) I wish I could come along for the pj trip with hot chocolate and the lights đŸ˜‰

  13. Hey there, I have been reading your blog since last December (I think I found one of your posts on what to expect) but I just wanted to say it is really admirable the work you put into making sure your girls feel special and have a good time. I hope to do the same with my little girl.

  14. Jen, thanks for posting this! I remembered seeing it a few weeks ago and just came back today when I was looking for some advent scriptures. I don’t have kids yet and I really admire your parenting approach. I understand this may not be something you want to share since it seems to be a sensitive topic for a lot of people, but I would love to know your thoughts on Santa and what role “he” plays in your family’s Christmas celebration. Have a very merry Christmas and thanks again for your blog!
    Amy

  15. Wow, I’m totally smitten with this! Easy and adorable! Love it!

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Hi, I'm Jen!

Welcome to my personal lifestyle blog. It features topics such as motherhood, family life, fashion, cooking, and all sorts of adventures. I hope you enjoy what you find!

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